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How to convert photos to stereo lithographic files.

With this program you simply open your photograph and immediately see a 3D mesh representation of it. Changing the settings gives you instant feedback. The mesh can be saved as a STL (stereo lithographic) file, for later use in CAD/CAM Numerical Control, 3D Printers and milling machines.

Images to stereolithographic files

Some CAD and CAM programs prefer the STLB extension to the STL extension, and you have the option of saving the file with either extension.

In theory STL is an ASCII format, while STLB is a binary format. In practice most STL files are in binary format because it is so much more compact.

Here is an actual example of an image created with PhotoToMesh machined into metal:

STL mesh of cobra art machined into metal

Dave Fisher in Northern California (707-599-5063) created the cobra above: "I used a picture of a cobra snake, imported it into your software, output an STL, and machined it using Cimatron E to create a one-off billet battery hold down for a Drag Race car".

Here is another example, where a 3D Printer has been used to create a cylindrical lithophane:


PhotoToMesh is quite easy to use, as shown by this explanation of the size settings of the STL (or DXF file) file you will produce:

Stereolithographic STL mesh parameters

PhotoToMesh home page.

Versions 4 and 7 has the possibility to make spherical, and surface of revolution objects.

Cylindrical relief objects from  photos and images

The program has a free demo which you can download by clicking on the button below:



"I am incredibly happy with PhotoToMesh. I hunted for a simple program that would turn an image into a basic hieght map. PhotoToMesh accomplished this with little effort and at a reasonable price."

- Nathaniel



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