Lithophane lamp

I have decided that I want to make a lithophane lamp with these criteria. The lamp itself would hold lithophane flat panels perhaps 4 inches by 6 inches in a box if you wish with four lithophanes and the supporting structure but perhaps the lithophanes could be changeable and the lamp should be rotatable either by hand or with a slow motor. Perhaps the light and the rotation speed could be controlled and it would be working on batteries with no wires dangling everywhere to give maximum portability. My take-off idea inspiration came from this lamp on thingeeverse but it has many shortcomings in my opinion. I like his light idea and shall order some but it doesn’t rotate and I am doubtful that it is very good at all. Lithophane Lamp by brimstone326 - Thingiverse . I think it would be a great present for nearly anybody because of it’s ability to be so personalized. And perhaps with the help of this great community we could come up with a great design that I am not really capable of on my own. We will see.

My own feeling is that rectangular pillows are good for “flat sided” litho lamps. For the best viewing overall, I suspect circular lithos give the best results. I also think they offer the greatest potential in that it’s possible to tell a story as the litho rotates. Also, if desired, part-circle lithos should be possible. The part circles could be separated by black vertical bars. If the bars are removable/relocatable, different sized part circles could be used, and they could be mixed and matched, as long as the total circumference of lithos & separators matches the lamp’s base.

That sounds interesting. A question of equal illumination throughout. I think I will start by ordering the lamps and printing this lamp just for a point of departure. I was not very impressed by any of the lamps on thingeeverse/ Round cylindrical lamps distort the images too much for my liking even though they would be the easiest.

One of the ideas for using cylindrical lamps is to get the lighting as even as possible across the litho. I think it is possible to get pretty even lighting with 4 or 6 sided lamps, but I suspect it would take multiple light sources for each side.

I’ve got this version that I posted from Thingeeverse printing now and the lights and batteries should come tomorrow. We’ll see how it does. It won’t be hard to add a spindle underneath and just turn it manually when you want to see another lithophane. I think it will illuminate the four panes with one little lamp.

Looking forward to seeing the photos.

I have to wait for the lights and finish printing everything but so far it’s looking better than I expected.

The tricky part is the lithos themselves. It takes just the right photo and treatment to get an image truly suitable for making a lithophane.

I’ve made a few of them. They’re not too bad. My daughter and her husband like them and they are waiting for a baby in September so it will make a nice gift. It looks like there is no gluing so changing lithophanes will be easy.

I think you’ve seen the photo of the one I printed of John Lithgow, the so-called Lithgowphane.

Question: do you print them vertically or horizontally? I printed the Lithgowphane vertically.

I’ve done both but decided vertical was best. I don’t remember seeing your lithophane.

Who is John Lithgow? I just googled him and found out he was born a day after me. I never heard of him before as far as I know.

He’s a pretty well known actor. He was in Mash for several years, as well as 3rd Rock From The Sun, and Dexter. He’s done a bunch of other stuff but those are probably his most well known gigs.

I lived off the grid in the Caribbean for thirteen years and haven;t watched TV since 1980. I don’t watch many movies. Once a year I’ll watch three in a row and then wait till next year. I try to watch them sometimes but I usually look for a documentary after ten minutes of holywood drivel.

I love the collaboration about the ideation of this project. @roon4660 thanks for joining and adding value to the forum.

I did a hybrid wood and lithophone display for my father’s 90th birthday. It does plugin but it was well-received. Here is a three-part video series about it that covers both the wood fabrication and the creation of the lithophane:

I find the idea of multi-material projects very interesting and plan to produce and video a number of projects that combine wood, 3d printing, and electronics. Feel free to provide me with suggestions.

In addition,

I think it is time that I do another video on lithophanes.

P.S. Sorry for the video quality. This was made about a year ago and my set up was not as good as it is now.


I saw your video about making the present for your father. I have watched many of your videos. They have been a big help. If I have added anything to this forum I am happy as I’m not an expert on anything to do with 3d printing.

That would explain it. BTW, I mispoke about MASH: he wasn’t in that. I think I was confusing Lithgow with David Ogden Styers. He was in the others though, and most of his career has been in the 80s & later.

How did you get the browns and yellows in your picture. My lithophanes come out black and white.

It is B&W. It’s just the vagaries of the light and camera. I converted it to greyscale and re-uploaded.

My lamp as downloaded from Thineeverse is turning out beyond my dreams. I am just finishing off the lid (ten hour print) and then I will do the off on stick. Then I will start the lithophenes.