No Smoke No Poke

What kind of sorcery is this?! Water transfer printing will blow your mind.

4th December 2013 | BY Adam

I first saw water transfer printing or ‘hydrographics’ on an engine cover last year, printed with skulls. I thought it was a cool effect back then and even though I asked how it was done, nothing prepared me for how effing awesome the whole process looks. I could watch this stuff for hours…

Hit the jump to see the magic.

The process involves the part to be printed being pre-treated and a base coat material applied to it. A film is then printed using rollers like you’d use for a newspaper or magazines, with the image that is to be transferred on to your wheels, dash, panel or whatever. Then the film is floated on top of a vat of water and sprayed with an activator chemical which dissolves it and leaves the surface of the water covered in the sticky ink. You then lower the part to be printed in to the vat, through the floating ink layer and it wraps around and sticks to it. After the part is removed from the water, a top coat is applied to protect the design and hey presto, you’ve got a dash board covered in hundred dollar bills.

Absolutely awesome.

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