A lithophane is traditionally etched on porcelain and shows a three dimensional image when it is backlit. We've used the 3D printer to create our own version. Using a program written by Amanda Ghassaei (http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printed-Photograph/) we can translate the dark and light pixels of a grayscale image into thickness on a 3D rendering. (There's a lot of math there folks!!) We then slice the 3D STL file as usual and print. The results vaugely resemble their original image when printing is complete.
However, when the image is held up to the light or backlit the true depth of the image is revealed.
Thanks to Mrs. Schafer for letting me borrow a picture of her little girl!!