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D.C.
01-02-2013, 12:13 PM
If you are stuck for a way to add awesomeness to the stuff you are loving making on your CNC machines you might want to have a look at hydrographics. It is a cheap, really easy way to transfer artwork on to 3D objects that would be royal pain to decorate any other way.

You can get DIY kits for $70 if you just want to try it out and rolls of preprinted hydrogrphics film is very reasonably priced on ebay.

atlanta hydro imaging - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMC_xlBZgBQ)

Iwant1
01-02-2013, 01:12 PM
Thanks for sharing. I saw this technique used in American Choppers to put a dollar bill image on a fuel tank. Good to know its in the scope for us to diy.

D.C.
01-02-2013, 01:35 PM
I found a UK supplier but they want £110 for a 1m by 1m kit which is rather extortionate.

mydipkit.co.uk (http://mydipkit.co.uk/)

You can use normal car primer/basecoat/clearcoat and just buy the film & activator off ebay for a lot less. Having just had a look around it seems to work ok with powder aswell.

Powder365.com • View topic - Coating over Hydrographics (http://www.powder365.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=206)

John S
01-02-2013, 01:40 PM
Is this for putting Egyptian writing on things ?

Chas
01-02-2013, 01:52 PM
I daren't go near anything to do with it. Everything I own (including the dog) would end up DPM camouflaged :love-struck:

D.C.
01-02-2013, 03:32 PM
Is this for putting Egyptian writing on things ?

Depends how porous the aforementioned thing is.

Tenson
01-02-2013, 04:43 PM
Brilliant to know about, thanks for sharing :)

Any recommendations for UK outfits offering this?

D.C.
01-02-2013, 05:08 PM
Any recommendations for UK outfits offering this?

If you google london hydrographics turns out there is a company called londonhydrographics with a website, email address and obligatory youtube video.
I assume these guys are based in London, they are Polish so almost certainly based in London! I've never used them but if you do get some stuff done don't forget to post us piccies. :)

If you want custom artwork instead of the preprinted designs the only place I know to get blank printable film is these guys in the states.

HydroGraphiX Water Transfer Film | America's only blank water transfer printing film. (http://www.prostreetgraphix.com/)

martin54
01-02-2013, 06:19 PM
If you google london hydrographics turns out there is a company called londonhydrographics with a website, email address and obligatory youtube video.
I assume these guys are based in London, they are Polish so almost certainly based in London! I've never used them but if you do get some stuff done don't forget to post us piccies. :)

If you want custom artwork instead of the preprinted designs the only place I know to get blank printable film is these guys in the states.

HydroGraphiX Water Transfer Film | America's only blank water transfer printing film. (http://www.prostreetgraphix.com/)


Won't last long if your using an inkjet printer on to their film unless you keep whatever you put a graphic on in a draw out of direct sunlight lol. Plus most people would be limited to quite small graphics with A4 size desktop printers.
It's not new, been about for a few years now but not really caught on in a big way especially over here, bit like the plastidip spray your whole car thing.

D.C.
01-02-2013, 07:14 PM
You could always take the film to a printers and get them to print your designs for you, modern inkjet pigment has a reasonably good uv resistance and you could always add to that by using a uv resistant clear coat over the top. If you look at any car that has sat outside for ten years the paint will very noticeably faded compared to 'as new' so it's not that big a deal. Never heard of plastidip and had to google it, wtf?! I see why it didn't catch on, most people don't want their pride and joy dressed up in a gimp suit!

Chas
01-02-2013, 08:01 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the process was fine tuned & first developed commercially by an old mate of mine. He owned the factory which used to make those fake walnut panels in 80's/90's Rover cars ! This was at least 20yrs ago in Colwick Nottingham.

I don't know much about it, they tried to keep the method secret 'cos they couldn't patent it. It might be all BS 'cos he certainly had to turn sideways to get his ego thru a door, but I do know he made £millions from it 'cos no one else could do it at the time.

It was developed from a process which used various chemicals floating on water in a tank, one of the chemicals I remember being mentioned was borax, the part was then raised from the tank & the chemicals floating on the surface would be transferred to the part. This method is as old as chemistry/alchemy itself !

Nowadays, you can buy production line machinery that will coat your parts in this way as fast as you can make them.

D.C.
01-02-2013, 09:00 PM
It is indeed the technique used to make 3D fake wood there are some really quite nice wood patterns available, makes a change from the scary skulls but then I suppose a rover driver would never scary skulls on anything...

martin54
01-02-2013, 09:20 PM
You could always take the film to a printers and get them to print your designs for you, modern inkjet pigment has a reasonably good uv resistance and you could always add to that by using a uv resistant clear coat over the top. If you look at any car that has sat outside for ten years the paint will very noticeably faded compared to 'as new' so it's not that big a deal. Never heard of plastidip and had to google it, wtf?! I see why it didn't catch on, most people don't want their pride and joy dressed up in a gimp suit!

6 months outdoors for pigment inks, 18 months if laminated with a good uv film. But out of direct sunlight you will obviously get better results. Printers used for outdoor work use either solvent or uv inks.

deisel
01-02-2013, 09:25 PM
Ive been meaning to get one or two of my guns dipped head to toe,i wouldnt have the minerals to try the kits myself,

D.C.
01-02-2013, 09:30 PM
6 months until what happens?

Veggie labels printed with a bog standard inkjet and laminated with a bog standard plastic laminator are still perfectly acceptable after three years outside. A little bit faded on close inspection but otherwise ok.

martin54
01-02-2013, 09:41 PM
6 months until the inks will start to fade, put a dye ink print out in the sun south facing with just a clear plastic covering & you will see the difference in a week or two.

Chas
01-02-2013, 09:50 PM
Lets not pretend that we're going to be doing this successfully with our average desktop printers that are cheap to buy yet ridiculously expensive to keep feeding with replacement ink cartridges.

The whole hydrographic transfer process can be very cheap if you want it to be.

The process itself isn't rocket surgery. Most of the websites promoting it seem to be targetted at 'mug punters' who might think £50 is good value when they decide to cover their £1 part in 50p's worth of printed pattern.

It really doesn't take much skill to float a printed sheet of paper in a water bath, then dip a part into it !