Smartphones have made it so easy to snap an infinite number of photos. Whether documenting travels, taking selfies with friends and family, or simply capturing everyday moments, some photographs are worth preserving off of social media. Beyond a simple frame, lithophanes make it possible to cherish beloved memories in an artful and decorative way. Essentially embossed photos created by a 3D printer, the unique prints are exceptionally beautiful when light shines through, bringing to life the details of the image. You can make them into ornaments, night lights, desk lights, and so much more!
As the holidays near (they will be here before you know it!), finding creative gifts can seem like a daunting task – particularly when the recipient seems to have everything. This year, give them something they will absolutely love! A lithophane makes a great gift, because it is one-of-a-kind, and fairly simple to make. The first step in creating a lithophane is to develop a 3D model with a program such as Photoshop, or visit Lithophane Makers for some additional DIY help. These programs will take your image from 2D to 3D while adding in various textures, depth, and contrasts. One key tip to remember when photoshopping your image is to remember that the sharper the contrast your image has, the better results will be for your final project.
Once you have fine tuned your lithophane model, you’ll need to print it out. Remember that if your image is vertical, you’ll want to keep the layer height setting to low. You shouldn't need supports, but that depends on the shape of the lithophane you want to 3D print. Avoid printing at exceptionally high speeds or on transparent films to ensure your image is finely detailed. In fact, this isn’t a project that can be done quickly. A typical lithophane takes on average 6 hours to create! After the 3D printer has generated the 3D image, it may look like a piece of scratched, flat plastic. Yet, once you put it in front of the light, you will see the beautiful results of your work! The sophistication and elegance of enhanced images and pictures is a great way to add depth to any room. Share and preserve memories with a gift that will make them smile every time the light shines through.
If you are interested in giving a new dimension, and feeling, to your favorite photos, we’d be happy to make that possible! Tell us what you have in mind, and we will discuss the best 3D printers and filament for the job. We are here to answer any questions you may have about other 3D projects. After all, 3D printers have the ability to create a variety of gifts for every season. With a little imagination and creativity, you’ll be amazed at how easy the results can be. Contact us today to learn more!