memento / məˈmɛn toʊ. an object or item that serves to remind one of a person, past event, etc.; keepsake; souvenir.

Recently we posted a blog about the great work many of our users did printing lithophanes. Head over here to see what they made. At colorFabb we were immediately inspired and a lot of our colleagues sent their favorite photos to the print team to have their own special mememto created.

All lithophanes were printed on the Ultimaker 2+ with PLA Economy White (with one notable exeption, scroll to the bottom for a special guest appearance).



Meet colorFabb’s extended family

Below are the results: sons, daughters, a pregnancy, dogs: loved ones now immortalized as a 3D print.







More examples will be added soon!

And with a dash of green…

All of the above lithophanes were made with PLA Economy White. White is the color most suited for this application. As seen in our previous blog various materials like PLA/PHA, nGen and colorFabb_XT can be used aside from PLA Economy. But that does not mean you cannot experiment with color:


Printed on the Prusa i3 with PLA/PHA Intense Green


Credit where credit’s due

All lithophanes were created by our former colleague Sven Hacken who has continued his career in law enforcement. Thank you, Sven, for all these prints and being an amazing colleague in the past few years!

Sven used Gadunky’s lithophane profile (click here) and 3DP Rocks’ lithophane generator (link here) for all of the family memento prints.

Hulk print by our colleague Paul. You can find the Thingiverse link here. Design by JohnC55.

We used the TRÅDFRI E27 LED light from IKEA as backlight to play with the colors a bit and achieve the best possible effect.


About PLA Economy

PLA Economy is available on 2.2kg, 4.5kg and 8kg spools only. It is very well suited for the maker who needs quality filament at an affordable price. It is a perfect material for large volume and small series production, made with the guaranteed colorFabb quality that we are known for.

PLA Economy is now available in six of the most popular colors. ColorFabb PLA Economy is not a standard PLA. It has been modified for better layer adhesion and flow properties to get better performance over other basic PLA filaments. Because it’s made with the same processing technology used for other premium colorFabb products, this PLA Economy will be just as reliable.


The art of making lithophanes is about 200 years old. It consists of etching an image in very thin translucent porcelain and use a light behind it to make the art visible. Historians claim that the idea originated from China, a thousand years ago or even longer. It used to be a manual process with, admittedly, stellar results. It made (and still makes) for great personal gifts.

With the growing popularity of 3D printing we have seen an increase of lithophanes posted on social media. The treshold is lower to start making one and the results can be amazing. Mind you, it still takes some skill to make them truly astonishing. Below are a few of the examples we have seen over the past few years. A special shout-out to Steve McGarr from Carlow, Ireland who has been posted quite a few and offers the designs in his Gadunky webshop. You should definitely check his work out and get his amazing designs.

Not only do our all-round PLA Economy White and PLA/PHA Standard White give great results, as you can see below our users have made lithophanes with nGen and colorFabb_XT as well!




One thing has not changed since the early days: creating lithophanes is still a craft and it takes some skills to make it look great! You can easily click on the images above to go straight to the orignal posts made on social media.

All the mentioned materials are available in our webshop and ship daily, worldwide and from stock. Find out more about the filaments and their properties here:

Our print team is currently working on some prints as well. Stay tuned for more from our print lab.