Mandelbrot Cube – Etching


This post describes etching the Julia Set images for my Mandelbrot Cube. Each cube face is about two inches square and made from 20 gauge sheet brass.  Etching requires that a mask or resist be put on the metal to stop the etching acids or salts from reacting with the areas that are to be left alone.  I use Press-n-Peel transfer paper and print black and white images with my laser printer onto this paper.  The black toner is then transferred from the paper to the metal with heat and pressure.

Etching PatternEtching Pattern


This etching pattern was created using Microsoft Powerpoint software.  Individual images were imported, sized, and then aligned correctly so they could be printed on a standard size 8 1/2 x 11 inch Press-n-Peel sheet.  I created a number of different Julia Sets and Mandelbrot Set variations.  Some of the individual images are shown in the gallery below.


The fractal images were created in color with my Fractal Image Explorer program described in my Introduction post.  The color images were produced with 600 iterations in 60 colors and in the default color scheme.  The color images were then reduced to 2-color black and white pictures with the Paint Shop Pro V7 image editing program.  The color reduction used Grey Values for the palette component, Nearest Color for the reduction method, and Weighted for the palette weight. This process produced the white area in which the fractal shape is shown. The images are then mirrored to provide correct printing geometry.

The etching process is shown below.

PNP TransferPNP Transfer

Masked Cube FacesMasked Cube Faces

Ferric Chloride EtchingFerric Chloride Etching

Etched Cube FacesEtched Cube Faces