Lithophanes

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A Lithophane is a peice of translucent material into which is carved a 3d image. The deeper the carving (or machining), the thinner the material and more light gets through.

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The same lithophane with no light passing through.

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With careful selection, the images used can look good when not lit as well, lighter background and darker main features let it ‘pop’ out in 3d.

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In this case they are in wooden frames, backlit by a panel of 360leds each.

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This powered lightbox style brings out the detail just as much as sunlight, but in a slightly warmer tone.

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The lithophanes were machined on my CNC mill, using a 0.5mm stepover and 2mm diameter ball end mill, running at 600mm/minute it takes a while. The material is soft enough, and cuts cool enough that almost no supervision is required.