How can I print an embossed image in a concaved shape?

Like a big saucer. I will use this an a mold for a project.

So far I've found lots of software with huge spread of features. It's sort of overwhelming. There is lots of ways to create images into 3D printable objects but to add the extra step and concaving that image is harder to find out.

How would you do it? I'm open to suggestions.

I'm new to 3D printing and would really appreciate the help.

  • $\begingroup$ What are you using for your modeling software? $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2019 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ I have not selected a modeling software. I'm a programmer and I work with software everyday therefore I'm open to tryout anything. $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2019 at 1:02
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    $\begingroup$ 3dp.rocks/lithophane can do the interior of a cylinder; I haven't found a free site that will project into a sphere, but I strongly suspect you can take a planar model and use one of the standard CAD/mesh programs to make it spherical. Maybe search YouTube for tutorials on "convert plane to hemisphere" ? $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2019 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ If you know Python, maybe this link thingiverse.com/thing:2770219 or (I have not tried it) the spherical projector at maker.dongguk.edu $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2019 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


What you describe, sounds like you want to create a lithophane; a pattern etched or engraved on a thin translucent base material (in your case a bowl) that can only be seen clearly when backlit with a light source behind it. Apparently you want to use it for another purpose.

Special software and or scripts that transform the image to the base material exist. An example is e.g. this sphere which becomes a globe when lit from the inside. Recommending a tool for creating such bowl is a little out of scope as these types of questions become outdated very quickly as technology changes or tools cease to exist. With the provided information you should be able to find software that is able to provide what you want to do.


You may want to look up https://3dp.rocks/lithophane/ it lets you do things like that

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    $\begingroup$ That link was given in a comment previously. It would be helpful if you could summarize the article and maybe give your experience if you have used that technique. $\endgroup$
    – agarza
    Apr 29, 2021 at 15:39
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    $\begingroup$ Hi and welcome. This is a link only answer, and when the link dies your answer will not be much use. As such, it may be deleted. If that happens, please summarise the information from the link and flag your answer to be undeleted. $\endgroup$
    – Greenonline
    Apr 29, 2021 at 16:00

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