TheMakerz #12 – Lithophane Printing And Business Plan

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TheMakerz – #012

DoorToDoorGeek – Steve McLaughlin –

Aaron Turnbull –

Liam Tidwell –

Jonas Rullo aka Bambiker,  aka jrullo on IRC Tumblr:

flyingRich –

Chad Cory – youtube – watchmydiy  etsy shop – c3dbycac

Brett Hansen – @Newstalgic Twitter

James –

Email –
Instagram –
MeWe –
YouTube –



Chad Cory –

Jonas –

Built: 15KV arc circuit from 3.7V Lipo battery circuit. 3 for under $10

Broke: – Restored my Win8 disk image from Clonezilla, but it failed to boot. Rats!

Learned: How to better use Lithophane printing

I didn’t have enough to do for the show booth (sarcasm), so now I’m starting a completely untested (by me until now) tangent for production that needs to be ready to sell by the 14th of September – Woohoo!

Art Fun! – Digging into the Lithophane find from last week:

You can download the source and use it on your own machine here:

They also have some really good blog posts on how to use some of the features and even the math behind show it works:

An artist friend of mine, Sue Swerdlow, that I do website work for, suggested I apply her paintings and drawings to some of the 3D printing techniques we’ve been playing with. The originals are thousands of dollars and prints are in the hundreds. Some have limited edition prints or giclees. Many of the original works are sold but you can find more plus the prints for sale here:

The examples here are made in to 2 inch by about 3 inch sizes. This is mostly for testing, but the final product may be a key chain or some kind of mini model for sale.

Another idea for the lithophane is to mount several of these on a mini carousel and put them around a rotating lamp for shadow effect, or even direct viewing. Lithophanes have been used all kinds of ways over the years. The new thing about it is all you need is a printer and a few clicks of a mouse instead of decades of chisel experience.


    Materials: The plastic is Hatchbox PLA and E3D Bamboo in PLA at around 200C.

This is a rice field from an imagined Honolulu past:

The first lithophane is a negative print, then a positive print followed by the original image. The original image from the website has a white and black border adjacent to the painting. The added border creates a nice little box around the lithophone when processed through the software. Even though there are a lot of color shades, the detail can be seen with light behind the printed lithophane.

This next one is in the Bamboo filament using the filled puffed pillow shape from The image is from Sue’s painting Kona Village, named after Kona Village Resort.

In 2011 the Japan Tsunami flooded and closed the resort. The most recent part owner was one of Michael Dell’s investment companies. Back in the 60’s Before they built hotels around it, the only way to get there was by boat, or private plain. A more comprehensive article is here:

Originally there were no roads to service the resort through the lava field. Another feature of the resort was that there was no TV, radio, or phones except a radiotelephone for emergencies. This was an all inclusive style resort where you charge everything to your hale, or room. Hale generally means house, usually a free standing structure. This was definitely an unplug and relax way to vacation. I believe there are plans to reopen again in several years.

More velocity painting, now, using an actual artist’s work.

Material:  E3D Edge in the clear color.

A fisherman velocity painted on a squarish pillow shape:

Followed by the original hand drawn work.

Video of same:

Still more:

I may or may not have a couple 15 thousand volt transformers to add to my Rick and Morty toys for the sci-fi show. If I’m alive next week, I may have a fun prop working.

Finds of the fortnight:

  1. Too much detail is lost on small prints.
  2. Wide solid areas or wide smooth gradients of color or tone work best.
  3. Shadows can get lost unless they are well defined or high contrast to the other areas of the image.
  4. Adding a border to the lithophane process makes a nice mini raised edge to the printed product.
  5. If you’ve got something you need to do for a while, why not set your printer to print 3D stuff while your busy doing other things?


Sculptgl –

James –  

DoorToDoorGeek – “Business plan”

Brett Hansen –

flyingRich –  

Aaron Turnbull –

Liam Tidwell –  TS my bed probe, moved it closer for a smaller point sample. Migrate from DD to remote. Dehydrator