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Converting from a photo to a heightfield to an STL file.

Sometimes you want to create a heightfield from a photo (or other image) in order to make an STL (Stereolithographic) file. Then the STL file can be printed by such devices as 3D printers and other modern CNC equipment. The easiest way of doing this is to use PhotoToMesh, screenshot below:

STL output from a photo

Simply drag in your image and make the setting you want. A bit of experimentation is probably required to get the heights and densities required. For example lithophanes require that the material is thick enough for the back-lighting to show through, but not thin enough to be easily breakable.

Below is an example of an STL file created with PhotoToMesh from Jungseo's photo, and then printed on a 3D printer:

Double portrait STL lithophane

And here is another of his creations, again unlit and lit:

Single portrait STL lithophane

PhotoToMesh costs $49.99 ($34.99 for V4) and there is a free demo which you can download to try on your own images and machines:

 
 
 
 
 

 




 
 


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