How to Make Lithophanes on 3DPrinter

lithophanes

In this tutorial, you will learn all steps to make your own Lithophanes using a low-cost 3Dprinter.

In cooperation with 3Digo.

Parts Required

  • Image to Lithophane Software (Online free);
  • Prusa Slicer Software (Download free);
  • Ender 3;
  • White PLA;

Image to Lithophane Software

This Image to Lithophane Software can be used online. To start we will choose an image by pressing the image button as you can see in Figure [1] and then click on choose Image.

Figure [1]

After that, you will see that your chooses image will appear on the software in Flat mode. If you want that your Lithophane holds without any support you will need to change the mode by clicking on “Outer Curve” as you can see in Figure [2].

Figure [2]

After that, you will not see any result because you have no refresh model but it is not needed yet because you have to do more steps before. Let’s start to go to “Image Settings” by clicking on “Settings” as you can see in Figure [3].

Figure [3]

This next step is very important because if you don’t do it you will have printed the reverse colors of your image. To do the right colors just change the first option from “Negative image” to “Positive Image” as you can see in Figure [4].

Figure [4]

After that, you are able to change to “Model Settings” by clicking on the “Settings” button as you can see in Figure [5].

Figure [5]

Now you are able to change a few settings of your lithophane as you can see in Figure [6]. We will just change the first 3 topics because all other works fine.

On first, “Maximum Size(MM)”, you can choose the largest side of your lithophane. In this case, I choose 200mm and my image is vertical. It means that the software put my image to 200mm of height and then the width is automatically compensated through the image resolution.

On the second, “Thickness (MM)”, you can choose the thickness of your lithophane. If you choose more mm you will have more different “grey” scales of your image, however, you will spend a lot of plastic to do that. In this case, I choose 3mm because it is the better price/quality choice.

On the third, “Border (MM)”, you can choose a frame for your lithophane. To do that just choose 4 mm to give a nice visual frame.

Figure [6]

Now it’s time to refresh the model to see the settings changed applied. To do that back to the “Model” separator and click on the “Refresh” button as you can see in Figure [7]. Now you are able to see that the model grows up to 200mm, has the frame and is in the outer curve.

Figure [7]

Now you are able to click on the download button to take your Stl file. Save in a director because you will need this Stl file to Prusa slicer.

Prusa Slicer

This Prusa Slicer can be downloaded and installed for Windows, Mac, and Linux. After downloading and installing this software you should have a window as Figure [8].

Figure [8]

To add the Stl file that you download from Image to Lithophane software just click on the button shown in Figure [9] and choose the Stl file. After that, you will see that your lithophane already appears in the 3Dprinter base.

Figure [9]

The first thing that I recommend to do is rotate your lithophane to be according to the X-axis movement to avoid high vibrations when printing. To do that, select your lithophane and click on the button shown in Figure [10].

Figure [10]

After that, there are two more configurations that you have to change to have a good result. The first is the infill. The lithophanes only work well if the infill is 100% because if it’s not, the light behind will make appear the infill inside and the image will be not clear. Do change that you can click on the button shown in Figure [11].

Figure [11]

The second configuration is to use a Brim to support the lithophane and keep it on the heated plate. To do that you just have to select the option as shown in Figure [12].

Figure [12]

In this case, I use a 0.4mm nozzle and 0.2mm layer height, but you can change it if you want. However, I don’t advise you to go up because you will lose quality.

To finalize the configurations, I share my speed settings that you can see in Figure [13]. One more time I don’t advise you to go up because you will lose quality.

Figure [13]

Now you are ready to back on the Plater separator and slice it as you can see in Figure [14]. After the slice, the Prusa slicer shows you how many hours this print will need and how many PLA you will need.

Figure [14]

To finalize, after 15 hours and 90gr of white PLA you can see our result in Figure [15].

Figure [15]

This post ends here. Do not lose the next post of 3D Printing where you will learn how to make candle support to illuminate the lithophane art.

If you have some doubts or want to know more about this 3D Print area don’t forget to leave a comment.

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