Christmas Lithophane Ornament: How To 3D Print Your Personalized Christmas Balls

By Ludovic Richter

Christmas is just around the corner, and we all think about decorating our houses to make it as cozy as possible. Christmas trees are the major element to lift up the Christmas spirit and atmosphere for children and adults alike. It’s joyous to prepare & decorate your house (if everything is according to plan). 

It’s a wonderful moment when you finished your setup and light up your Christmas Tree. But this year,  we will make it even more special! With the help & design of Ludovic Richter & ItsLitho lithophane maker, we’ve made it possible for you to make a 3D printed Christmas ball lithophane in a very simple way. As a light source, it only requires garland lights. It couldn’t be easier!

So how do you make a 3D printed Christmas ball from a lithophane? Let’s jump in!

In this guide, we will show you how to make your own 3D printed custom lithophane Christmas ball. The aim is clear, make it easy to design, easy to print, easy to assemble & easy to decorate. This model fits garlands with spot LEDs with a diameter of a maximum of 8mm. 

Christmas ball ornament 3D print DIY

Follow the instructions below and the Christmas magic will follow. 

Step By Step Christmas Ball Lithophane Guide

First, head over to the ItsLitho Lithophane maker, preferably in a different tab to follow this guide alongside the tool. Once you’ve done that, we can begin to create our unique Christmas lithophane ball!

Step 1: upload the Christmas Ball Lithophane template

To start building your own Christmas balls, download the dedicated profile following.   

Step 2: Prepare your image

The image preparation is being made in two stages. 

  • Stage 1: select your image and size it. You can use a picture software to crop and size it to the desired dimensions. To avoid any excessive deformation when it will be wrapped on the spherical lithophane, the best Height/Length ratio is roughly 1:3. Basically, your image should be a rectangle with 3 Length for 1 Height.

    You can import 2 or more images to be wrapped on the lithophane, but this ratio (H:L) should be close to 1:3 at the end. 

Christmasbal Ball 3D print image ratio
  • Stage 2: upload and optimize your image to improve the lithophane contrast when lighted. What is important here is to adjust the picture contrast and lighting to enhance the difference between the dark and light areas. 

Step 3: Download and print your lithophane

In this step, the only settings you have to play with are your minimum and maximum thicknesses, depending of the filament you’ll use, and the lithophane resolution. The template is optimized for a 0.8-2.8mm thicknesses, but it should work if you slightly modify these by default values. When that’s done, just download your model (no attribute needed). 

Step 4: Printing the parts of the Christmas ball Lithophane and final assembly

As you can see, the printed lithophane is bottom and top opened. Now we choose and print the remaining parts which are needed to build the Christmas ball. Several models are available, but they all work in the same way: 

3D print Christmas ball examples

Please select you model following these links: 

Print all parts flat on the building plate, support and brim could help but are not mandatory. 

Christmas ball lithopahane add-ons

Filaments that work well with lithophanes can be found in the store. For example, the filament used for these prints is Tinmorry matt white PLA. When all parts are printedyou can assemble your Christmas balls lithophane as seen in the video below. 

You’re now ready to create an amazing Christmas ball Lithophane with garland light using ItsLitho. Light up the Christmas ball & enjoy the magic!

Enjoy these festive months & we wish you already a Merry Christmas. 

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