Lithophane Lamp

by kevinbragg Jun 21, 2015
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Please Login to Comment

Hi, which filament did you use to print the lithophane in your pictures, brand and color ? Thank you !

Any white filament that can withstand heat would be fine. Here is the exact filament I used: Prototype Supply, ABS, White

So if I understand the build correctly using LED driver, you need to print the LED driver box, then the LED lid, then the Pane Holder Bottom and then the Pane Holder? Is this correct or are there parts you don't need to print to make this work? I'm talking about the pieces needed before the lithopanes and on up.

All that's required is the pane holder bottom, pane holder top, and light holder (for one level). If you want two levels then add the pane holder.

The LED box & lid is if you want to make your own controlling circuit. But you can buy those really cheap now, for example: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072XHBF3G/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_6FIBAbME8QDAV

The Customizer app isnt working all the time so i manage to do this offline with open sdcad
1 download and install openSDCAD from here: http://www.openscad.org/
2 download the scripts needed https://www.thingiverse.com/download:385465 - https://www.thingiverse.com/download:54848 - https://www.thingiverse.com/download:121626
3 Create 2 folders named utils and write in the same place with uploads_45_59_14_a8_ae_lithopane_new.scad and move write.scad to write and build_plate.scad to utils
4 Go to http://customizer.makerbot.com/image_surface?image_x=100&image_y=100 , upload your image select invert colors and copy paste the numbers on a .txt file in the same folder with the uploads_45_59_14_a8_ae_lithopane_new.scad and rename it to .dat

  1. Open uploads_45_59_14_a8_ae_lithopane_new.scad change the settings as needed and replace the image-surface.dat with the one you created. (you need to edit the script)
  2. Click render (f6) and after it finished rendering save the stl.

Thanks to MichaelAtOz for finding the script files and tbuser for finding or making the .dat conversion script.

the link for the lithopanes for the pictures isnt working like it used to is there any way to do it on another website?

Works for me in Edge and Chrome as of 23 Dec 2017.

The lithophane creator also failed for me. So I used http://3dp.rocks/lithophane/. This one is also super fast and you can bulk add images. Just make sure your image dimensions are exactly square.

Model settings:
Max size: 76 (but I think 75.6 would fit my PLA better)
Thickness 3.2, but I think 3.1 or 3.0 would remove the need for sanding down (again with my PLA mix at least).
Thinnest Layer: 0.2 worked fine
Left default Vectors per Pixel = 4

Image Settings
Positive Image

Ah, I see. It loads for me in Edge... however, when I attempt to run the customizer it errors. Thanks for this comment, I'll update the steps to reference this.

76 x 76 x 3.2 mm wich x y z

hello mate this is the length of the picture right ?

This is the scale of the lithophane. The size/resolution of the picture just needs to be square with sufficient pixel density for best results.

Are you using a single strip of LED to wire it all up or are you using a series of splitters?

Just a single strip that I wrapped around. When I needed to make a turn, I just tucked the excess in the middle of the structure. One of the photos shows my wrapping & taping strategy.

I know you want the effect that you can't see the picture if turn off the light but if you wanna have a sharp picture you have to turn the structure to the outside. When you turn it to the inside you only get a blurry soft idea of the picture...

hello plz tell me use which color use white or natural clear ?

I used white so the LED color would be true. Natural would work, it will just distort the color. Clear would not be a good choice.

I've run mine for close to a year now. It has not deformed at all; it doesn't get hot enough. If you use the LEDs I recommended, there's no need for a fan. However, with stronger LEDs that may help dissipate additional heat.

Which shows up best natural or white ABS.

I did mine in white ABS. Natural ABS might throw off the color.

What color PLA are you all using for the litho portion. I thought I saw it listed somewhere but cannot recall.

(3) I used ABS; the LEDs get the structure up to 50-60C >.<

To print photos in stl size of the photo?

The size is irrelevant, the photo ideally needs to be square. When you run the customizer you'll see your STL. That STL needs to fit the dimensions defined.

What is the size of the picture you made?

The pictures I used were 600 x 600 pixels.

hi, great work!! one question, did you check the "invert colors" on the app? thanks...

Great question. You know... I'm not 100% certain because it has been so long but I believe the answer is yes. Just look at your STL in your slicer and make sure the white parts of the photo are the thinnest on the lithophane!

Awesome model - thanks for sharing! This one should come with a warning however - LED lamps DO GET HOT! Don't keep it plugged in for too long or you're asking for trouble. :)

Step 3 in the instructions >.<

For mine (at the size I printed), I can leave it on with no issues. If you use a different LED strip, a different size, etc, it's hard to predict your temperatures. Either way. Great job!

Pretty cool idea!I really love it.

Ty. I'm still waiting for that first "make" to see others lamps!

printing mine now but using a flame effect led

Where did you purchase your LED strip? Thanks!

Thanks! I'm working on making my own after your design. Did you use ABS or PLA? I'm thinking PLA might be a bit easier to work with.

In the instructions I mentioned using ABS because my temperature gun said the lid of the lamp was at ~62C. That's right around the PLA heated-bed temperature... a little close for comfort. I didn't want the lithophanes to deform under constant exposure to heat. So I suggest a higher temperature plastic. I did go through many iterations to get just the right size (also mentioned) because of warping... obviously the panes cant warp or it'll look terrible. I run my heated bed at 107C and used the purple glue stick. Normally I print on abs slurry... but I wanted smooth surfaces for a nice outside appearance. That meant purple glue stick, and "smaller" panes.

Okay thanks Kevin! I'm using a CubePro Trio, so the build plate isn't heated, instead the enclosed chamber is when printing in ABS. Might take a few tries to get the panes to come out just right as it looks like you had to go through yourself. Anyways, you're final product looks amazing.

The strip I suggested also lets you turn down the intensity. If you make your layers thinner than 3.2mm... say 77 x 77 x 1.8 they'll give you similar illumination at lower power. The only negative is thinner lithophanes is less discrete levels to absorb light. But I bet if you use 1.8mm and turn the LED strip down, you'd be able to run in the 40-50C range and have no PLA issues. You could also just put a hole in the top of the structure to vent the heat... that would work too, lol (but with light leaking).

Just use multiple layers of porch door screen. Then you don't have to adjust anything and the light can be modified/amplified to the patterns of your lithopone panels. It also will reduce light escaping without hindering the functionality.

but I couldn't get that app to work

I couldn't get it to load in IE. I had to use it in chrome.

so are you putting a pic between the thin panel and light source

No. In the photo you can see that these are all ABS panes... no photo hidden behind!