3D Printed Halloween Pumpkin Lithophane

BY ITSLITHO

In this guide, we will explain how to create a 3D printed pumpkin lithophane perfect for scaring your neighbors during Halloween! The ItsLitho lithophane tool makes it easy to create this 3D printed Halloween lithophane.

Usually Thingiverse has some pumpkin shapes with a face in it. But what if you would like to have a witch or ghosts on a pumpkin? Without ItsLitho you would have to manually model this, which takes a lot of practice and most importantly a lot of your time!

So how do you create a good looking 3D printed pumpkin lithophane? Of course by utilizing the ItsLitho lithophane maker! In the shape select box choose the pumpkin shape. The pumpkin lithophane has many options but don’t be afraid, many of these options are just to fine-tune your pumpkin lithophane. The default settings of the pumpkin lithophane are already great for printing. However, you can modify every aspect of the pumpkin shape which need some explanation. In this guide we will walk trough the these settings!

Step by step pumpkin lithophane​

Halloween pumpkin lithophane

A pumpkin lithophane requires some extra attention printing. There are parts where the overhang angle is too large for your printer to handle well. The pumpkin lithophane is therefore somewhat harder to print than your typical lithophane.
Creating the Halloween lithophane will be explained by creating the pumpkin from the image above. This pumpkin lithophane was also printed and can be seen at the end of this step by step guide.

Step 1: Create your lithophane

  • 1. Upload image tab – Upload the image you want to convert into a lithophane;. Using this link you'll get the image used as seen above. This image can be used to create the pumpkin lithophane with a scary face;
  • 2. (Optional) Edit image tab - Edit your image to make the contrast ready for the design;
  • 3. Create mode tab – Press in the shapes select box and select pumpkin. (Optional) Tweak the parameters to create the pumpkin you like!;​

For now, the image is stretched over the entire pumpkin. This is often undesired. To counteract, do the following:

  • 3.1. Go to image options box in the create model tab;
  • 3.2. Reduce the placement bottom/top sliders to reposition your image on the vertical axis. For the example use -10 and 70 as the lower and upper limits;
  • 3.3. Reduce the placement left/right sliders to reposition your image on the horizontal axis. For the example use 33 and 77 for the lower and upper limits;
  • 3.4 The image in the example must be inverted to a negative image. Switch the positive image off, this will make the images negative.
  • 3.5. Play with these settings until the image is positioned the way you like it. In the future, we’ll add an automatic position algorithm that will do this process for you!​
  • 4. Click on download button.

Step 2: Slice and support your lithophane in the slicer

The 3D printed pumpkin lithophane requires some extra attention. There are most likely large overhangs on the top and bottom of the pumpkin. The top of the pumpkin will most-likely be suspended from the ground and not connected to the other parts of the pumpkin as shown in the image below. It is important to give this some thought. We suggest you use supports to be able to print the pumpkin lithophane. The best way would be to manually add supports for the top and bottom of the lithophane. But a quick and easy way is to turn on the supports in your slicer. Increase the support overhang angle threshold to a high angle, such as 70 degrees. This will make sure that only the absolute necessary parts will get support and often will avoid putting supports on the lithophane itself.

Pumpkin lithophane overhang

Step 3 Impress your neighbors

In the last step, you’ll simply have to print the pumpkin lithophane. Choose a suitable filament such as orange PLA or white PLA with an orange/warm white light.

Our recommendation for this print is the Orange PLA from Geeetech which we used ourselves. If you choose to print it with white filament, we recommend Esun Cool White PLA, which is in general one of the best filaments for the use of lithophanes!

After this send the STL to your printer and wait to see the pumpkin slowly appear on your print bed! Make sure to carefully remove the supports from your pumpkin lithophane.

It’s that simple! The new ItsLitho pumpkin lithophane is the answer to your Halloween success story. Would you like to share your pumpkin lithophane or see what others have made, then please join our Facebook group!

Halloween pumpkin lithophane 3D printed with light

Customize your pumpkin lithophane options

For the technical lithophane designers, we have put a lot of options for the pumpkin shape in our application. These options will give you full control over the pumpkin lithophane shape. We will explain these options below.

