New Generation Tool for 3D Printed Lithophanes is Free and Easy to Use

Share this Article

According to Thomas Brooks, who has developed a free lithophane generation tool, Google Analytics show that the searches for lithophane-related subjects have doubled over the past three years. These searches increase even more in December, as people all around the world think that lithophanes are great Christmas gifts. They’re also an ever-expanding use case for 3D printing.

For those who are unaware, lithophanes, 3D printed or not, are thin (or not), transparent sheets of material, such as plastic, that reveal an image once a light is placed behind it. It’s fairly easy to create an STL file for a 3D printable lithophane these days, but LithophaneMaker, the new generation tool that Brooks created, takes it to the next level.

This free tool can automatically give lithophanes features that users would otherwise have to manually add later on, such as an interface adapter to a nightlight, a frame, or holes to hang the lithophane up by a string.

“So far, 116 unique users have used the tool and I estimate that it has saved people 170 hours of time. I have shared the tools on the Facebook groups “3D Printing”, “Lithophanes”, and “3D Printing Lithophanes”, and I have gotten a very good reception. These groups have helped me debug and improve the tool, and I think it’s ready for a larger audience,” Brooks told us.

Brooks is hoping to gain a larger audience for his LithophaneMaker, as “people genuinely appreciate the time this tool saves them.” He says that anyone can join the Facebook groups to search for the tools and put them to good use.

Night Light Lithophane Design Tool

Some of the most common sources of backlighting for lithophanes are night lights, sunlight, and LED strips, and LithophaneMaker can help you create lithophanes that are perfect for each and every one. While Thingiverse has models for several night light adapters, they might not fit your particular nightlight, and unless you manually combine the lithophane with the adapter using another software tool, you won’t achieve a one-piece lithophane. In addition, while you can use sunlight to backlight your lithophane by hanging it in the window, most generation tools for lithophanes don’t add the necessary hole.

“Either of these backlight options take time and effort to implement, but fortunately those steps are no longer necessary! Thanks to the free lithophane generating tools that you can find at www.LithophaneMaker.com, it is easy to create a lithophane that can use those light sources in one or two minutes,” Brooks explained.

The free tool includes three ways to generate lithophanes: a night light lithophane generator, a framed, hangable lithophane generator, and a framed, curved lithophane generator. For the first option, the generation tool will automatically create a lithophane with an attached night light adapter in one solid piece. The dimensions can be changed easily to fit most night lights, and the surface of the lithophane can include a curvature, while also “staying the proper distance from the night light.”

The framed option for hanging your lithophane creates one surrounded by a customizable frame, which prevents the lithophane from wobbling on a small base during 3D printing and also makes it stronger. The frame includes two holes, which allow you to hang the lithophane in a window with string and a suction cup hook.

The last option can generate a curved lithophane with a customizable frame, so you can “elevate a votive lithophane to the height” of a candle. This also makes it possible to produce a stronger curved lithophane than one without a frame. While this type of frame is highly rated on Thingiverse, Brooks explains that it takes “time and effort” to generate a lithophane that’s compatible with those models…which is why he recommends his new, free LithophaneMaker.

Brooks is always adding new tools and features to LithophaneMaker – send your ideas to support@lithophanemaker.com, and he just might incorporate them in the future.

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Facebook Comments

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing Being Combined with Soldering to Create High-Performance Zeolites

Interview with Hexcel on PEKK for 3D Printing



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Sponsored

Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing in 2019

Additive manufacturing is changing the world. Another term for 3D printing, additive manufacturing differs from other forms of manufacturing in that, rather than removing material like machining, it adds material...

Tunisia: Researchers 3D Print Optimized Car Leaf Spring out of Carbon PEEK

Authors Amir Kessentini, Gulam Mohammed Sayeed Ahmed, and Jamel Madiouli have performed research and analysis after 3D printing a car part, with their findings outlined and recently published in ‘Design...

PEEK, PEKK and ULTEM May Just be the 3D Printing Thermoplastics You Need in Your Life

There was definitely life before plastics, but today we can’t imagine living without them. Before they were even invented (the first synthetic polymer was developed in 1869 by John Wesley...

Sponsored

Roboze Argo 500 Sets the Standard for the Production of Large Scale Finished Components with High Temperature and Composite Polymers

Bari, Italy With its new Argo 500, Roboze aims to become the leader in the large-scale 3D printing industry with high performance plastics. The Argo 500 is the result of constant...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!