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  • Delcam’s ArtCAM helps the Royal Mint to commemorate ninety years since the end of the First World War

Delcam’s ArtCAM helps the Royal Mint to commemorate ninety years since the end of the First World War


WW1 Box set

The Royal Mint, a well known and established coin maker based in Wales, currently produces collector coins and coinage for around 50 countries worldwide including the United Kingdom.

With an estimated 27.5 billion United Kingdom coins in circulation on 31st March 2007 and a total face value of more than £3.5 billion, the Royal Mint relies on the accuracy and efficiency of Delcam’s ArtCAM software to create their intricate coin dies. 

With ArtCAM Pro, artistic CADCAM (computer-aided design and manufacturing) software, the Royal Mint is able to meet the tight deadlines of over five hundred projects each year.  In fact, ArtCAM Pro, was a key element in a project that reduced process times to almost a quarter of that required by traditional production methods. 

One of the Royal Mint’s projects to benefit from ArtCAM was the series of eighteen silver proof coins to commemorate ninety years since the end of the First World War.  This collection was designed to pay tribute to the courage and honour of those who served in Britain’s armed forces during the four-year conflict. 

ArtCAM gave the engravers at the Royal Mint the flexibility to start their designs by importing: 3D models, scanned photographs or plaster of Paris moulds and files from other CAD packages.  Alternatively they could design directly within the software. 

Using a structure similar to artistic packages such as Adobe PhotoShop, the engravers could then create and manipulate the artwork using a number of layers which allowed them to change individual elements or form complex and intricate 3D reliefs for the obverse and reverse designs of their coins.  Matt Bonaccorsi, Chief Engraver at the Royal Mint, commented that "The use of relief layers in ArtCAM proves invaluable when creating our coin designs.”

ArtCAM’s range of texture & sculpting tools as well as its compatibility with Wacom tablets and pens were of particular use when creating the textures of the soldiers’ clothing, their faces and the scenery, for example.  The engraving team were able to sculpt with their preferred method whilst benefiting from the speed, efficiency and accuracy of a professional CADCAM software package.  Matt believes that "Delcam is not just about engineering… it is artistic.” and that has enabled Delcam to develop a software package that meets the needs of artisans. 

To quickly and easily reproduce the poppy inspired outline around the edges of all the designs in the range, the Royal Mint used ArtCAM’s Project Tree.  Keeping all related models together for quick reference and accessibility the Project Tree is great for easy duplication of required design elements. 

For the currency value and text for each coin, ArtCAM’s Font Editor allowed the designers to choose from ArtCAM’s font library or custom-make their own typefaces.  Whilst building the 3D model, engravers were able to visualise the coin by simulating the look of their chosen material and include/exclude different relief layers as and when required. 

After the design stage, the Royal Mint then used the machining wizards to calculate the toolpaths to machine their coin dies and simulate a precise view of how the piece would look when machined with their selected tools.  This saved the Royal Mint costly machining errors and allowed them to make changes prior to machining.   

Dave Knight, Director of Marketing said, "We feel that we have created a collection of exceptionally special coins which appropriately remembers the great courage our ancestors showed during the war effort. We are very proud of the designs and hope our customers will be as honoured to own them as we were to design them.”

Dr Edward Powell, ArtCAM Development Manager said, "We are proud that ArtCAM has given the Royal Mint the design and manufacturing freedom to commemorate the great sacrifices made for the British public during the conflict and enabled them to portray both the human and historical experience of war.”