Most important settings

We’ll first briefly explain the settings which will make up your pumpkin lithophane. The cad drawings below will help you understand what each parameter means.

Pumpkin 3D model CAD drawing front view
Pumpkin 3D model CAD drawing top view
  • Texture; By default, this setting is turned on. This means that the texture of the pumpkin itself will be visible in the results. On the other hand, when it is turned off, then the pumpkin will have the same thickness everywhere on the pumpkin. The lithophane is placed on top of the pumpkin. The pumpkin “texture” will not be visible inside the picture.
  • Invert texture; This function has multiple meanings based on whether the texture is turned off or on. If the texture is turned on, then this option will remove the pumpkin texture from the image, but not the other parts of the pumpkin. If the texture is turned off and this function on, then the pumpkin which is not the image will be the maximum thickness.
  • Diameter; The pumpkin will never be smaller than the value given to the diameter. A perfect sphere can always be fit inside the pumpkin with the given diameter. This sphere acts as the basis of the pumpkin;
  • Grooves; The number of grooves each picture has on the pumpkin shape. Increasing this number will increase the pumpkin segments;

Default settings (Grooves = 5)

Pumpkin lithophane - Default options

Grooves option is set to 10

Pumpkin lithophane - Grooves=10
  • AmplitudeY; Pumpkins are never a perfect sphere. Thus the amplitudeY setting will create the widened oval-like part of the pumpkin. Increasing this parameter will make the pumpkin more oval-shaped;

Default settings (AmplitudeY = 15)

Pumpkin lithophane - Default FlatnessY

AmplitudeY option is reduced to 5

  • FlatnessY; Determines how much the curved line is flattened. A high number will increase the magnitude in which the curve is flattened;

Default settings (FlatnessY= 2)

Pumpkin lithophane - Default FlatnessY

FlatnessY option is set to 20

Pumpkin lithophane - Flatness Y option=20
  • AmplitudeX; Pumpkins are also not smooth. The amplitudeX setting will create a curved texture completing a pumpkin-like shape. If the texture is turned on (it is by default) then the amplitudeX setting is not visible anymore. Instead, the maximum thickness of the lithophane will govern the magnitude of the curve;

Default settings (AmplitudeX = 2)

Pumpkin lithophane - Default options

Amplitude option set to 10 mm

Pumpkin lithophane - Amplitude X option=10
  • FlatnessX; Determines how much the curved line is flattened. A high number will increase the magnitude in which the curve is flattened;

Default settings (FlatnessX= 2)

Pumpkin lithophane - Default options

FlatnessX option is set to 20

Pumpkin lithophane - Flatness X option=20
  • Hor Angle; Determines the horizontal angle of the pumpkin. This way the pumpkin can be opened;
  • Vert Angle; This option has 2 inputs. It measures the vertical angle from the middle (in the vertical) to either the bottom or top of the lithophane;
  • Inside; The inside option is available for the pumpkin lithophane. This way you can surprise everyone with a normal looking pumpkin. But once you turn on the light, an (scary) image will appear!

Quick end note

We came up with the idea of how to do a Halloween lithophane 2 weeks prior to Halloween. We have developed this function in record time so that our users still have time to print it before Halloween. As a result, there are still bugs in the pumpkin lithophane. Known bugs:

  • Multiple images do not work if the texture option is turned off;
  • Attributes do not work well (it might sometimes) with the pumpkin lithophane;
  • Grooves increases by the number of images uploaded
  • Images are stretched over the entire pumpkin, in the future, we will add an automatic position function to retain the image aspect ratio!

If you have noticed more bugs or have ideas on how to improve the pumpkin lithophane, please let us know! The easiest way to contact us is by filling out the feedback/suggestion/bug forms inside the tool, send a mail to help.itslitho@gmail.com, or contact us on our facebook page

Halloween lithophane - man from wall

Results

Our first 3D print lithophane test is an undeniable success. Not only is this our first 3D printing lithophane pumpkin test print, it also acts as our proof of concept. With this proof of concept, we’ve shown that a pumpkin lithophane works great! Our family and neighbors were very impressed and yours will definitely be too! We can’t wait to see what you can come up with!

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