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Light Box for Lithophanes

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Project by Arbo posted 10-24-2010 12:43 AM 2995 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I make lithophanes, which ‘come to life’ when they are back lit, either by a light box or by the sun (ie hanging in a window). So I needed to design and make a light box for my 8×10 lithophanes.

I drew up a box, and went to a friends fathers workshop and he showed me how to cut everything up, and we built a ‘test’ box. There were some things I did not like about it, so I changed it up a bit and came up with this.

I bought enough alder to make 4 boxes, and went by his dad’s workshop to ‘borrow’ his equipment, and managed to cut out everything I needed. Then came home and started assembling them.

It’s about 15” x 13” and 3 3/4 deep. The displayable area is 7.5×9x5 (to provide a ledge inside the box for the lithophane to be attached to).

Once the box was together I installed the lights on the back panel, and cut a hole in the side where I could mount my power jack and on/off switch.

I have no doubt anyone here could make a better one, but I’m happy with my first real ‘woodworking’ project.

-- Paul, http://www.coriannslithos.com





12 comments so far

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1558 days


#1 posted 10-24-2010 01:22 AM

They look great to me! Now I have to look up the work lithophanes and learn about that. :) Okay I’m back. Do you carve your lithophanes in wax and then pour plaster of paris and then pour it in procelain? That is an incredible creation!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Arbo's profile

Arbo

76 posts in 1539 days


#2 posted 10-24-2010 01:32 AM

No, they are actually cut out of corian. Great stuff, cuts like butter. And not as delicate as porcelain would be when that thin (low spots (ie white)) are only .04” thick.

-- Paul, http://www.coriannslithos.com

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1558 days


#3 posted 10-24-2010 02:10 PM

Corian? LIke the kitchen counter stuff? And then you carve those pictures into it? Do you think you could post a close of picture of the duck? I find this so interesting!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Arbo's profile

Arbo

76 posts in 1539 days


#4 posted 10-24-2010 04:25 PM

Yep, the kitchen counter stuff.

Here is an up close of the face:

And at an angle without the light on to see what the surface looks like:

-- Paul, http://www.coriannslithos.com

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1558 days


#5 posted 10-24-2010 04:31 PM

Wow- I can’t imagine how you would begin to know how to carve that in 3 dimensions. Do you have to use a caliper to measure the hills and valleys?

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Arbo's profile

Arbo

76 posts in 1539 days


#6 posted 10-24-2010 05:05 PM

Oh no, no calipers… no super hard thinking. It’s a matter of going from a color photo to gray-scale, then there is software that converts different levels of ‘dark’ to different thicknesses. Major respect goes out to those artists long ago that could carve such a thing by hand to make a mold to pour porcelain into.

-- Paul, http://www.coriannslithos.com

View jm82435's profile

jm82435

1281 posts in 2462 days


#7 posted 10-25-2010 05:03 PM

If that wasn’t explained well enough, it was machine carved (CNC). They look great, what software do you use to generate the G-code?

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112499 posts in 2297 days


#8 posted 10-25-2010 05:08 PM

These are so unique well done

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Arbo's profile

Arbo

76 posts in 1539 days


#9 posted 10-25-2010 06:03 PM

Thanks.

A small software package called bmp2cnc. It’s sole purpose is making a ‘depth map’ of sorts out of a gray scale image.

-- Paul, http://www.coriannslithos.com

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1558 days


#10 posted 10-25-2010 10:33 PM

It is so interesting that 2 very unique projects made with CNC technology were posted this week. I am glad for the coincidence because it demonstrates the variety of things that can be made with this technology by skilled artisans. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View nigelkdx200's profile

nigelkdx200

7 posts in 1325 days


#11 posted 04-12-2011 12:19 PM

Hi Arbo, do you know how bmp2cnc compares to Vectric PhotoVCarve?

Later on I’ll do some lithophanes however to start with I’ll predominantly do timber/mdf based projects.

View Arbo's profile

Arbo

76 posts in 1539 days


#12 posted 04-13-2011 04:31 PM

bmp2cnc does fine for lithophanes. I believe you can do them with phtovcarve, but that one let’s you do other sorts of things where bmp2cnc doesn’t (that etched in photo look).

-- Paul, http://www.coriannslithos.com

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