A designer often looks differently at objects than the average consumer. He will be more critical, but also sometimes astounded. I experienced this recently when I came across a video about hydrodipping on Facebook. My first thought was that it looked like magic!
Hydrodipping, also called ‘water transfer printing’, is a kind of 3D printing that will transfer every desired print on an object. It’s especially convenient when printing on difficult shapes that otherwise can’t be reached. What about a lightweight rim or a grille? The exact origin of hydrodipping is unclear. However, the first American patent was registered by Motoyasu Nakanishi of Kabushiki Kaisha Cubic Engineering on July 26 1982.
Preparation is time-consuming. The background colour often stays visible because the foil used to print is transparent. The foil and print are being sunken in the water and will dissolve, leaving only the print to float on the surface. A specialist slowly drowns the object so the ink will attach to the object. It’s a miraculous process. I advise you to take a look at the video below. After hydrodipping of the object a final coating will be applied to make sure the print will be sustainable.
The possibilities are endless! You can apply hydrodipping on basically everything that can also be sprayed, such as car or motor parts, sports equipment and gadgets.