How to 3D Print a Photo: Lithophanes 101

If you are looking for your next 3D Printing Project, you need not look any further. 3D printed photos, also known as 3D Printed Lithophanes, are an extremely unique and creative application that is sure to “WOW” most people that come across them.

What is a Lithophane you might ask? Well, a Lithophane is a 3D representation of a photo that can only be seen when illuminated from behind. A gray-scale representation of the image is created and then depending on the color it is then converted to a calculated 3D printed height. This allows a specific amount of light to shine through. Darker colors block more light and the opposite relationship stands for lighter pixels. Each pixel in the image undergoes this process and a very unique art piece is created.

What are these good for? These make wonderful gifts for any occasion. Do you want to give custom gifts that are a little more personal than the norm. This is the perfect way to achieve that. Plus, it’s a cool way to highlight 3D printing which is not familiar to everyone.

3d printed photo

sstone137 provides a complete tutorial on Instructables;