The course consists of 8 lessons. Each one contains a wealth of valuable, practical information. And if you score 70 or above on the optional exam, you’ll receive 1 credit toward certification as a Master Surface Finisher. MSF is the world’s most respected – and most widely recognized – designation for finishing industry professionals. Those passing 6 course exams earn the coveted MSF designation.

Course Options

  • Home-Study

    Member: $900 | Non-Member: $1,300

  • Optional Exam

    Member: $200 | Non-member: $300

  • Who Benefits

    This training program is beneficial for employees and supervisors working in both captive and job shops performing electroforming using nickel or copper. Trainees should have at minimum a high school diploma.

    Some experience in processing parts for surface finishing is helpful but not required. Line operators, managers, technical sales representatives, and anyone working in the electroforming industry will benefit from attending this course.


    The goal of this course is to provide the student with a broad range of information related to electroforming operations that are commonly conducted on a variety of mandrels.

  • The lessons in this course will prepare students for a certification examination and the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of electroforming methods, techniques and processes. At the conclusion of this course, attendees can expect to learn:
    • Objectives and limitations of the electroforming process
    • The relationship between electrochemical principles and electroforming
    • Operational conditions for nickel electroforming solutions
    • Operational conditions for copper electroforming solutions
    • Conditions affecting the mechanical properties of nickel electroforms
    • The types of mandrels employed for electroforming
    • Example applications of electroforming

Course Description

1. Introduction to Electroforming
This lesson introduces the process of electroforming, starting with a definition of the process and reviewing its capabilities and limitations. A comparison of nickel vs. copper is made, and other deposits such as iron, silver and gold are discussed.
2. Electrochemistry for Electroforming
This lesson covers electrochemical principles that can affect the quality and rate of electroforming. Calculation of plating time using Faraday’s Law equations and calculation of plating efficiency are covered in detail. Use of conforming anodes, masking, and shielding are also discussed. A focus on current distribution/throwing power and how they affect deposit structure is also provided.
3. Sulfamate Nickel Plating, Part 1
This lesson covers the chemistry, operational conditions, purification and troubleshooting of sulfamate and Watts nickel plating processes used in electroforming. Focus areas include plating equipment, solution make-up, solution impurities, stress measurement, and the function and control of ingredients.
4. Sulfamate Nickel Plating, Part 2
The second part of the lesson on sulfamate and Watts nickel plating focuses on the effect of operational conditions such as temperature, pH, current density, additives and impurities on electroformed deposits. A discussion of nickel-cobalt and nickel-manganese deposits is also included.
5. Mandrels: Types, Materials, Design and Preparation

In this lesson, students will learn the various types and designs of mandrels used in electroforming. Included are discussions on permanent mandrels made of stainless steel, copper/brass, steel, nickel, and exotic mandrel materials such as Invar® and Kovar®.

Expendable mandrels such as wax, zinc, aluminum, plastics and glass are also covered. Preparation methods, backing methods and examples of design issues are discussed.

6. Copper and Gold Electroforming
The main topic of this lesson is the use of acid copper plating solutions to produce copper electroforms. Solution chemistry, operational conditions and impurity control are detailed. A brief discussion of gold deposition for electroforming from sulfite and other high-speed gold plating solutions is also included.
7. Electroforming Applications, Part 1
This lesson provides real-life examples of products produced via electroforming in the past and today. Items including DVD, Compact Discs, printing screens, sieves and holograms are discussed.
8. Electroforming Applications, Part 2
This lesson provides real-life examples of products produced via electroforming in the past and today. Items including automotive molds, jewelry, aerospace parts such as radar wave guides and printing plates are discussed.