ItsLitho is a new and fresh lithophane maker to create 3D model STL files from an image! The tool does not only convert your image to a 3D model, but ItsLitho lets you design every inch of your 3D model. The 3D models are for the use of 3D printed lithophanes. Therefore, with the ItsLitho lithophane tool, you can enhance the contrast of your photo, make different shapes, add attributes and much more! The tool lets you see the created design instantly, so you can adapt it very fast and easy.
The makers behind ItsLitho
ItsLitho is a joint venture of two friends from different disciplines not related to software engineering at all. Parallel to writing their thesis, they have decided to start a project. The project is about learning and mastering new skills, by creating a complex web application, related to their hobby and focused on helping people with it. As a result, with these ambitions and a great idea, they have built ItsLitho, to make the life of 3D printed lithophane builders a lot easier.
So why did we start ItsLitho?
January 2019 – we got an idea to build a website about lithophanes. Like many, we got inspired by the Youtube channel RClifeon. Since the introduction of cheap(er) 3D-printers, we have made many lithophanes for friends and family. Unsurprisingly they make for great gifts!
The idea came out of the frustration of the limitations in speed, customisation and user-friendliness with tools that were available at that time. With the sense that it can be made better and easier, and is eager to learn more about the ins and outs of building a website application. We decided to transform the idea into a big fun project! With this idea in mind, we have put our knowledge together and started to improve our skills to make it happen.
After the first proof of concept a couple of months into the project, we were very enthusiastic and happy about the results and knowledge we have obtained along the way. However, the website still needed more speed and better usability. Being perfectionists came in handy as we are striving for it to be as good as possible.
6 Months after the proof of concept, we were delighted and proud about the results so wanted to share our beta version application with the 3D-printing community. The reactions were very positive and enthusiastic. We want to thank you for the feedback and kind words. This motivates us, even more, to work harder and better to continue developing the tool! This is only the beginning!
Fast. Faster! No, even faster!
We wanted our application to be stable and fast, but like, really fast. One of our biggest frustrations were the crashes and the waiting time to generate lithophanes with the tools available at that time. Hence, we’ve spent nearly a month to increase the performance of ItsLitho to its max. As a result, this means up to 15 times faster application which can generate lithophanes with up to 25 times more detail without crashing! This took our application the next level!
For instance, you are now able to preview the lithophane in milliseconds to seconds with the highest quality, without crashing the website! We even managed to generate lithophanes so large in file size, that it crashed the slicer instead of the site! Maybe we need to ask for Cura to up their game ;).
The tool needs to be able to do that, and that, oh, and that!
Another bottleneck we experienced with the lithophane maker tools were the limitations of the features. The shapes mostly came with standard settings. There was even a sphere lithophane available in one of the tools which were a solid(?). This defies the idea of a lithophane, which should be hollow to put a light in it. No wonder that we want to give the user full control over almost every aspect of the tool. We also added the option to import multiple images, add attributes for light holders, different shapes with highly customizable settings to make the form just the way you wish to. Spoiler Alert: Soon, there will also be the option to add a nightlight attribute to your lithophane!
Make it an all-in-one solution, put an Image editor in there
Editing your image is one of the critical aspects in generating the perfect lithophane. It can be the difference between a good lithophane and an exceptional lithophane. As a result, we’ve implemented an image editor in the lithophane maker for the most essential image settings. We wanted the tool to be an all-in-one solution for modelling your lithophane. For example, in ItsLitho, you can edit your images by adjusting the red, green and blue channels and the contrast and brightness of your picture. This takes away the barrier for needing advanced software like Photoshop or GIMP for editing the image beforehand.
Slide your way to the perfect lithophane with ItsLitho
We strove for the tool to be extensive but simple and easy to use. So we defined three tabs in the tool:
You should start with the “Upload Image” tab. This tab, as the name suggests, is where you can upload an image or multiple images. Press the upload button to upload your picture(s). You can also delete the pictures in this tab.
As we mentioned, we have an image editor in the “edit image” tab. For instance, here you can edit your image if it needs more or less contrast. You can do this with different (slider) options. A simple slide to the left or right can change your image to a masterpiece lithophane.
Create a model
Most importantly is the model creator tab. In this tab, the real magic happens. Your uploaded image(s) will be displayed in the preview screen. The slider options appear. It’s time to create your model! There are a lot of sliders, which might be daunting at first but are easy to understand when you give it a second look. Furthermore, if you don’t, fair not. Just press the green square to the left of every option to get more information about that particular option.
The first setting group is where you can select your desired shape. You can also add a frame or border to the model and an attribute for light or good foundation. Make every pixel worth it with the pixels per mm option to increase the details of your lithophane. Also, there is a quality preview, which is a balance between speed and aspects. You can even try the preview with different colours if you wanted to print the lithophane with colour filament or different colour light. To sum up, there are many many options to play with!
Our newest feature – Color Lithophanes
Recently we have implemented a new feature in our lithophane maker tool. Colour lithophanes! It’s now available to make a colour lithophane with the tool. For instance, our tool will generate the perfect colour image for the colour lithophane. If you would like to know how it works: go to our guide. We will explain how to make it step by step. The image you download on our tool will have the same dimensions as your lithophane. As a result, this way you don’t have to scale it yourself!
To sum up, we are thrilled and proud of the website and application so far. But like we said, it’s only the beginning of our journey to make the perfect lithophane maker application. We are keen to improve the website and learn more! We would like to hear your opinion about the application, and we happy to listen to feedback and suggestions. Thank you for reading and make sure to give the ItsLitho lithophane maker tool a try, it’s worth the time!
Feedback and suggestions can be sent to [email protected]
The Website of ItsLitho Lithopane maker
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