Inspired by Van Alles Wat's interactive lampshade design project, this customizable design allows you to upload an image to engrave onto the surface of a cylinder. By default, the cylinder is shaped like an Ikea Lampan shade, but you can adjust its size and proportions, as well as the depth of the engraving and a few other settings.
Works best with depth maps or designs drawn in black and white. Pixel values are translated to depth of relief, so dark pixels are deeply recessed and white pixels are not.
Default output is a solid model intended to be printed with no infill and no top (for a vase-like object) or no top and no bottom (for a lampshade). Tom Burtonwood has written a useful guide for doing this with Makerware.
Alternatively, you can specify a fixed inner radius, for variable thickness walls - kind of like a vertical lithophane. Regular photographs might look good when backlit with these settings, but I haven't tried it yet. Give it a go!
Updated, 14 April 2014: added a
border_offset option. If nonzero, borders are shaped like the ends of the image surface, simply offset the given amount. If zero, and by default, borders are circular.
The default "shark" design is based on this Wikimedia Commons image by Fred Hsu.
I printed the
sharkshade.stl sample model at 0.3 scale in brown PLA on my Printrbot Simple. 0.15 mm layer height, 1 perimeter, no infill, no top or bottom layers.