5e is a bit vague about the exact process of casting spells. I scoured the basic rules, PHB, DMG, and spell list to try and get some clues. There wasn't much information anywhere.
The spellcasting rules subsection on material components unfortunately doesn't settle the matter:
If a spell states that a material component is consumed by the spell,...
Spells do what they say they do.
From the description of Leomund's secret chest, we have the following:
You hide a chest, and all its contents, on the Ethereal Plane. You must touch the chest and the miniature replica that serves as a material component for the spell.
Emphasis mine. While duplicating the spell through casting wish may remove the need for ...
One Hand for Both S and M Components
You quote part of the rules related to spellcasting:
A spellcaster must have a free hand to access a spell's material components - or to hold a focus - but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform Somatic components.
That means that the hand holding your focus can also perform the somatic components, which ...
There are no V,S artificer spells
As you've observed, the artificer's Spellcasting feature specifies that all artificer spells have a material component. In fact, the parenthetical explaining this was added in an erratum specifically to make this fact unambiguous. Hence, all the rules for casting spells with a material component apply to every artificer ...