Customizable Lithophane with Cura

by icefox1983 Jan 3, 2017
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I came across this post late last night (and purely by accident) while gathering files to build an enclosure lol Amazing doesn't do it justice...On a whim I downloaded a pic of the Patron Saint for my daughter's school , threw together a profile and started the print. We gave it to her teacher this morning and it brought her to tears. Hold it up to the light and it's like an apparition staring back at you. I wish I would have taken a pic of the print but we were in a hurry. I'm printing another now and I'll be sure to post a make. In the meantime , this is the image I used

I know right? I made a souvenir when my daughter moved away from her daycare and it similarly brought tears out of her teachers. It's my pleasure to share a tutorial that allows love to be shared in such a spectacular manner.

For some reason i cannot set a base lower than 1mm. Anyone have any ideas?

Change infill density to 100 first then it works. At least it did for me.

Thanks for helping out the community! I have no idea but you answered him/her.

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Much better than OpenSCAD, for this operation, not to dis openscad.

Any particular type of filament you suggest? PLA, ABS?

Either is fine. Abs' main benefit is the photo will be flexible.

testing my setting.

im using 3mm and 0.6mm see how it goes.

what is the best contrast setting you guys find so far?

I have found 0.2-3.8mm to be a sweet spot.

First I'd like to thank you for the awesome information. Exactly what I've been searching for. Secondly I hear some people talking about printing these upright on their edge with a brim or raft. Why would anyone print them this way! I just printed the Disney Princess one for my Granddaughter and printed it flat and it came out amazing!
Just a curious question :)

I don't think vertical printing, even if possible, has any advantage. In fact it would lead to overhang which may be difficult, let alone the adhesion issue. Flat printing is fast, easy, and yield consistently good outcomes. Why bother with the tricky way?

Vertical printing is actually the best way to print lithophanes. it gives the highest resolution for the greyscale. it's not tricky at all, i print them at 100 microns 100%infill no brim. a little glue stick if you have bed adhesion issues.

I tried one. The greyscale is indeed smooth. However horizontal lines are quite visible especially on the tall part. I print large lithophanes, nearly 200mm tall when vertical, and top flex is unavoidable. The other downside of vertical printing is that even the thinnest part has to be at least 0.4mm (my nozzle diameter) which limits contrast. All in all I think that vertical printing may be ok or even better for small sizes, but for large sizes flat is still the way to go.

Hmmm great point about greyscale. You won't have the layering issue anymore! Although strength is a weakness (the lithophane will easily snap in the middle). Very interesting. I need to check it out.

Check out my page https://www.facebook.com/DimensionsOnDemand/
for some examples, they are all printed vertical. The glowing moon is basically a spherical lithophane too!

thank you for this. im printing my first one now... we shall see how it works. this is actually fun to watch print!

Thanks! this is exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks for sharing this info!! I have Cura 15.04.6 installed on MAC. Controls are slightly different but works as well.

Thanks for confirming. Apparently the feature has been there with Cura forever but I don't know why they don't make a big deal out of it. I discovered the feature purely by luck.

Didn't know, Thank you.