Having been inspired once I learned about Lithophanes, I decided to design a Lithophane box using some LED light strip bits I had, using a simple 3D printed box. I chose to use the light strip system since I could control the colour and amount of light, as well as providing light fading through various colours.
Note that I've updated this idea into a rotating lithophane box version. It uses the same lithophane panels.
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Step 1: 3D Printed Box
The box is designed so that I can change the lithophanes by simply removing the top and sliding them out. The top is retained by printed locating pins (updated top with longer "pins" locks to frame better now). Gluing or screwing the top is an option.
The bottom of the box houses the LED module. These LED modules are common so I made this element such that the module press fits into place, while providing openings for the 12V adapter plug and the IR receiver.
This bottom piece is what I will revise if I want to make one using battery power or using some other LED module. The newer commonly available modules are much smaller.
Step 2: Lithophanes
I used the following site to make the lithophanes, gleaned from another lithophane Instructable:
The important part for me is consistency, so I import portrait photos from my iphone to the site directly, change the settings to "Positive image", and download the .stl file. The stl file is 75mm x 100mm, and this is what I used to design the frame.
Once I have the .stl file, I used Cura to position and slice, ensuring the sliced part is 3mm or less. I just adjusted the Z axis of the part on the bed to get the desired thickness.
Print using your favorite printer!
Step 3: Assembly
The parts are assembled with no fasteners, with a light press-fit. Glue or screw as desired.
The LED module is pressed in from the bottom, until is is flush. The IR receiver is pushed into the notch at the bottom.
The LED strip is wrapped around the light tube as shown. It is stuck to the tube by means of 2 sided tape (provided with the LED strip). It is cut to length at the appropriate location, as marked on the strip itself.
The light tube is then installed on the frame base with a light press fit around the collar on the base of the frame. The LED cable connection is made through one of openings through the frame and in the base.
If all goes well, the lithophanes just slip into the receiver grooves in the frame. I prefer the lithophanes to be printed side out, but install your own to suit.
The top then is press fit onto the frame (lightly, don't push too hard!). Again, this can be glued on, or you could drill 4 small holes in the top and screw the top to the vertical posts of the frame. I would predrill the posts to prevent splitting if going this route.