WHAT IS HYDRODIPPING?
Hydrodipping (also known as hydro dipping, water printing or water dipping) is a unique process that allows you to apply images to almost any 3D object. The hydrodipping process has been used for years in the automotive industry, among others. Objects such as car interior frames, airsoft guns, helmets, controllers, scooter/motorcycle covers and even trainers are decorated with hydrodipping films. There are many different materials that the film can be applied to such as plastic, metal, and wood. So hydro-dipping can be done on almost any kind of material.
Almost anything can be hydro-dipped as long as there are no electronics in it, because the object to be hydro-dipped goes completely under water. If you remove the electronics from a controller, for example, then only the housing is left and that can of course be submerged. So as long as the object can withstand water, we can hydro-dip it.
Hydro-dipping consists of a number of different steps. I will explain it briefly.
1. Preparation - sanding and degreasing. Basically the same treatment that you would do if you were going to spray the object.
2. Apply primer - To make your printed object unique, it is important to choose a nice colour primer. As you can see in the film.
3. The print film - The pattern is printed on special film that can be used on water and can thus be formed around the object so that the hydrodipping can begin.
4. Activator - This is a chemical substance that causes the film and ink to liquefy in the water and thus adhere and form to the 3D object.
5. Hydrodipping - When the activator has done its work and the foil is hydrated, we can pass the object through the foil and apply the print.
6. Rinsing - After the object has been printed, a slimy residue remains which must be rinsed off. After this has been done, the object must be dried.
7. Clear varnish - This is the last layer that gives a matt or glossy finish and at the same time protects the dipped object.