Lithophanes are translucent pieces of material that look 3D when lit from the back. This is a very old technique that was originally used to make ceramic or porcelain products such as lamp shades, beer steins and window decoration.
Materials that are suitable and commonly used for making lithophanes include Corian, Avenite, Plexi-glass, Perspex or any other translucent material allows light to pass through when it's only 0.08" – 0.120" (2mm or 3 mm) thick.
1, The process begins with a photo. The higher the quality anf resolution will have better results, but less resolution cell phone pictures have been known to work with acceptable results.
2, Using a software to convert the picture to a file that can be cut on the CNC table gives options for size, tooling and variables that allow the total time for the cut to be calculated, as well as a renderiing of the final product that will be sent for review and approval before the process begins.
3, After cutting, the corian can be backlit to produce a 3d like image. Placed into a frame, LED lighting is placed within the frame to provide a light source that be turned on and off as needed.
The final product is a great conversation piece, or personalized giift.