Print them faster in Vase Mode – 3D Printed Lithophane Lampshades
What is Vase Mode?
Tools of the Trade
This is where you will introduce your image or photo from your computer or cloud storage.
In this part of the process, you can begin the greyscale conversion.
Everything’s better when it’s BIGGER
If you need to increase the physical size or pixel count
Make sure you retain your Aspect Ratio when editing
Exposure – Fill Light – Sharpness
The following three settings are optional, but I believe they are worth doing to maximise the effectiveness of your final image.
There are four settings to manipulate under the exposure setting, and each one can make a high impact on the detail for your 3D printed lithophane. When adjusting the settings under the exposure section, be sure to change the Brightness, Contrast, Highlights and Shadows.
These settings will aid in making your image more defined and increase the illusion of depth. Perfect for a 3D printed Lithophane Lampshade. Be sure to take advantage of the built-in help and tutorials in BeFunky, as they are informative and easy to follow.
By adjusting the Fill Light setting, you can alter how the light distributes across the image. This can be beneficial for adding more depth to shadowed areas.
Sharper Image equals more defined 3D printed lithophanes
I find it more useful to use the standard Sharpen feature instead of the Smart Sharpen, as it seems to keep more realistic edging in the picture.
Creating the Lithophane
Luban lithophane creation
The Luban application has some remarkable features that are sure to interest many creators, besides the fantastic Lithophane component. I focus this tutorial on the Lithophane aspect of the software. The Cone Shaped lithophane, to be more precise. I do the remaining part of the process in Simplify3D.
Vase Mode – Save Time
There are multiple reasons I wanted to attempt 3D printing cone lithophanes in Vase Mode. The first reason is usually the most obvious to anyone who likes to experiment because I can.
Secondly; I wanted to see what the results would deliver. I knew that I would not achieve a high-quality photo lithophane with this method, but for the purposes I wanted, this method will be a great way to create a unique product.,
Third, I tried to find an economical manner. This process not only saves on time (sometimes significantly) but also in materials. Both equate to dollars.
Vase Mode Settings and Tips
3D printing objects in Vase Mode are fun and fast.
You have more options to play with than most people think. How you change your settings will play a significant role in what your finished print will look like, the amount of printer filament you use and the time to complete the 3D print.
Diameter and Retraction
When you input the Nozzle diameter into your slicer settings, remember that even though you may deal with a specific aperture, this doesn’t mean you use that as your setting. While you want to exercise caution when setting the size of the nozzle, you can usually push it by .05mm – 0.10mm. I do it all the time.
When I am printing in Vase mode, but am not concerned about details, I will tell if it is about .10mm higher. If I am looking to keep some detail in a 3D print, then I will set it to .05mm or even 0.10mm.
Keep in mind that you will need to adjust your temperature settings, print speeds, and flow rates to maximise the output. Make sure that when printing anything in Vase Mode that you are NOT using retractions.
Retraction is the filament being pulled back by the extruder a specified amount and when 3D printing in Vase Mode. You want the filament to have a nice steady and constant flow.
Layers and Shells
When I print in Vase Mode setting or Single outline corkscrew mode, my bottom and top layers will depend on the model I am printing. Usually, when printing in Vase Mode, you will have multiple bottom layers for added strength to the model.
This keeps the model open at the top. But with cone lithophanes or lampshades, I will have no bottom layers either so that both the top and bottom of the model are open. By default, the shells or perimeters will be 1. To my knowledge, you cannot override this setting in any slicer.
Steady as she goes!
Speed is crucial when doing any Lithophane 3D printing, and printing them in Vase Mode is no exception. While you may play with the speeds, it’s a good rule of thumb to go 30-50mm/s, with 45mm/s being a good average.
Fill the Gaps
Selecting Merge all outlines into a single robust model slices the model taking all the outermost perimeter outlines and assumes the interior is solid. Using Merge all outlines is useful for models that have errors in the mesh or if using Vase Mode, as it will usually fill holes or gaps.
Selecting Perimeters only for Thin Wall Behaviour tells the slicer how the walls (shells) should print. Allow single extrusion fill shows the slicer how to fill those walls.
Unfortunately, after going through these steps, the Cone lithophane of the image I was working with failed multiple times in the printing process. I could determine that because of the level of detail at the uppermost part of the cone, it could not successfully print.
I have included images of several successful Vase Mode Cone Lithophanes below.
There are a lot of cool projects you could make with these types of Lithophane Lampshades.
I hope I have inspired you to try some of these ideas and look forward to seeing some impressive 3D printed Lithophane Lampshades from the community. If you like this article then head over to 3D Printed Lithophane: Take your photos to 3D Print
Thank You for Reading