3D Engrave Possibility

Here is something I made a longtime ago on my CNC using a depth map and CAM software(I think it was mastercam ART) dark areas are the thickest. I think the 3D engrave would do this with ease!

Got the idea from old porcelain lamp shades.
Here it is not back lit, kind of creepy

It was machined from 1/4 white acrylic, step over was maybe .005.


From what we’ve seen of the 3D Engraving feature…it sure as heck will be able to handle it…Awesome! :grin:


very cool. Need more like! :heart:


I’d been wondering about that. They do them with 3d printers as well.

These are actually a great use for 3D printers if anyone is looking for something to try. A lot of the time they are really hard to even see what they are until light is behind them. Surprise art!


What kind of filament works best for that?

I’ve seen them done mostly in white/neutral filament, but opaque-ish rather than translucent. The important thing is no obtrusive fill pattern :wink:

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Done using a 3D printer using white PLA filament. It’s about .125 inches thick. I made this for a presentation recently showcasing what else can be done using a 3D printer. Actually, I initially bought the 3D printer to make lithophanes but got hooked making everything :slight_smile:


That’s incredible! :smiley:

Thank you. The picture doesn’t really do it justice. Or it could be my picture taking skills. :slight_smile:

Is that back-lit?

No, I had my desk lamp behind it. The plastic is about 7 inches wide and 6
inches tall @ .125 thick.

The neat thing about 3D printers is that you can make a lithophabe circular
and use a battery lit tealight or similar inside. Really neat effect. I
don’t have one to display right now or I would use my great photography
skills to show you.

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Love to see one sometime if you have any old pics…no rush though… holidays coming up and I get a little busy. Thanks for showing that tiger. :smiley:

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@tom, @mdcoley5, those look amazing!!! I am so excited for 3D engraving projects once I get my 'forge. I just hope beyond hope that it will be able to work with corian! I know the material can be lasercut but I had some sparking the last time I tried it that made me a little uneasy. Perhaps the auto-focus will help! Can’t wait!


@tom and @mdcoley5 Both projects look great. Thanks for sharing!
Really can’t wait for the 3D engrave!

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Very cool @tom!

I’ve heard about lithophanes before I have seen them done successfully with PVC pipes (on CNC machines, not lasers…that’d be dangerous!).

Here’s three samples using white PLA, white ABS and glow in the dark ABS.

And one white ABS backed by glow in the dark ABS.

Fun stuff!


Those look so crazy from the back!
The idea of layering semi-transparent materials to build up dark colors makes me think of Max Zorn’s tape-art (although it is totally different in subject, look, technique, tools, material, etc).
Fun stuff indeed!

Holy cow! This is what i probably ought to be spending more time on, I’ve been neglecting my poor printers shamefully.

That PLA looks a lot better than I thought it would and I love the ABS. (Actually working on an enclosure design for the printer…hubs is very odor sensitive so haven’t printed any ABS yet. Mine isn’t enclosed.)

Maybe next year during the wait…i’m going to need to revisit gradient depth mapping anyway.


Boom! :astonished: