Featured How I made a long-term storage unit for my coins with 3d-printing (many pictures included)

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by mikkomakk, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. mikkomakk

    mikkomakk Member

    Hello fellow numismatics!

    Lately I decided to move my completed collection of Norwegian 5 krones (I'm collecting all Norwegian coins pre-1875) from a display I had, to proper storing units.

    I wanted these storing units to offer easy access to the coins, and also protect them against light. As you can see on the pictures below, they are all stored in capsules which should be pretty air-tite.

    You probably wouldn't think that this average collection is worth capsules, but I plan on having these coins for many many years, and the capsules costs a few cents. They are also in mint condition, which in my opinion warrants proper handling and the best available holder, which in this case is a capsule. Plus the box I have just made!

    So what I did to make this:

    First off I found my collection and started doing some measurements. When it comes to 3d-printing, it's very precise. You usually print at 0.1mm to 0.2mm. The lower the finer the print. Lower mm also results in extremely long print times, so it's usually only worth it if you are printing a bust (not tittays) or highly detailed models.


    I also have the newer 5 kroner, but didn't bother to include them here as they didn't have a frame like these. I also 3d printed these frames, and was planning to have glass over them (like I did on the white frame), but without a proper UV resistant glass (which costs a fortune) I don't think it's a good idea to keep them on display.



    Next up, I'll pull up Tinkercad and start designing a pretty basic model. This model will be saved as an STL-file and converted by a "Slicer" to gcode, which the 3d-printer will read off and print.
    I also add a few millimeters because I know the prints aren't always 100%, and I want some small wiggle room for the capsules so they are easy to take out and place back again.



    Making sure the coin is centered.



    I then duplicate the coinmodel and import a simple square to place them all in. I lift the coinmodel 2mm up, and make sure there are equal distance on each of the sides.


    I then combine all the models, and voila! Here it is. I will now copy this model, put it side by side and combine those two to make a 14,- unit.


    I also make it gray so it's easier to see details/small holes, incase I missed some.

    Oh, and I also make a lid!


    Now, for the next part, I will pull up Ultimaker Cura, which is the program I use to convert the STL file into a readable Gcode file for my 3d-printer. This program is usually called a "Slicer" in the 3d-printing community.

    Here I can put in any settings I want, and this is what makes a good print. You can adjust everything from speed, infill, size, wall/bottom directions and much much more.


    This will take 4 hours and 34 minutes. Had I done this with 0.1mm it would've been around 9-10 hours, and you would hardly notice a difference in the quality.



    They fit pretty much perfectly! Easy to pull out and place, just how I wanted it :)



    And there you have it!

    Thanks for checking out my thread! Hopefully you found it as interesting as I did, and if you wanna know more about 3d-printing or custom coinholders drop a comment or PM me :)
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  3. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Very interesting! Thank you!

  4. mikkomakk

    mikkomakk Member

    Thanks :)
  5. stoster38

    stoster38 Member Supporter

    Very cool. What material is used to make your storage items? That can impact the coins in the long term.
  6. mikkomakk

    mikkomakk Member

    Thank you! It's made of PLA and won't degrade in normal dry conditions indoors. It also doesn't let off any gases as far as I know.
    stoster38 and Lawtoad like this.
  7. Shrews1994

    Shrews1994 Collecting is my passion.

    That's really cool that You know how to do that!!
  8. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Could you show us some images of the printer?
  9. mikkomakk

    mikkomakk Member

    Thank you!
    It's pretty easy for beginners to do as well, and the Ender 3 (which I use) has a really nice entry price around 200 bucks, if you ever wanna try it :)
  10. mikkomakk

    mikkomakk Member

    Sure thing! Here is mine:


    I use a glass bed (the mirror you see) to print onto, as it gives good adhesion, which is super important, and the bottom becomes really smooth.

    Here's a link to a youtuber who does some amazing timelapses as well with the Ender 3 (same printer as I have), which shows off what you can print.

    masterswimmer and ldhair like this.
  11. brg5658

    brg5658 The Horse Coin Guy

    This is one of the coolest posts I have seen on CoinTalk in a long time.

    Thanks so much for posting this!

    ldhair likes this.
  12. mikkomakk

    mikkomakk Member

    Thank you so much! That's very good to hear :)
  13. BoomerangThree

    BoomerangThree Junior Member

    Extremely cool! I definitely see the motivations to accomplish this and it's a great use of a 3D printer.

    My question is: Have you calculated the cost to produce? I know your not doing it for cost efficiencies, I'm just curious is you have a estimate?
  14. masterswimmer

    masterswimmer Well-Known Member

    @mikkomakk incredibly cool. Thanks for all the insight.

    Question for you. What program does the design come from? The bust in that video was creepy. Did it come from a photo? Or did the model have to pose for that?
  15. mikkomakk

    mikkomakk Member

    Thanks a lot!

    I don't actually have to calculate, as the Slicer does it for me! If you look at the 11th picture, you'll see in the bottom right corner it says "12.14m / 36g / 1.09€" which means 12 meters of 1.75mm filament (filament: plastic that is melted), weighing 36g and costing me just over a dollar. Electricity cost is trivial.

    So it's quite cheap to make!
    BoomerangThree likes this.
  16. mikkomakk

    mikkomakk Member

    Thank you!

    I designed them myself in Tinkercad, which is a superbasic, free modeler Autodesk has released.

    The ones from the video is probably made in Blender or Maya. There's loads of models out there of heads, like this one with Mark Hamill. What people do is take a 2d picture from the side and front, and adjust polygons to make it look the same, basically. A bit more complicated, but more polygons: better quality. Models are often referred to as "low poly" and "high poly".

    Can see more of it here if you want. Link to a youtube video of maya modelling.
  17. masterswimmer

    masterswimmer Well-Known Member

    Thanks again. You've got some nice skills.
    mikkomakk likes this.
  18. FooFighter

    FooFighter Just a Knucklehead Coin Hunter

    WOW!!! Yea I think we ALL are blown away! Well, anyone who took the time to read your entire post.
    I found it very intriguing, and only have 1 question.,,,,, do you need a Best Friend? Lmao

    Very nice tho, I'm envious of your knowledge and abilities. You should try to sell those, since the cost is so low. We will just have to investigate the chemicals involved.
    These coins are these guys pride and joy, like their children.
    Are you using a PVC type material, that comes in those pellets that they melt in extruders?
    VERY very cool.
    Thank you for going through the trouble of putting all that down for us to umderstand.
    RonSanderson likes this.
  19. mikkomakk

    mikkomakk Member

    Hahaha yes! And thank you so much, glad people are finding my work interesting :)

    I have honestly been considering to go to a lab and having them test the PLA really thoughourly, but I'm pretty sure it would cost too much and I'm very confident that this material won't do any harm to the coins.

    So it's not any PVC in the material being used, which is PLA filament. You can read more about it here. If it were to come up traces of PVC in it from better testing, I was thinking to use it as a mold, and make it out of another material like clay or something.
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