Sorry, should have said that I am not near my laser at the moment and won't be until beginning of May.
You would save a lot of money on the front end if you were able to provide a vector format of the artwork (EPS, AI, DXF, vector PDF). Otherwise there is some digitizing of the original that needs to be done. This means either HiDef scanning (your typical scanner cannot do what is required) or manually vectorizing a photo of the part to create a vector format 'flat file', which is essentially line artwork. The script looks mostly flat and is only rounded from wear. It is possible to duplicate this sort of thing and/or add whatever draft you require to create a proper relief for sand impressions. Straight walls, even at shallow depths may cause you some issues both pulling the pattern and casting. This can be avoided by designing draft in from the start.
This is what is required BEFORE you even get to machining and material costs, which consist of tooling (proper micro end mills are not cheap), machine time (cost of operator to run it, electricity and consumables) and profit. Getting the artwork right takes longer than machining, especially if there is back & forth before final approval.
My advice would be to find a font that closely matches what you have on the coin. WhatTheFont is a good source for this, although I am not sure how well this works with Chinese script. Once you have a font that is close, the cost of artwork goes way down because all you need to do is change the characters - no different than if you were doing awards with different names on them. Once it's set up, things are easier to change & it doesn't cost you as much.
If you want a proper job with a perfect master model, you want to have it CNC machined by someone that has the proper software, machine and know how to serve you. I would advise against 3D printing because you will get waterline marks in the Z. CNC will give you what you want.
Jack of all trades, master of none, is often better than a master of one.
Now I see why they're so expensive. I just assumed there was some type of scanning involved, didn't know about HiDef scanning etc.
I tried what the font , but couldn't find any Chinese fonts there, but was able to fine tune my graphic a bit.
Getting a better idea of what is involved in the processes. Rather steep learning phase diagram
Here is a somewhat crappy picture of a test I just did. The coin is etched in acrylic. It is 27mm in diamter (just over an inch for those with 12 fingers). Sand is homemade greensand. It takes the detail quite well.
A different pic with higher resolution can be seen here
Last edited by Michael Henriksen; 06-23-2016 at 10:39 PM.
Awesome work! I see it now!
Wow, those did turn out nice - I love the crisp edges!
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