DIY Lithophane Using 2 Different Methods

Introduction: DIY Lithophane Using 2 Different Methods

In this instructables I will demoinstrate two different method of printing lithophane.
First one is inspired by youtuber Simon Sörensen RCLifeOn.
Second method is what I learned when I drag and drop an image(by mistake) in Cura 3d view.


For this project you need a 3d printer :D
White filament.

Step 1: First Method

  • Google Lithophane and go to the first link.
  • Or just go to
  • In the 3d View drag and drop your image.
  • Go to settings tab and select Model settings.

Step 2: Model Setting

Maximum size
is the max height for your frame the wide is locked with the height so we don't need to worry about that issue. Mine is 80mm

thickness of your Frame, in easy words it is the maximum height of the darkest pixel. I set it to 2 mm.

can be use to make a border around your picture. Again 2 mm thick border

Thinnest Layer
Would be the size of your nozzle. In my case 0.4mm.

Leave the rest of the settings as it is and go to image settings.

Step 3: Image Settings

The default image setting would be negative, change it to positive settings. Leave rest as it is. Go back to model.

Step 4: Downloading the STL

  • In 3d View refresh the 3d model to apply all the settings.
  • Choose any template you desired to make your frame into. In my case I chose Curved frame.
  • Refresh again to apply the template and download the .stl file.

Step 5: Second Method and Picture Editing

For the second method,

  • Take a picture.
  • Edit it in the windows 10 default editor(don't need any fancy editors)
  • Crop the image if you want to.
  • Go to adjustments.
  • Decrease the color to make it black and white.
  • Decrease the light to prominent darker and lighter areas.
  • Also increase the clarity to enhance the colors.
  • Now save the image.

Step 6: Image to Stl

Now just drag and drop the image in Cura 3d View and a dialog box will popup in front of you.

Height defines the maximum thickness of your texture. I set it to 1.5mm.

Base defines a base layer on which the texture is printed. I put 0.4mm base layer.

Width and Depth
Width and Depth defines the size of your frame, they are interlink to each other to keep the image in proportion, so if you change on the other one will change itself accordingly to keep everything in order.

In the next option, chose darker is higher.

Usually we don't need smoothing if we have a lower resolution image. Increase this option only if you have a higher resolution image. Smoothing drops the resolution for it to work on the lithophane.

Step 7: Slicer Settings

Both Methods have the same slicers settings. So all the difference is in the pre-slicing process.
To start with the slicer either you import the .stl file for the first method or drag and drop the image for the second method.

  • To begin with the settings, align your print according to your desired printing axis. I have aligned with in the direction of my Y-axis to make sure that minimum amount of printing area is in motion to prevent it to displaced off of the bed.
  • Also, make sure you print it standing up, this way you will get better results. The image quality is defined by 2 parameters layer height and nozzle diameter, so if you have a larger printing nozzle(0.4mm) you would definitely need to minimize your layer height and print it standing up, otherwise a single point in your lithophane will be represented by the size of your nozzle diameter(which in my case 0.4mm). And if you print the lithophane laying down the layer height parameter would have only a very little affect on the quality parameter.
  • Layer Height, sets the resolution for your print, the lower it is the better is the quality. In my case I chose 0.16mm.
  • Shell Setting, set the wall thickness in accordance with your nozzle diameter. Leave the rest as it is because the infill would be 100% so these settings will be get altered according to it automatically.
  • Infill density, set to 100%.
  • Print Speed, 35mm/s is the max speed. If you go above it you might get a poor quality or your print could fall off of the bed.
  • Build plate adhesion, use raft for build plate adhesion.
  • Now slice it, preview it( if you want to) copy to sd-card and print it.

Step 8: Result

Hopefully, this instructables would help anyone whose would want to start printing lithophane.
A few points I would like to mention are,

  • Print standing up, It tends to yield higher quality.
  • Use a low resolution picture. In my case the curved on is a low resolution picture.
  • Don't print too thick or too thin. For high thickness you would need too much light and for low thickness your quality will get effected. Keep the thickness setting to medium which according to me is 2mm.

Be the First to Share


    • Big and Small Contest

      Big and Small Contest
    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge
    • For the Home Contest

      For the Home Contest