23 comments on “Commander’s Coin Made in Blender

  1. Pingback: Commander’s Coin Made in Blender | BlenderNation

  2. Great modelling and I liked the video you made to sell the idea. How is the Blender data converted into the data required for the coins to be stamped? What file format do you send from Blender to the stampers?

    Regards ijay

    • ijay, thank you for the comment. I exported the file to .obj and forwarded it along with high-res renders of the front and back. Once they updated the design to fit within their machining specifications they sent us a photograph of the proof for our approval and then the final shipment a few weeks after that. The coloring was actually done by hand, so I was very impressed with the way they were able to color in the spaces on the satellite dish. I would have liked to have seen the bevel deeper, but I was pretty happy with the results nonetheless.
      Thanks again for visiting. 🙂

  3. How are theses coins made ?
    CNC machining or Pressure stamped?

    would like to see the final mesh in wire mode just to see the thickness and mesh structure / vertices
    what is the dimensions for a coin like this
    and is there a limit on the size here ?
    are many colors are available?

    nice work and design

    what is the general cost for making a coin like this
    blender design then Machining
    may depends on quantity made i guess!

    happy blendering

    • Rickyblender,

      They first make a larger mold by CNC milling it from their own version of the design (I think onto plaster or foam), then using something called a pantograph (which is also the name of a non-photorealistic render engine for Blender–similar to Free Style) they make a coin sized die, which will be used to press-stamp the coins from blank disks.

      The die cost about $200, each color was about 30-40 cents per color–per coin. The grooved edge was another $1 per coin. I can’t remember the exact cost our Commander paid, but they came out to about $6 per coin. For 500 coins I think the cost-per-coin would have been close to $4 or so. Once the die is made they hold onto it so you can re-order more coins without paying another die charge. With re-orders you can change the coloring if you choose, which we plan on doing if we have to order more.

      There are dozens of colors available, from the basic colors to gold/silver/bronze, etc. You can even cover the coin with an epoxy seal to give it a nice ‘dome’ over the engraving. They can be made in really any shape you want so long as they are between 1.5″ and 3.5″. (I’ve seen one that was the shape of a F22, and another that was the shape of a playing card hand!)

      If you’re interested, I’ll try to make a wireframe and post the .blend file tomorrow or so (I’m not on the same computer as the file at the moment).

      Thanks for taking a look and for the comment. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Commander’s Coin Made in Blender | CG Dev

    • Gareth,
      I can’t remember the company we went through but we chose it because of the Commander’s recommendation. Because they didn’t provide a physical proof first, I probably wouldn’t use them again. Ones that comes to mind is the Highland Mint (http://www.highlandmint.com) or the veteran-owned Coinable (http://coinable.com/). There are a few others out there that offer different metal types, or different coatings, but they are pretty similar in price and features.
      Thank your for the comment! (and let me know if you ever decide to make one!)

  5. Nice work, and good images showing the steps you took. Very impressive design and stamping.

    It looks like the CNC is not able to cut as fine an edge as you intended in the Blender design. Does the manufacturer provide a “pixel” resolution spec? Do they provide a proof before printing? Is there any way to limit the final resolution of sculpting (within Blender) to the manufacturer’s specs?

    • The add thing that I noticed about the final product was that the satellite dish portion was milled nicely, but the jet blades and the planes were a little …soft around the edges I suppose is the best way to put it. I’m not sure if they deliberately choose not to put as much detail in them as they could have, or the way the edges slopped off rather than having sharp edges contributed to that. Either way, there are some impressive examples of what’s possible by google-image’ing “challenge coins”.

      Most companies will send you a fully pressed proof before continuing with the final order, just to ensure everything is good-to-go, but this company sent us a picture instead, so it was difficult to discern the bevel depth. *A word to the wise, if you choose to make a coin, go with a company that will send you a physical proof. It might cost more per-coin, but you’ll get the exact product you want–colors, bevel and all.

  6. interesting subject to make something real in 3D from blender!

    i never relly use blender yet to make a 3D model and do a real 3D model!

    i tough that CNC machine could take a 3D model from blender and machine it ( Make an OBJ file from blender export then use an external soft to make the proper file for the CNC machine)

    is this way of using a pantograph the better way to machine it or could it be done directly form OBJ 3d model ?

    i tough doing real 3D model cost in the 100’s of dollards like priting in 3D! LOL
    WOW you seems you have a way of doing it that is not so expensive which is great

    i would suggest if you can to open a thead may be in the WIP forum of Blenderartirst site to describe this process and show the Model you did
    it’s definitively an interesting way of doing things in 3D with blender and gives some of the details as you did here
    i’m certain many peoples would like to know more about this work
    and might even inspire some to try it

    Thanks for you explanations and happy 2.5

  7. Wow, that turned out awesome! It is always amazing to build something digitally and get to see it make the leap into real life.

    I hope you were able to keep one for all you hard work.

    Also, thank you for your service. Please know that we do appreciate the sacrifices are men and woman in uniform make. Our armed services are the main reason my children can rest in peace at night, for that I am eternally grateful.

  8. Pingback: CHALLENGE COINS con BLENDER | Blender-Tutorial.com

  9. Pingback: Wing Commander’s Coin (Blender, GIMP, Inkscape) | Studio Greenleaf

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