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LuBan - Extrusion

LuBan has many features, one of the easiest and most exciting is Extrusion.

Extrusion allows you to input a flat image or text and LuBan will extrude it, making it into a 3-dimensional object.

To get started, you first need to download LuBan and install it on your computer. Use the links below for your OS:

If those links do not take you the LuBan DropBox, then go to the LuBan site and scroll down to the Download section and use the link provided there.

Follow the instructions on the LuBan site for your specific OS install.

TIP LuBan uses millimeters for measurements

TIP When you make a change in LuBan, you must press Enter to enable the change


To use the Extruder feature, open Luban and go to File -> Create -> Photo Magic

LuBan Photo magic Menu

When the Photo magic menu opens, you will have several different methods available. For this article, we are working with Extrusion

Photo magic - Extrusion


You can use the built-in Text option to type out your own specific text. To do this, choose the Text radial, select your font, then type in your text in the Text box. When done, press Enter

TIP Currently, LuBan only allows one line of Text in this feature.

LuBan Text

After you press Enter, your text will appear on the screen.

TIP To move around:

  • Use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out.

  • Click anywhere on the screen and press and hold the left mouse button and move your mouse to drag the object around.

  • Press and hold the scroll wheel on the mouse to move everything at once

Extruded Text

You will notice a few things with the model.

The extruded part will have two colors, pink and blue. The pink color is the Extrusion element itself. The blue color is the Elevation, think of this as the pedestal the extrusion sits on. Each of these can be modified separately. Keep reading for more details.

The Base shape on my example is currently a Triangle. The base shape can be changed or even removed. Keep reading for more details.

The extrusion is currently at a 0 Elevation angle, which essentially means that the extrusion is straight up - like a pillar. Modifying this will change the display angle of the Extrusion.

This extrusion is also set as a Positive. There is an option to change to Negative, which we will go over below.

Modify the Object

Now you can modify the object.

Extrusion Menu Options

Model Size

Let's go over the Model Size first. These values impact the overall size of the model. Keep in mind that these values are in millimeters.

TIP remember your bed size when setting these values.

TIP I like to use a sheet of paper to map out the size so I have a good visual available.

When you make a change in the size, press Enter for the change to take effect.


This is the height of the extruded image. The minimum value must be 1. This is how "thick" the extruded image will be. Remember, after typing in a new value press Enter for it to take effect. The pink part of the extruded part will change with this value.


This is how high off the base the extruded part will be. The Elevation can be set to 0, which will leave the extruded part sitting directly on the base. Remember, after changing this setting press Enter for it to take effect. The blue part of the extruded part will change with this value.

Elevation Angle

This is the angle that the Elevation (the purple part) will be at. By default, this is set to 0, which means that this will be straight up, like a pillar. This setting can be anywhere from 0 to 90 degrees.


This is the shape of the Elevation (the purple part). By default, it's set to Concave Arc.

Below are examples of the different Support options.

TIP A selection of 90 for the Elevation Angle and a Support of Vertical will give you just an extruded version of the text by itself, with no support and no base. Support of Vertical will require an Elevation Angle lower than 90.

TIP Void removes the Elevation (the purple part) but keeps the base and the angle of the extruded object so there is no connection between the two.

The image gallery below will go through these in this order: Concave Arc, Convex Arc, Triangle, Vertical and Void. All of these are using an Elevation Angle of 90, Extrusion of 1 and Elevation of 10 for reference.

Base Shape

The Base Shape is simply the base that the extrusion sits on. These options are listed below and are pretty self-explanatory.

Base Shape Options

Base Thickness

Once you find a Base Shape you like, the next step is to choose what the Base thickness should be. Make sure you press Enter after changing this setting to have the change to effect.

Keychain Hole

LuBan has this great option that will automatically place a hole in the base for you. You just need to put in the size of the hole and press Enter for it to take effect.

Limitless Options

As you can see, you have lots of options available to you with the Extrusion feature.

Here is just one example using a round base, keyhole, 1mm extrusion, 0 elevation, and 0 elevation angle.

Round with Text and Keyhole, Positive Extrusion

Here is the same example as above, with a Negative extrusion

Round with Text and Keyhole, Negative Extrusion

You can use either of these with a "pause at height" or "pause at layer" feature of your slicer to change colors on your 3D Printer and have two different colors printed.

Save model

When you are done with the file, you can click on Save model and choose the folder you want to save the files in. LuBan will generate a fold to put all the files in and will name the folder after the file you used for the image. You can now open the .stil file in your favorite slicer and start printing.

Photo Extrusion

Everything you just learned using the Text option, you can do with a photo.

Here are some quick things you really need to know about using photos:


You can use any image really, but how LuBan interprets that image may not be what you expect. Not all images will extrude nicely.

I'm going to use this as my example. The original file for this has a transparent background. This is important.

Marine Emblem, Transparent Background

In LuBan, it will not allow for a Base with a transparent background

No Base

If you use an editor (I like to use gimp) to change the background of the image to white (this is very important), then you will get a base, but it might have errors in the model depending on the image used. In the example below, I imported that into Cura and it slices fine, but you can see you lose some of the details.

Marine Emblem with White Background lets you use Base

Now for another example. This is the image I am using. It is a simple black and white image on a transparent background. The inside of the image is white and is outlined in black

When you import this into LuBan to extrude, it looks great! This is my preferred image when using for extrusion in LuBan - a transparent background, black outline, and white infill.

Super Hero Extruded

Another option is to have an all-white image. If you use an image that is all black, LuBan will not extrude it.

I hope this was a good introduction to the Extrusion function of LuBan. Check the Facebook Group for some great examples from the many users of LuBan and to get further tips on how to use the software. You can also ask questions in the group, they are very helpful!


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