The Monnaie de Paris, located near to the Pont Neuf bridge, has chosen Delcam's ArtCAM software to engrave many of its top quality artefacts.

The Monnaie de Paris, a place known to few Parisians, is where collectible coins made of precious metals are produced (the current metallic coins for daily use being coined at its premises in Pessac-en-Gironde), but also medals, official seals, punches of guaranteed metal content, casino chips and art objects. It is a place where century old wooden tools are used together with modern technologies such as laser machining and CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/ Computer Aided Manufacturing), and notably the use of the ArtCAM software by Delcam.

Ministry of Justice plaque

The production of coins, medals or any other object from the workshops of the quai de Conti starts with a drawing. If the preliminary draft is pencilled, Adobe Illustrator software will be used to finalise the project. The next stage is tooling where plaster, plasticine and then steel are used to elaborate the final dies involved in the coining operation. The process requires mechanical techniques, like a reducing lathe that allows shifting from a scaled up model to a full scale die, but also several stages of shaping, engraving and retouching by hand. Only the Master Engraver's hand-craftsmanship could create the dies to produce the coins with a much nuanced embossment whose span is less than 2/10th of a mm.

After the Monnaie de Paris purchased its ArtCAM software from Delcam two years ago they are now reassessing this long and complex process. Master Engraver at the Monnaie de Paris, Yves Sampo comments,

Monnaie De Paris design in ArtCAM JewelSmith

"From now on, we directly load the Adobe Illustrator drawings in ArtCAM. Used as base patterns they allow us to quickly elaborate the most complex volumes, to retouch the model's details and to add, for example, inscriptions or logos. We can then directly program the machining path for CNC machines or our new laser engraving system provided by ILS (Manufacturing by FOBA).

The last stage is the machining of the punching tools and finishing them by hand. This has reduced our lead times by half! From the initial design stages we are able to show a realistic illustration of the project to clients, a PDF file sent by email for example, and change the scale of the product by one click of the mouse. Furthermore, ArtCAM is not limited to Adobe Illustrator files. It can also be used to work any type of 2D or 3D data just like a scan coming out of a 3D digitalisation machine."

He concludes, "In short, it's a very flexible tool."

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