HueForge Allows Artists to Print Stunning Photos with a 3D Printer


Share this Article

3D printers should be used to make 3D objects right? Well, that’s if you only think inside the box. Some artists are forgoing the status quo and are now experimenting by printing 2D lithophanes using a 3D printer. One of the latest developments in this effort has been HueForge, a program originally designed to help artists color-blend 3D printed lithophanes. It was created by Horn & Rhode and while it is still in development, HueForge could offer artists an exciting new tool to add to their belt and reimagine the capabilities of a 3D printer. 

We initially came across the tool through a reddit post by u/TegidTathal, and after seeing their 3D printed lithophane of Taylor Swift, we couldn’t help but look into how they did it. 

3D printed lithophane of Taylor Swift printed by u/TegidTathal (Image courtesy of u/TegidTathal’s reddit.)

Lithophanes have been around since the 1820s and were originally made of porcelain. With 3D printers, the art form has seen a resurgence, and now anyone with a FDM printer can print their own at home. Horn & Rhode’s technology expanded on the 3D printed lithophane and was created to bring a splash of color to the prints. 

The program was originally called “Color Lithophane Builder” and exploits the FDM filaments’ transmissitive factor. Depending on the filament, color, and layers used on a print, a certain amount of light will shine through.  By compiling information of many different filaments, Horn & Rhode’s technology uses a CMYK color operation to predict the layers and colors needed to blend the filaments together. The results are amazing and are exemplified in the “You Shall Not Pass” backlit lithophane seen below.   

3D printed backlit lithophane using HueForge software. (Image courtesy of Horn & Rhode substack.)

A 3D print showing the intrinsic transmissitive factor of FDM filament. (Image courtesy of Horn & Rhode’s substack.)

The artist touts three major features of the software:

  1. Backlight Lithophanes
  2. Frontlit “Reverse” Lithophanes
  3. Color predicting for external STL files

From the work Horn & Rhode have on their Etsy store, our minds are already thinking about the possibilities this technology has in the future.  The software is set to be released in mid-June, but may be delayed if any complications arise. If you want to stay up to date with everything going on with HueForge, the newsletter from Horn & Rhode substack is the best way to keep up to date. Early estimates have the subscriptions coming in around $12 for personal use and up to $80/year for an annual license of the Pro version.

Share this Article

Recent News

UltiMaker Takes on Industrial Market with Factor 4 3D Printer

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: April 21, 2024


3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns

You May Also Like

3D Printing News Briefs, April 20, 2024: Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium, Blow Molding, & More

We’re starting with news about a manufacturing consortium in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, as OPEN MIND Technologies has joined the Georgia Tech Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium. Moving on, industrial machining...

Meltio and Accufacture Unveil Robotic Metal 3D Printer Made in the US

Meltio has partnered with Michigan-based robotics firm Accufacture to introduce Alchemist 1, a robotic cell designed for wire-laser metal 3D printing made in the US. This new system represents a...

3D Systems Brings 3D Printed PEEK Cranial Implant to the U.S. with FDA Clearance

For more than 10 years, 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) has worked hand-in-hand with surgeons to plan over 150,000 patient-specific cases, and develop more than two million instruments and implants from its...

America Makes Announces IMPACT 2.0: $6.6M in New 3D Printing Funding

America Makes, the Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) based in Youngstown, Ohio, has announced IMPACT (Improvement in Manufacturing Productivity via Additive Capabilities and Techno-Economic Analysis) 2.0, a project call which will...