Making A Coin In Steel

Discussion in 'Tips and How-tos' started by mariedanj, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. mariedanj
    mariedanj Member

    I want to make a coin in steel, because it would be a low cost option for some of my buyers. (I will have the option of precious metal as well, but that's not the point of this question here). I already tried to print a test of an older model. I put the coin horizontally but the result on one face (the one under) was desastrous (because of support material it needed to print, the details are too subtle to survive this). So I'm thinking to print the coin vertically, but I'm afraid that details won't survivre the process either.

    Anyone has any experience with something similar? Should I give up all together? I am reluctant to try a print because this is getting expensive to test. (and I wanted my test to be in frosted detail plastic anyway...) I guess what I really want is for you to share your experience with steel for small detailed things. Pros and cons, stuff like that, so I can get my head around this.

    This has a 4cm diameter.

  2. Shea_Design
    Shea_Design Well-Known Member
    Do the frosted detailed print and have them spin cast in pewter or zinc (low melting temp metals). You will probably want to print about 8 of them for the casting mold, low temp green rubber molds. I have a guy in the US if you need a casting shop.

    BTW - I have run another service's High detail Stainless, it was awesome, limited to 35 mm - did not try to print the obverse as it was a pendant (no undercuts in my design).

  3. drloris
    drloris Well-Known Member
    I've printed coins (and various other things) in Shapeways steel. You can see some photos in my shop.
    Sometimes the prints come out better than others.
    Probably the best thing to look at for comparison is my dragon coin, which is about the same size.

    Your coin doesn't look too detailed, but the thing to watch is the depth of the impression on each side - it needs to be more than the layer height (0.1mm), ideally a multiple of it - at least 0.5mm is quoted as recommended. The minimum print dimension is 3mm, so you should have more than enough depth available to do that.
    You may find that you get contour lines on the face profile which might be unsightly. Consider reworking it so that heights of different features change more abruptly between plateaus.

    Don't worry if you see the resolution stated at 1mm. This is really 1mm for the size of an overall lump of metal which will survive the process. The actual shape of that lump can be specified; the actual printing resolution is much higher.

    Note that you don't get to choose print orientation in this process.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  4. NoahLI
    NoahLI Well-Known Member
    what you got should be no problem.

    I printed this a some weeks back. Bronze Steel.
  5. mariedanj
    mariedanj Member

    Thank you, your collection is inspiring! And reassuring.

    You mean Shapeways doesn't ask? That I know but the way I sent the file (vertical or horizontal) changes something? My last test was horizontal. You all seem to put yours vertically, that made me wonder.

    That's encouraging!

    Thank you all for your insights!