Ornament Customizable Lithopane!

by peetersm Nov 24, 2013
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This is great and an awesome variation to a traditional lithopane.

It seems like the video's context could of explained a bit about the ornaments and how to make them, or even showing them and some basic tips for 3d printing a lithopane. I don't think many people are looking at this model for their first ever print.

I am curious to know if anybody has done experiments with using various coloured filaments, I have found that translucent and high opacity filaments will have an effect on the final product.

Thanks for the kind words. You are correct the video is very dated, I posted that and this thing back in 2013.

There are directions here http://www.instructables.com/id/Custom-Glowing-3D-Printed-Ornaments/
It is a fair amount of reading, but i do go into a lot of detail about using the small test file to figure out your plastic’s opacity and how to get the best results. Also has advice on preparing the image for best printing.

I find that these “flat printing” lithopanes work best with opaque plastic since transparent plastic will have a checkerboard appearance. Transparent plastics work well with standing up type lithopanes.

Looks like the thingiverse "IT experts" managed to screw up the customizer as well... Cool idea though!!

I see what you mean, something seems strange. I had to try loading the customizer page 4 times before it loaded fully. Each time I just got a blank page with no indication that the page was still loading (win7 chrome 53.x). After going to other pages and coming back, on the 4th attempt it loaded fully and I was able to generate an ornament.
Maybe keep trying if you are seeing the same issue. let me know if you still can't get it to work, I can ask TV support if they see anything wrong with it.

I can not get this particular customizer to open. I just get 'waiting for customizer'. I am using windows 8.1. All other customizer files open just fine.
Never mind the above post, It seems that none of the customizers will open up this morning. Maybe later in the day.


when I open in Customizer and click on the "choose file" button, nothing happens. I tried using Explorer and Safari, both had the same issue. I'm using a windows 8 computer. What do I need to do to get the thing to work?

If I understand correctly. you are not getting the pop-up "file upload" window that will allow you to browse for the image file. I did a quick search and have not seen anyone else claiming issues with win8 (i do not have a win8 machine to test on), maybe check pop-up blockers, or some "security" settings. personally firefox and Chome are the "best-plays-nice-with-others" browsers available now, maybe one of those would work?
before all that rigamarole of installing new browsers, make sure you are logged into thingiverse (since you can not customize if you're not) and see if any of the other "things" that allow you to upload a file work. like this one, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:74322http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

now if you ARE able to upload a file, and are just wondering why it does not change preview window much, this is because the image is inside the sphere you will not get much visual feed back about your image.

Customizable Lithopane

Very cool. I'm a newby on OpenSCAD, but I wonder if there is a problem with your posted code. I get errors: The variable hole_diameter is used but is never defined. The section starting // trim surface to circle and trim to height, does not produce a truncated orb, but makes a larger cylinder on the bottom of the orb half. Any ideas what I may be doing wrong?

Hi GuardToad, sorry for the delay in responding. I love that you are using openSCAD! I want to help.

I think openscad is having trouble finding your .dat file containing the image data.
The .dat file needs to be in the same folder as the openscad file you opened. When ever you want to use new .dat file modify this line:
image_file = "image-surface.dat"; // [image_surface:100x100]
by putting the name of the new .dat file in the quotes.

Now you may ask “How do I get a .dat file?”
I know about 2 methods.

1. If you don't mind using the web and thingiverse more then use the tool I mentioned in the header comments of the file:


2. If you don't want to use the web and want to be 100% on your computer, then I would recommend using the neat python script http://pgm2surf.pypgm2surf.py found here:

BUT BEWARE and do some reading – your ornaments will be a bit different, based on my experimenting this script makes a ".dat" file with grey scales (0-255) converted to (0.00-7.65) which is fine.
the customizer in thingiverse makes a ".dat" file with grey scales (0-255) convered to (0.00-1.00)
in openSCAD the surface command adds 1mm to the bottom (below zero) of the surface it creates.
the surface will be different, probably too thick, so you will need to adjust the bottom cut off and scale the surface by around 1/8,,,,I really should just upload a new file for local use, in my haste I just made a file that worked well in Thingiverse..I should really make a 2nd file for local use.

About the “hole_diameter” variable, ignore that...I did not clean up very well since that line:
hole_radius = hole_diameter/2;
it is never used, neither hole_radius or hole_diameter are used anywhere. Ops, sloppy coding sorry.

PGM to OpenSCAD surface

Out of all the images in the world you pick Gumby playing a guitar? Awesome.