Hydrographic (water transfer printing)

What’s Hydrographic Water Transfer Printing?

Water Transfer Printing, known as Hydrographics, Immersion Printing, or 3D Cubic Printing is a technology that decorates 3 dimensional parts with exceptional color and appearance. It allows a manufacturer or brand to make parts or products with virtually unlimited appearance options. They can be made with unusual colors or realistic patterns. There are lots of materials for Hydro Dipping. Basically, you can use any materials that can withstand being submerged in water for hydrographic designs.

What’s Water Transfer Printing Film Used For?

The Water Transfer Printing Film, known as Hydrographic Film, Hydro Film or Immersion Printing Film, is the material used to create a custom appearance for OEM parts or products. There is ink printed onto a large roll of PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) film. This is the same material used in laundry or dishwasher pods. It is water-soluble and will start to dissolve when floated on water and the activator chemical is applied. There are wide ranges of water transfer printing films and the most popular patterns include camo, wood grain, carbon fiber, marble, and camo. The camo film is the most popular pattern and is also the common pattern for hydro dipping guns.

Water Transfer Printing: Industries and Applications

Water Transfer Printing is extensively used for different applications. It ranges from aircraft interior, automotive, home appliance, switch to socket wall plate. Water Transfer Printing is also the best fit for decorating outdoor objects, such as crossbows, rifles, ATV, goggles, sunglasses, etc.

How Does Water Transfer Printing Work?

Generally, the process of water transfer printing or hydro dipping is quite simple. That is to spray a base coat on objects, cover by water transfer printing patterns, and spray final top coating. The ingredients you will need are hydro dipping film, activator, a dipping tank and rinse tank. Follow these 7 simple steps and you will turn the concept into liquid reality or start your hydrographic business. the first step is to prep and apply the base coat. warning: the prep process will damage the original finish so once you start can cannot go back. The second step is to ensure the surface dries thoroughly after applying the base coat. Step three is where the magic happens, you float the water transfer film on top of the water for a while and then spray the activator. Step four can be tricky, you dip it (Applying the pattern). making sure notches and holes don't trap air. After you dip it step five is just rinsing off the excess PVA. Step six is spraying your top coat Crawford Hydrographic services use 1 of 2 top coat products and different levels of gloss depending on the intended use of the object. The last step is the easiest. Step seven is drying, just put it in a save place free from dust and insects and watch the paint dry.