Introduction: Own Design Switchable Silhouette Light

With this instrictable you can create your own easy and cheap switchable silhouette light.

It is easy to make and cost you under € 10.



  • 3D printer
  • Solder iron
  • Drill


  • Inkscape
  • Open Scad

Step 1: Build the Box

First we need to build the light in the box.

Print the connector box i've posted on

Solder the red wire to the tip of the connector and the black wire to the sleeve contact on the DC power jack connector.

next solder the red wire to the +12v of the LED strip and the black wire to the other connector on the LED strip.

find the place to drill a 10mm hole into the back of the Ikea box this is for the 12v jack plug to connect to the socket.

Place the female connector into the box and screw or glue it in place. stick the LED strip on the bottom of the box.

Now the box is finished. you can test it by connecting the USB cable.

Step 2: Get the Software Ready

You can use any picture you want, draw something yourself or find i nice silhouette on the internet. but first it is important to use the wright software. I prefer to use Inkscape and OpenSCAD. these are free and works very good. For installing the software I will recommend this instructable Convert-any-2D-image-to-a-3D-object-using-OpenSCAD.

in short:

1- Download Inkscape from

2- Download OpenSCAD from

3- Download the InkScape to OpenSCAD converter from Follow the instructions to install the extension to InkScape

Step 3: Start Creating an Image

From this step we are going to make our own silhouette. First get your own design, draw something, find a nice picture on the internet or use a foto.

I want to make a silhouette of Super Mario Bros. i've downloaded a picture from the internet, modified it a bit so that the clouds and everything is connected to the frame, it should be one piece. (my STL file can be downloaded from and go to step 5!)

Open your picture in Inkscape.

Go to path --> trace bitmap.

play a bit with the settings so you find the right edges of your silhouette. I like to check on the live preview. then click the ok button.

Optional: you can increase the level of detail. (see picture)

  1. Select the arrow with the arc
  2. Select all nodes (the complete image)
  3. Hit the plus node icon in the top left. the more the better the detail.

go to file --> save as and select fileformat .scad,this generates an OpenSCAD file.

Step 4: Process in OpenSCAD

Open the generated file in OpenSCAD

Add on top of the generated code the next piece of code:


cube([170,125,2],true); // This is the frame. The size is perfect for sliding into the Ikea box.

scale(0.75) translate([0,0,-2]) linear_extrude(4) Mario();


Change the name "Mario" to the name of the module, probably "PathXX"

With the scale value you can change the size of the image.

The translate value can shift the image in the x, y and Z direction.

The linear_extrude value is just to make it a 3d model instead of a 2d image.

If you are happy with your design, render (F6) and hit the STL button on the top to generate the STL file.

Step 5: Finish the Silhouette

Load your STL file into your 3d slicer en print it. I've uploaded my STL file to

Now the only thing left is to glue a sheet of translucent paper to the back of the silhouette and put it in the lightbox.

Now you're done. Congratulation with your self made silhouette light box!

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