Introduction: Marilyn

About: My name is Sabine. I'm a hobbyist with a variety of interests, including 3D printing, tinkering, music, stories etc.

Maybe she was the biggest female Hollywood star of the 20th Century.

And maybe this is the smallest lithophane-box-light-stage - or maybe not.

Step 1: The Props

  • Computer
  • 3D Printer
  • Filament
  • Picture
  • Software:, Tinkercad, ideaMaker

Step 2: ​The Star

I've chosen this lovely picture of Marilyn - taken by Willy Rizzo in 1962.

To me, this image portrays her pure beauty quite well - so, I tried to capture her beauty and spirit in a little lithophane.

Step 3: ​The Set Decoration

The Lithophane

I used to transform the picture into a lithophane.
Model settings: 3 mm thicknessImage settings: postive image

The 3D Printing

I used ideaMaker to repair and slice the lithophane.


  • Layer hight: 0.15 mm
  • No infill, 10 shells
  • Scale: 32.500 x 32.500 x 3.000 mm

It's printed in white PLA-Filament.

actual size: 32,62 mm x 32,62 mm

The "Stage"

I've designed and re-designed the box in Tinkercad, with and without text, in different colors and sizes. As a result of my tests, the depth of ca. 22 mm is required, otherwise the lithophane will not be illuminated uniformly.
The LED is switched on and off via the hole on the back.It also can be dimmed. I decided to print the box in transparent PLA-Filament. This semi-translucent surface makes it really shiny and bright. On the flip side, you see the tech inside, that's a matter of taste.

actual size: 35,16 mm x 35,16 mm x 21,69 mm

The Light
I purchased this (very) bright 6-USB-Mini-LEDs (pure white) with a dimming switch and a double USB design from a multinational technology company. (The picture shows two LEDs, back and front side; I only applied one.)

Step 4: ​The Assemble

Very easy.

Unfortunately, my camera can not record the back-lighted lithophane 100 % correctly.

Step 5: ​The End

I am a fan of Marilyn for more or less 30 years now. I watched her movies, listened to her songs and visited her crypt on Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary in 1990.

So, making a small shrine for a big legend by using this unusual image might be offbeat but I will close this instructable with a nice quote:

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

- Marilyn Monroe

Big and Small Contest

Participated in the
Big and Small Contest