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Canadian Royal Mint

Royal Canadian Mint Creates Unique 3D Coin Series with OGP ShapeGrabber Systems

About the company

About the Canadian Royal Mint


With facilities in Ottawa and Winnipeg, the Royal Canadian Mint produces Canada’s circulation coins, collector coins, bullion, medals, medallions, and tokens. In Ottawa, the Mint produces the country’s collector and bullion coins and creates the tooling for striking the designs for all Mint coins. When the Mint recently faced a unique challenge in a new coin design, its Advanced Engineering Research team needed to find a solution.

The Challenge

To create eye-catching, one-of-a-kind collectibles that would literally stand out from other collector coins, the Mint needed 3D scanning expertise and technology. The organization was looking to develop a new “Sculpture of Majestic Canadian Animals” series of three-dimensional coins topped by sculptures of iconic Canadian animals.

“We wanted to produce coins with gold-plated, silver-cast statuettes resting atop the coin’s surface,” explains Christian Brochu, Product Engineer at the Mint.

To produce these coins, the Mint needed a fast and accurate way to capture the detail found in beautiful sculptures designed by sculptor Karl Lansing. “We needed to reproduce animal sculptures that were extremely detailed,” says Brochu. “There were five statuettes in total: a grizzly bear, a cougar, an elk, a bighorn sheep, and a wolf. We needed to ensure that the dies used to produce the coins would re-create the original sculptures perfectly, without losing any detail.”

The OGP Solution

When the research and development team discovered OGP ShapeGrabber Automatic 3D Laser Scanning Systems, they knew that they had found their solution.  The team was able to capture millions of data points from each statuette in minutes with resolution of a few microns.

The team used this data to accurately model the complex animal shapes in the electronic designs needed to create the final statuettes for the coins.

The Results

“These coins are a testament to the Mint’s spirit of innovative artistry and craftsmanship,” says Yudi Harsono, Product Manager, Royal Canadian Mint. “Not only do the coins look spectacular, they have been a big hit in the marketplace. Coins were sold out, or nearly sold out, quickly and received extremely positive reviews.”

The Mint was also impressed with the accurate data obtained from their ShapeGrabber system. “The scanners gave us the high-quality scan data needed to create these innovative coins, and the ShapeGrabber engineers were excellent,” adds Brochu. “They guided us through the entire process and were always available to answer our questions and provide advice.”

About ShapeGrabber

ShapeGrabber is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quality Vision International, the world’s largest vision metrology company. Based in Ottawa, Canada, ShapeGrabber designs, manufactures, and sells automated 3D scanners that are ideal for measuring complex shapes such as injection-molded plastics, castings, and stampings that are otherwise too time consuming, costly, or difficult to measure. Considered to be one of the industrial pioneers in the field, ShapeGrabber has been supplying automated 3D scanners to customers in the automotive, aerospace, medical, and other industries since 1993.

A metrology-class OGP ShapeGrabber Automatic 3D Laser Scanning System