This video showing a man dip coating his hand with a carbon pattern can be quite impressive for someone who never heard of this technique before. Also known as immersion printing, water transfer printing, water transfer imaging, cubic printing, hydro dipping or hydrocoating, is a technology wich has been used by the industrials for decades.
If you ever saw a hunter gun covered with leaves or a moto helmet with a flame pattern, you've seen the result before.
Anyways, Bertier was extremely excited by his discovery because he realised that it could be applied to almost any plastic object... wich meant it was perfect for... 3D Printing!
We managed to find a simple DIY hydrographic kit on internet. Our first tests left us speechless. This technique really does feel like magic. Here is a guide to your first image transfer on a 3D printed object.
We invite you to follow the process in our video tutorial.
Step 1: Kit and accessories
- Hydrographic film (a few samples should be included in the kit)
- Activator (usually sold with the kit)
- Primer (usually sold with the kit)
- 1 container (deep and wide enough to immerse your object in the water)
- Protections : gloves, mask (the activator is toxic and corrosive)
- Scissors and masking tape if you want to mask some parts of your object.
- Clear coat, in spary. (to protect the graphic and fix it)
Step 2: Print your design
You will want to print with the highest resolution. Here, we used the best resolution on our MakerBot : 0,1 mm of layer tickness.
If you need support material, try to remove as much as possible.