Lithophane of a koala

Author: andmerr, published on 2013-07-20

Click this button to get the 3D model


Updated 7/2/15
Printer of choice for doing lithophanes with Ransen mesh software is
Up3d from 3d systems

updated 24/10/13
Object updated
Koala 2.1 is a smaller meg size with better definition

updated 19/10/13

Details updated
Lithophane of a Koala , using photo to mesh to create the .stl in a cylinder form and makerware to create the adjustments.
infill: 0%
shells :1
layered height : 150 micron
Temp: 230 degree
raft : yes
support material : no
Material : white PLA ( natural ABS would be better)

i have now changed the ways that i am putting images into plastic. Here are the steps for you all to improve and get better images with less meg space.

  1. Take a photo with your camera
  2. Load your photo into photoshop or similar like application
  3. Greyscale your image
  4. Now using the Lasso tool , lasso the part of the image that you want and then ctrl+c to your clipboard and crtl+v to paste
  5. Now you have your cut out image on a new backdrop. Now you need to colour the backdrop a darker shade of grey, by using the colour change tabs and the paint pot to brush the background.
  6. save your image

From here you need to purchase software to create a mesh from your photo.i used a piece from ransen for about $44.00
This software is really good.

Once you have loaded your saved file into the photo to mesh v4 software it is a trial and error until you end up with a result that you are actually happy with. i have enclosed the steps that i used so if you just tweak it from here you will be pretty close

General settings

1.x (around circumference) 750
2.y (sample along height) 750
3.diameter of cylinder (i used 60.000 but you can use any measurement you like)
4.height of cylinder (i used 100.000 but again it can be anything that can fit on your build platform)
5.height of mesh : 2.000
6.wall thickness : 1.00

  1. smoothing is set to zero
  2. solid shape : cylindrical mesh
  3. make sure you place a tick in the box for y dimension
  4. make sure you place a tick in the box for invert mesh (otherwise you will end up with a koala thats very bumpy like mine.
  5. have a dot in the original file circle

Next Vignette settings

  1. Area : 70.68
  2. Sharpness : 96.99
  3. Background greyscale : 0.00

Image Placement

  1. Position in % 50.312
  2. Height in % 100.000
  3. Width in % 59.16

Save your file as a .STL .

You are now on the end run open makerware up and load your saved STL file . I just centre it in the middle of the board think its more i have better success here than elsewhere and i also use the raft function. No support needed.

I have had great success using White PLA but you can use ABS .
Depending if you use my setting your project will be done within 2 to 4 hrs, if you tweak and change the parameters you could be looking at up to 10hrs for the print.

Once the print is finished and you have removed it from the raft the last thing you need to do is get a small light source like your smartphone and shine it up the middle of the cylinder. Its like having a lightshade with an image that is clearly visible once light is shine on and then its a dull bit of plastic when the light is off

License: Attribution – Non-Commercial – Share Alike