I've always been interested in Eadweard Muybridge's pioneering work in photography; especially the task he was given to prove that the legs of a horse come completely off the ground when running a full speed. In the Title picture above, can you find the frames where the horses feet leave the ground? I can't believe this ground-breaking event occurred in 1873!
While reading about Muybridge's Zoopraxiscope, which is based on stop-motion photography, I got an idea about making a custom-silver coin, that in conjunction with mobile camera frame-rates, could simulate what Muybridge did with his "Horse in Motion" event.
In the following pictures, you can see my progress in creating this coin. The first picture shows the "horse running cycle" vectors that I purchased from Shutterstock. That site has running cycles for just about any animal.
The next .gif file shows the twelve horse models galloping. I created the models from the Shutterstock vectors, using Extrudy. Then I used Aspire to rotate the vectors 30 degrees and capture the screen. I also used EZGIF.com to create the GIF from the screen captures.
The next picture shows the final preview of the coin as it was designed in Aspire. Aspire's preview is pretty amazing to me. It's usually WYSIWYG from the CNC Machine, as long as you program Aspire with the bits you actually plan to use.
Note: The 0.3 mm bits look very similar to 0.5 mm bits if you're not paying strict attention to what you're doing.
The next picture shows the silver coin that I designed in Aspire. This took my Sable 2015 CNC Machine just over 3 hours to carve. Most of that time was dedicated to the Finishing Toolpath--1' 47". The Roughing Toolpath took just about 44".
The next two pictures show the ring that was formed from the silver coin. The tumbler I used smoothed the details of the horses down a little much, but for a first try, I think it turned out okay.
I used a couple of programs to create the "12 Galloping Horses" Coin. The first program I already mentioned--it's called Extrudy. This free program is available for Windows and Android (what I use) and was so easy to use since the Shutterstock horse vectors were solid black against a white background. This is exactly what Extrudy needs to create 3D models.
The other program I used to model the coin (for carving) was Vectric Aspire. This is the program I usually turn to for most of my carving tasks, but to be honest, if you use Extrudy to make your 3D models, you don't really need the extra horsepower that Aspire provides. I have been using Vectric products for a while, so I suggest importing the models into VCarve Pro. Then you can use 3D Roughing and 3D Finishing Toolpaths that VCarve Pro provides, to carve the coin from silver, gold, or copper.
The next step is to make these coins faster. I'm seriously thinking of commissioning a company to make me some custom 2-sided dies. Then I can use a contraption to stamp double-sided coins at my leisure. Sweet!
Mark Unger has been called the Renaissance man by his peers for all of his successful pursuits on the job and in his spare time. Among other interests such as 3D printing, CNC milling, woodworking, and electronics, Mark follows the developments in Coin Ring Making.