I want to print a lithophane to stick it to a lamp. I have a picture that I want to use for it, but I have no idea how this all works. I guess I need to generate an stl file, but I am not sure how to create the model so that it’s going to work in the end.

I used http://3dp.rocks/lithophane/ to create the .stl, but I think I am not really doing it correctly.

Any help would be hugely appreciated!

Hello Carlos,

I would love to be able to help you please email me at jd@jdfantasy.com and will see how I can help. Thank you I look forward to your email.

Do you have your own printer? If so, have you used Cura for slicing? You can drag and drop an image directly into Cura to produce a lithophane and play with the settings until you get it the way you want. (Mainly thickness which controls the amount of light that passes through to create gray scales; and varies depending on the filament you use.)


I don’t have my own printer, so I need a file to send so that I can get it printed and delivered.

I downloaded Cura and dragged in the picture, but the thing is, I am not sure of what settings are going to result in what I want!
As for the material, I was thinking of PLA, which would work fine I guess.


You should be able to generate one and then export as an STL. The issue is it’s kind of trial and error to get it the right thickness and resolution to get a good image depending on what plastic, color, and type of colorant pigment was used in the plastic; as well as the backlight you intend to use. I have a friend that has printing several of the same with tweeks to get it to a photo quality result; quite impressive; but not without printing several times.

Hi Carlos

I used the link that you attached to create an STL file of a butterfly image and I used the outer curve to shape the image. (Really easy to use and great page by the way). Download the file and it is a pretty decent file, with a size of 9.3x6.7 cm and a thickness of 2 mm. The only problem was that the model had some naked edges, but it could be solved with “meshmixer”. (If you do not have the software, you can download it for free or notify the printer center it could solve it).

About the printing. It is better if you print it vertically to obtain the best result. Printer without filling so light can pass through and play with the quantities of innerlines to obtain darker or clearer images.

I made a lamp once, in a different way, but so far is what I can share from my experience.

Here’s another site for creating lithophane stl files: https://lithophanemaker.com/

I have tried the nightlight maker and it worked well. Just use the default settings, and send it to someone who has a 3d printer. Tell them to use a natural or white PLA material.

Hello csgmzprz,
I recommend you use the image generator tool of SelfCAD Software.
This is what I use to convert any image into a 3d model and also slice while still in the program.
Check out this article to know how to use the image generator tool.