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Making your Own Lithophane

Lithophane History

The art of lithophanes has been around for almost 200 years but most people have never experienced the magic of seeing an image emerge from simple white material. The traditional lithophane is cast with transluscent white porcelain using molds produced by artists.

Lithophanes can be made using various modern tools and software to turn any photo into a lithophane masterpiece. The CNC router is the tool of choice to create the best lithophanes because it has amazing control that can move a fine cutter in increments of less than .001 inch. Since the lithophane image is esentially a greyscale reproduction that is only .1 to .15 inch thick, the CNC resolution allows for fine details and seamless gradiants to create photorealistic images. While a good lithophane is still an art in photo selection and preparation, Lithophane Supplies has gathered the best materials and lighting to guarantee your success.

Our Products

We have researched and tested many materials and lighting to find what works best for making lithophanes on a CNC router. While it may seem a simple thing to take a piece of material and carve it, the end result can vary significantly depending on your choice of material. Most people think of Corian as a generic name for solid surface material. In fact, there are many manufacturers of solid surface material and all have different chemical characteristics. While a manufacturer is concerned with subtablity for countertops and funiture, our concern is machinablity, purity and light transference.

In our quest to find the best lithophane material, we obtained samples from many different manufacturers around the world to test and compare. What we found is that you want a material that is less translucent than most commercial countertop products. This allows you to better control the light passing through the material and have a higher contrast image. In addition, even lighting of the lithophone is critical to not having the center of your image blown out white while the edges are dark. Our nightlight kits and LED panels provide even lighting that take your lithophane to a new level of "wow".