Get Minted was a test to see whether a personalised replica of a Roman coin could be created using 3D design and printing technology. The aim was to help raise money for the conservation of the Seaton Down Hoard in Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery. Although the test showed that creating personalised replicas as an incentive for donation wasn’t feasible I did succeed in developing a method for doing it and producing a realistic result.

I used Photoshop to design a 3D model of a face in relief, and Blender to design the replica coin template to place it on. I then created my own coin as an early test, and after printing it in plastic found a vendor through Shapeways who was able to print it in metal.

The final test coin, produced for an early donor, was printed locally using a plastic filament that contained brass – giving it a metallic quality when polished.

I have since the developed the techniques I learned during this project to other 3D printing projects, and it has a sparked a number of ideas about how to create other customised replicas of antiquities – like this Tudor Inkwell. The project also gave me insight into the potential for printing objects in metal which produced a better result than expected.