Photo Frame Lithophane Backlight




About: I'm just a maker because i love to DIY.

Hello, in this instructable I'll show you how do I light my lithophanes for less than 10€. Let's start!

Step 1: Get Your Lithophane Ready!

First you will need to cut or scale your image to the format of your frame (13x15, 15x18, etc), mine was 720x520 pixels once ready turn it into a lithophane here: The most important setting here is to make a positive image under Settings/Image Settings, under /Model Settings you have to set the maximum size, example if your photo frame can show a picture of 13x18cm you set here 180 (mm). Download the stl file and slice it with your favorite slicer. Now is time to print it!

Step 2: 3D Printing!

Any 3D printer will do an amazing job if you slice the file properly, I prefer to print slow with low acceleration and jerk.

Step 3: Materials & Tools




You will need that model of frame or something similar in order to have enough space for the light to get diffused.

Step 4: Assembly

  1. First measure the inner perimeter of your frame and cut the LED strip a bit smaller to make space for the DC Jack.
  2. Now solder the DC Jack and the led strips together using two small pieces of cable.
  3. Now glue the LED lights as show on the picture and secure the corners with a bit of hot glue. Make sure you left a corner free for the DC jack.
  4. Glue the DC jack to any inferior corner, use as much hot glue as you need to hold it firmly in place but avoid to glue something else in the process.
  5. I use the paper as a simple light diffuser which I secured in place with a small amount of hot glue, just make sure you don't glue over any LED.
  6. Cut a 1x1cm hole on the back plate of the frame to expose the DC jack.
  7. Close the frame and glue only the corners.


  • Make sure you clean your lithophane, glass and frame before you start gluing, it would be annoying to openit for cleaning after.
  • Glue only the corners in the back plate of the frame, it will hold and will allow you to easily reopen it in case you need to repair or upgrade something inside.



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    7 Discussions


    Question 3 months ago on Step 1

    Concerning about the lights, are they the one, where u cut to fit and have some left?

    2 answers

    Answer 3 months ago

    Yes, it's a led strip, just cut it in the copper joint, usually every 3 leds


    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you!!! Now i need to know which one to buy. I'd like to get it on amazon. Thanks in advance..


    9 months ago

    I seems all the website you point to is in Russian and there seems there is no way to change the website to English ??

    1 reply

    Reply 9 months ago

    All the links are to AliExpress and one to ikea for references. If you mean aliexpress you can manually change the language to global English in the top right. Or just look for the items manually, the links are only as reference.


    1 year ago

    Beautiful picture idea! I haven't seen one like this before, I love the way it looks though :)

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks! Its a birthday present I had in mind for some time. I printed it at 0.12mm layer height, it took 25 hours to complete.