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Image of assembled lithophane light box, next to Markforged desktop 3D printer.

3D Print this Holiday Gift: Lithophane Light Box

A stocking stuffer for your digital inventory. 3D print this lithophane light box with your own choice of images — it makes a great gift with a personal touch!

Happy holidays! As 2022 nears its close, we have something to say: we’re grateful for another year of reinventing manufacturing together.


As a small token of our appreciation, here is a gift from us to you: a stocking stuffer for your digital inventory. Austin Vojta, Print Systems Engineer at Markforged, designed this decorative lithophane light box.


A lithophane is a type of 3D image that renders shapes and details through different levels of thickness, which allow varying amounts of light to shine through when placed in front of a source of light.


With access to a composite 3D printer, this lithophane light box can make a thoughtful holiday gift for family and friends.

A lithophane panel printed in Markforged Precise PLA. This panel features an image of MF employees at the Snowport holiday market, at Boston's Seaport neighborhood.

What you need

  • Markforged composite printer
  • Onyx filament
  • Nylon White filament, or Precise PLA (white)
  • ~5 feet LED strip tape
  • 4x magnets (6x3mm)
  • A USB cable you're willing to snip the end off of
  • Tools
  • Tiny bit of solder
  • Super glue
  • Wire stripper

An image of a lithophane light box next to a Markforged desktop 3D printer.

Printing the light box components

  • Light box frame
    • 1x base, 1x lid printed in Onyx

  • Lithophanes (lithophane image panels can be made here from custom pictures)
    • 4x panels printed in Precise PLA or Nylon White
    • Panels should be printed with solid infill. Do not select tri-fill or gyroid.
    • See below configurations:

Screenshot of ideal print settings for 3D printed lithophanes.
Screenshot of ideal print settings for 3D printed lithophanes.

Assembly

  • Gather 3D printed base and lid
  • Gather four white lithophane panels
  • Cut the end off a USB cable
  • Solder the red+black (power) lines to the 5V LED strip.
  • Wrap the adhesive LED strip around the cylinder in the base
  • Glue magnets into the base and lid
  • Slide lithophane images into base and snap lid on top
  • Plug into any USB port to power

Image of LED lights and USB cable wrapped around lithophane box base
Image of assembled lithophane box as home decoration
The completed lithophane light box makes a great home decoration.

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