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What Is Water Transfer Printing?

Water transfer imaging, or water transfer printing, is the process of applying decorative finished to 3D products. Any hard surface, non-porous and that can be submersed in water can be decorated. Another good rule of thumb is if you can get paint to stick to the object most likely you can decorate it with this process. Examples of such materials are: plastic, glass, hardwoods, fiberglass, ceramics, and metal.

How does the Water Transfer Imaging Process Work?
Products are decorated using a print, which resides on a thin base of water-soluble film. The printed film is placed on the surface of the water, and the base begins to dissolve. A patented activator chemical is sprayed over the film causing the ink to remain floating in an oil-like state on top of the water. Next the properly prepared part is immersed into the water, and the upward pressure of the water causes the ink to wrap around and adhere to the item. After the entire item has been immersed, it is removed from the water, cleaned and then coated with a clear coat. Included in the kit is a link to a set of video instructions that walk you through all the steps in the process.

What Is Water Transfer Printing?

Water Transfer Printing Made Easy

Water Transfer Printing Made Easy

MyDipkit is an at home do it yourself version of the commercial process known as water transfer printing, or hydrographics. This allows you to process parts on a small scale in your home. The kit contains the printed film, chemicals, and basic supplies needed for processing parts at home. You will need to provide a container for dipping the items in. You will also need to supply warm water, and the item to be decorated. With this kit you will be able to camo dip your own items.

This is the same process that gun and ATV manufacturers use to print camo patterns on their guns and ATVs. In addition this is the same process that automotive manufacturers use to print wood grain patterns on plastic interior pieces. This process can be done on any part that can be safely submerged under water. The basics steps are:

  • Clean and Prep you part
  • Apply Base Coat
  • Dip your part
  • Clear Coat your part

What Base Coat Color Do I Need?

The base color is the dominating factor in the image transfer. Some of the films offered allow you to adjust the appearance of an image by changing the base color. If you select red or blue then these base colors would give the effect of red or blue. Some patterns are solid and the base coat will have little affect on the pattern, while others have clear areas where the base coat will show through.

How Do I use MyDipKit?

  1. Clean the part: The part must be free of all dirt, oils, wax, grease, loose paint or other contaminants that could affect the finished product.
  2. Prep the part: Mask off areas not to be printed on etc. Use the universal primer to prime the part.
  3. Paint the part: Spray the part with the appropriate base coat.
  4. Dip the part: Item is submerged into dipping container with the film floating on top of the water.
  5. Rinse the part: Rinse the part to remove any residue from the dipping procedure.
  6. Finish coat: Finish the item with the spray clear coat.

How does the Water Transfer Printing Process Work

Products are decorated using a print, which resides on a thin base of water-soluble film. The printed film is placed on the surface of the water, and the base begins to dissolve. A patented activator chemical is sprayed over the film causing the ink to remain floating in an oil-like state on top of the water. Next the properly prepared part is immersed into the water, and the upward pressure of the water causes the ink to wrap around and adhere to the item. After the entire item has been immersed, it is removed from the water, cleaned and then coated with a clear coat.

Clean PartPaint PartRinse Part
Dipping ContainerWater Line

More Information

If you want more information, visit our Videos page, FAQ page or Contact us.

Tips for Picking The Right Dipping Container

The container can be made of any desired material such as plastic, glass or metal. A square or rectangular container is the most desired configuration.The container should be of a size that when you lay your desired part to be processed in the center of the container, you should have two to three inches of space between the sides of the container. Also, the container should be deep enough that when you process your part it will be totally submersed below the water line. Your container can never be too deep, but it can be too shallow.

What is included in MyDipKit?

Entry

Perfect for the first time dipper, contains everything needed to dip items at home. The kit includes:
  • Respirator Mask
  • Latex Gloves
  • Protective Sleeves
  • Scuff Pad (3″ x 4″)
  • 1 Aerosol Activator 4oz
  • 1 Aerosol Top Coat 4oz
  • 1 Aerosol Base Coat 4oz
  • 1 Aerosol Universal Primer 4oz
  • 1 Square Meter of Film 50cm x 2m (19.7in x 6.6ft)

Designer

Need to dip larger or more items? Get everything you need to dip a bigger, or larger amount of items. The kit includes:
  • Respirator Mask
  • Latex Gloves
  • Protective Sleeves
  • Scuff Pad (3″ x 4″)
  • 1 Aerosol Activator 4oz
  • 1 Aerosol Top Coat 4oz
  • 1 Aerosol Base Coat 4oz
  • 1 Aerosol Universal Primer 4oz
  • 2.5 Square Meters of Film 50cm x 5m (19.7in x 16.4ft)

The Dipping Stone

The next level of our Hydrographic dip kit.

If your ready to step on the next stone into the Hydrographic printing industry we are here to help.

Suggested requirements: A HVLP spray gun is included with both kits. These kits require a supporting air compressor and spray booth or open ventilated area. Basic knowledge of applying coatings to products using this type of equipment is essential to achieve quality results.

Each kit comes with a link to a fully detailed video demonstrating each step.

Just like with the standard My Dip kit we provide customer service online and by phone during normal business hours.

Each kit comes with all the commercial grade products used in the water transfer printing industry worldwide. These products are NOT in an aerosol application form.

All films are 50cm wide, 1m wide film for commercial kits may be available in some patterns, contact us for more details and ordering 1m wide films.

What you will need to provide:

  1. Dipping Container: The vessel or container needed for processing. Tips for Picking The Right Dipping Container.
  2. Heated water: You will need to fill your dipping container with heated water. Turn on your sink and allow the water to run until the water is running as hot as it normally does, then fill your container.
  3. Eye protection: Used to protect eyes from chemical splashes when mixing paints, painting and cleaning painting equipment.
 

What Size MyDipKit Do I need?

Detailed instructions for each step are included with the kit.

Think of hydrographics film the same way you think of wrapping paper for presents, the same amount of paper it would take to completely cover the item is the same you will need to wrap the item in hydrographic film.

Item Examples
There are literally endless things you can dip with MyDipKit. If it can be safely submerged into water and will hold a base coat, it can be dipped! Here are a few examples of what you can do with each size kit.

What Size MyDipKit Do I need?

Entry

  • Hand Guns
  • Skull Mounts
  • Games Controllers
  • Light Switch covers

Designer

  • Rifles
  • Bowes
  • Bats / Helmets
  • Household Goods

Designer Elite

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