software for generating 3D pieces

While I realize that Estlcam is very nice for generating toolpaths for designs that have been rendered in a CAD package or a vector drawing tool such as Sketchup or Inkscape, I’m wondering if there is anything out there that will help to generate a 3D relief image from a photograph, for example. Estlcam apparently can handle that type of file as well.

For example, in 3D printing you can take a photo and generate a “lithophane” that is meant to be viewed in transmission. Is that just a sort of “negative” of a appropriate image for 3D carving? It’s not clear to me if this is the case.

Also, given that we have Estlcam, we don’t really need a complete CAM package, such as “Deskproto”, which can probably do the task, but has a signficant cost and seems to duplicate Estlcam.

And, yes, I realize that Fusion360 can generate 3D relief images, as can Sketchup with proper extensions. But, going from photo to 3d is still a different issue, I think, particularly in the world of “cheapware”…

Estlcam has image tools, or you can generate a 3D printer stl of your lithopane and set up the mill path with estlcam.

Nothing can create an accurate 3d model from a single image. Lithophanes just interpolate black=thick white=thin, then ramps between for grayscale.

For the lithophanes don’t you end up with an STL, that we could end up milling?

Never mind I see what you are saying, it will not look right milled.