Announcing Customized Photo Panes On Thingiverse!

A lithopane is an etched artwork that shows grayscale relief when you shine a light behind it.

Now you can make your own, totally customized, on Thingiverse!


We think this is one of the coolest new tools in a while. It also couldn’t be easier to use.

  1. Find the Customizable Lithopane generator, and open it in MakerBot Customizer.
  2. Upload the photo of your choice, preferably square, and let the tool do the work.
  3. 3D Print it on your MakerBot in about an hour.

A few of our engineers did the math: making your own custom lithopane on a MakerBot is roughly a million times cooler than everything else. It’s like the 3D-printed version of Instagram. Giving a custom lithopane to someone as a gift may be the coolest thing you do in 2013. Remember, Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Here’s a lithopane using a picture of Thingiverse hero tbuser.


If you’re keeping score, the Lithopane tool is the first MakerBot Customizer design to make use of an exciting new input capability: photo surface height mapping. You input a photo and the Customizer lithopane tool detects the height variations to generate a printable pane.

Lithopanes have been around for a long time, and they’ve been on Thingiverse for a while, too! We were inspired by Thingiverse users like cymon and pp3dpNL to take this type of object and make it easy and fun to use for everyone. Enjoy!