For over 40 years PPD Ltd. have etched and supplied etched model railway parts to both individual hobbyists and businesses worldwide.
The fine intricate detail achieved in the etching process enables our customers to replicate exact features on model railway parts and accessories, from rivets on a loco side or detail on a number plate, the etching process lends itself to many model rail components.
We've included below a few photo's supplied to us by our customers, you can see the high level of detail that can be achieved.
Etching Artwork & Model Rail
The most important part of the etching process is the creation of the artwork, by creating a drawing using our recommended dimensions for each metal type and thickness a successful etch is guaranteed. We recommend that you take a look at our 'Artwork Guide' page for further information on file type/drawing colours etc. You can also take a look at the PDF files below that show an example artwork and our recommendations for drawing dimensions of both parts and tags. A PDF file listing our stock metals and grades can be found on the sidebar of this page.
Our CAD & Sales technicians are available to answer any queries you may have, please call or drop us an email if you would like further details.
Laser Cutting Process & Model Rail
PPD Ltd. also offer a laser cutting service which allows us to cut metal thicknesses normally beyond the scope of the etching process. Another advantage of using the laser is that holes and detail can be achieved at 50% of the metal thickness, for example a 1mm hole can be cut on 2mm thick brass, this can be of benefit to larger scale model parts such as some of the parts shown below. Although these parts can be etched the thickness is often dropped to suit the dimensions required for the etching process.
For laser cut parts the artwork should be sent as an outline of the part, there is no fill required for this process, as shown below.
This artwork was cut on 0.9mm Nickel Silver.
The finished parts have a clean edge with a very small tag, you can see in the image below the tags on the parts, these are applied at the laser stage and don't need to be drawn on the supplied artwork.