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Molds FAQ

Does Custom Etch have patterns I can use?

  • Yes. Custom Etch has a large library of industry standard textures and unique patterns from which to choose.

What is required to produce a new, custom pattern?

  • Patterns can be developed utilizing virtually any natural material, such as leather, wood, and stone.
  • Please contact your Custom Etch representative to discuss your particular project and to review the options available to you.

Which file formats are acceptable?

  • At this point, nearly all 2D and 3D formats are accepted. Follow up with your representative to confirm the format you would like to send.

My print specifies a texture pattern number from another texture house. Can Custom Etch match it?

  • Yes. Custom Etch can cross reference any pattern number in the industry.

What are the key texture issues when designing a mold?

  • Draft angles are of the utmost importance in mold design, which vary depending on whether they are exterior or interior walls.
  • Exterior walls fall within the range of 1º or 1.5º of every .001″ of pattern depth.
  • Internal walls may need additional draft, and this will depend on the complexity of the design.
  • Greater draft angles are required for directional patterns that run perpendicular to the direction of draw.

Which mold materials are recommended for chemical engraving? Here are a few we commonly work with:

  • Tool steels (01, A1, A2, A6, S7, H13)
  • Pre-hardened steel (P-20, NAK 55, 52100)
  • Stainless steels (400 series)
  • Forged aluminum (6061, 7075, QC-7, AlumEC 99, AlumEC 89)
  • Cast aluminum
  • Beryllium copper
  • Cast iron
  • Cast steel

It’s strongly recommended that the same material be used when producing molds with multiple parts, to ensure an accurate texture match. If a mold is going to contain a combination of two or more materials (e.g., P-20 & H-13 inserts or Aluminum & BeCu), can I be assured that the texture will not be visibly different across said materials?

  • Yes. Custom Etch has developed various techniques to successfully blend textures over different metals. We do realize the importance of utilizing specific materials for various mold components, and will assist with your material selection when requested.

What procedure should be followed before welding a texture area?

  • Matching the welding rod or wire to the mold material is the first step to ensuring a good, texture ready weld.
  • Heating the repair area and surrounding material prior to welding will help ensure a good bond.
  • Color matching (normalizing) the weld area with the surrounding material is critical to ensure even etch rates.
  • Always consult your material supplier for welding specifications particular to your material type.

What should be done in the case of texture repairs?

  • Be sure to contact your Custom Etch representative to discuss any mold damage that involves the texture area. We will be glad to assist you with choosing the best repair solution for your specific situation.

How are texture costs estimated?

  • Although mold size is a factor, there are many considerations that affect cost – complexity of mold, pattern selection, material type, and turnaround requirements are some examples. For the most accurate cost and time estimate, contact your Custom Etch representative as early as possible with mold and/or part drawings.

What is the average turnaround for your service?

  • Our average turnaround for mold texturing or chemical engraving is three to five days. This changes when additional services such as repairs, polishing, or art development are added to the project. The best way to determine accurate project timing is to contact us.