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How to make a lithophane 3D print: Best lithophane maker tool

Spencer Hill 3d model
Spencer Hill 11:36 11-11

Lithophanes, also known as lithographs, are three-dimensional optical illusions created by transferring two-dimensional drawings to stone. Lithophane is a new generation of sculptors' material in which the sculpture's surface and interior can be completed in 3D.

Lithophane 3D prints look like natural objects and can be made from any material. As a result, there is no limit on artistic freedom. It usually displays two different planes of different colours or patterns. Lithophanes are so called because of lithography, the technique of printing onto such a surface using pigments of dyes with chemical structures (lithographic) that can be reduced to acrylic formaldehyde resin and then applied directly to various materials as putty or colouring matter.

how to 3d print lithophane

In this article, you'll learn how to create a lithophane print by following easy steps:

Step 1: Choose a photo/picture that would be appropriate for 3D printing

The first step in Lithophane 3D printing is selecting a suitable photo or picture. A lithophane relies heavily on your image; not all photographs are ideal for use as lithophanes. If an essential detail in the photo can only be rendered in colour, it may not work well as a 3D print. 

Less is more when it deals with the complexity of a picture's elements, such as its colour scheme, backdrop, and foreground objects. It's common for prints to come out looking sloppy if the images are too complex. A lithograph wouldn't do justice to a picture with many details, so keeping things essential (with a uniform background, etc.) is recommended. 

Pick a photo that has a decent contract ratio for 3D print lithophane. Keep in mind that these are merely guidelines and will vary substantially depending on the quality of your printer and the dimensions of your lithophane. You can print just about any photo if your printer is calibrated correctly.

Step 2: Choose the lithophane 3d printer type

Like many other models, lithophanes benefit significantly from printing with a resin printer. And you can print them out far quicker than on an FDM printer. It usually takes up to 20 minutes to print some lithophanes, even at a high resolution.

Print the lithophane on a flat clear surface to get the best results and finish processing the file as usual.  The lithophane you ordered via lithophane 3D print is now complete. Lithophanes printed on desktop SLA 3D printers will look excellent because of their incredible precision and detail.

Option 1: Resin 3D Printing

Try printing your image to lithophane in a vertical orientation to get a more actual printout from your resin printer. If you want to make print a larger image on a lithophane using a resin printer, you should turn the lithophane vertically.

Lithophanes, like many other models, benefit significantly from being printed with a resin printer. What's more, you can print them out quicker than if you were using an FDM printer. Printing some lithophanes can take up to 20 minutes, even at a high resolution.

Option 2: FDM 3D Printing

You should print the lithophane flat and then finish processing the print as usual. Lithophane printing on an FDM printer shouldn't be too complicated, provided that you remember to print it in the vertical orientation. This is because the Z-axis resolution of FDM printers for 3D print lithophane is higher than the X- and Y-axis resolutions. This means that a lithophane printed in the vertical orientation will be of far superior quality than one published in the flat direction.

Although this may cause bed adhesion concerns for your lithophane, the manufacturer claims it is worthwhile. When printing on lithophane, several manufacturers suggest using a brim or raft to prevent the ink from bleeding. Positioning your print so that its longer side is parallel with the build plate's moving, the Y-axis, might further reduce the likelihood of your photo slipping off.

There are no other settings to adjust outside the orientation of the printed page, but there are a few things to remember:

  • Don't make use of see-through filaments for the construction.
  • When printing in the vertical orientation, the layer height should be as small as feasible when printing in the vertical direction.
  • Since we care about accuracy, we should print the model slowly enough to capture all the fine features. Keep it below 2,000 mm/min.
  • The effect of the light will be maximized if the infill is set to 100%.

When everything is ready, you may start printing. The above configurations could cause printing a standard-sized lithophane 3D print to take as long as six hours.

Step 3: Use a free 3D printed lithophane maker - Creality Cloud App

Creality Cloud App is developed by Creality company.  Creality Cloud build-in a lot of free 3D print maker's tools for 3D print beginners. Such like Pen holder maker, Phone number plate, Lithophane maker, and Planet Lamp Maker.

Lithophane maker can turn your image into 3D files of flat lithophanes - beautiful heartfelt gifts for your loved ones!

Step 1. Download Creality Cloud App on your phone, it support iOS and Android system.

Step 2. Open it on your phone. Find the Maker's tools on the top menu. And then you can see the Lithophane Maker, click on Go button. It's a all-in-one 3D printed lithophane generator, which included design, slice, and print feature. Now, click on Start!!

creality cloud lithophane maker

Step 3. Select one picture from your album to 3D print. And then you can just click on Create button to get your 3D model .stl file. This App offers you to slice your 3D model file or just download it.

select picture to 3d lithophane print

Step 4. You can adjust paramenters on your model. When the slice process done, you can select your printer to print. It's very use to use.

slice 3d lithophone picture

Another Creality Cloud App features:

High-Quality 3D Model Library

  • Items that can be printed from the models created by skilled 3D designers.
  • The key is to store the 3D-printed object on a computer or mobile device and then print it out.

Integrated Slicer

  • Use your mobile devices to slice 3D models and make G-codes.
  • Dig into the finer parameters of the slicer you're using.
  • Simply transfer G-codes from Ultimaker Cura.

Real-Time Management

  • Remotely control and keep tabs on your printers from the comfort of your phone.
  • While printing, you can adjust the settings as needed.
  • Build stuff with your pals and then virtually swap printers.


This article is a complete step by step guide to lithophane 3D printing. If you are a 3D print begainner, it is highly recommended to use Creality Cloud lithophane maker tool to turn your image to lithophane. You can do a custormed 3d printed lithophane lamp with your favorite pictures, and no need to learn any tecnology skills to 3D print.

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