Delcam understands that coin manufacturers and their engravers sometimes favour traditional design methods. For minting companies this can be because their staff prefer hand sculpting the bas relief directly into the plastilene rather than digitally sculpting it, they have invested both time and finances in other processes or, due to tight project deadlines, cannot afford the time to learn new processes.
However this requires many stages to transform the original model into a master die which makes them harder to reproduce. During this time, mistakes may occur and changes may need to be made, resulting in an extremely time and labour intensive process. This is further complicated by fewer people nowadays having the technical expertise or time to learn the pantograph technology.
With ArtCAM, minting companies can utilize both traditional techniques and CADCAM software. Using a scanning machine, the scan data from a plastilene model or the epoxy mould can be imported directly into the ArtCAM software. A negative image can then be made of the plastilene model; areas can be further sculpted or smoothed as well as scaling the model down to size. To ensure that the design is of the correct low level relief height, the model can also be embossed to retain all the prominent details of the original model.
This video shows how ArtCAM can be used to create a coin from hand-sculpted models, in this case a bust.
By using ArtCAM alongside these traditional techniques, the time taken to create subsequent coins in a series is a quarter of that usually required as elements of the original 3D design can be reused. This also ensures that common coin features are identical.
Using ArtCAM and the Cyclone rather than a pantograph has increased our accuracy considerably. …The first example in a series might take six to eight hours to create however, subsequent examples will take only one or two hours since the majority of the design follows a common template with a limited number of new elements."
Matt BonacCorsi : Engraver