HYDROGRAPHIC FILMS

TSAUTOP is a one-stop solution hydro dipping supplier, provides a hydro dip machine, hydro dip kit and hydro dipping film for our customers. TSAUTOP water transfer printing film width is 0.5m,1m,1.3m, the thickness is 30μm and 40μm, we update hydrographic film every month, develops 2000 patterns every year.  So you don’t need to worry about the popularity of hydrographic film patterns, and if you have an excellent design that you want to make, TSAUTOP also provides customized production for your pattern. If you want to get the catalog of our hydro dip film, you can download our WTP film catalog.

Anyway, TSAUTOP can solve any problems with hydro dipping, if you want to start a hydro dipping business or you have any questions about hydro dipping, you can get the ideas and answers from our website, or you are also welcome to contact us for more details.

TSAUTOP wants to help anyone who wants to know more about hydro dipping. 

TSAUTOP show some hydrographic film categories here, you can choose the category you like and click to know more patterns under this category, if you can’t find the lovely pattern, please contact us, we still have more patterns.

TSAUTOP® HYDROGRAPHIC INTRODUCTION

TSAUTOP’S GUIDE TO WATER TRANSFER PRINTING

Are you interested in water transfer printing but you’re feeling overwhelmed about how to start?

Well, luckily, we have prepared a handy guide for you to get to know WTP, from A-Z.

What are we waiting for?

Let’s get started.

  • Who is TSAUTOP® Hydrographics?

WHAT IS WATER TRANSFER PRINTING?

  • What materials is it suitable for?
  • Is water transfer printing durable?
  • What items can be printed?
  • Can you do water transfer printing at home?
  • What are the advantages of water transfer printing?
  • What are the disadvantages of water transfer printing?
  • What is the activator for water transfer printing?
  • How to do water transfer printing
  1. Introduction
  2. Training in water transfer printing
  3. Equipment
  4. Support
  • Customization
  • How is water transfer printing done?
  1. Preparing the item for printing
  2. Primer and base coating
  3. First drying
  4. Preparation of the dipping tank and dipping
  5. Post-dipping wash
  6. Second drying
  7. Final coating for protection
  • TSAUTOP® Hydrographics and your business
  • Water transfer printing today

WHO IS TSAUTOP® HYDROGRAPHICS?

TSAUTOP® Hydrographics is a one-stop water transfer printing solutions and training company.

We are committed to promoting the water transfer printing industry globally.

We achieve this by being a leading manufacturer of equipment to build your own business, providing training, and producing high-quality prints.

We have solutions for any and all of your printing needs, including assistance in integrating water transfer printing into your own business as an OEM.

 

WHAT IS A WATER TRANSFER PRINTING?

Water transfer printing, also known as hydro dipping, is a popular and professional way to add design and graphical interest to your product.

It involves preparing an item with a primer and a base coat, then dipping it into a water-soluble film in water with an activator.

This method allows the print to smoothly cover all the angles, nooks, and crannies of any object smoothly producing an excellent print.

 

WHAT MATERIALS IS IT SUITABLE FOR?

Provided the material is not excessively porous, any material can be used.

Everything from ABS plastic, to metal, wood, stone, and even glass.

IS WATER TRANSFER PRINTING DURABLE?

Water transfer printing is extremely durable after gloss paint on the surface, resistant to scratching, chipping, and fading.

With the best quality prints, the print will last as long as the item it is printed on.

This doesn’t mean the print must be permanent though.

If you decided you wanted it changed, it would always be a simple matter of just painting over it.

A great advantage of this method of printing.

WHAT ITEMS CAN BE PRINTED DIPPED?

Whatever is required, especially items which have an unusual shape that would make them difficult to print on by other methods.

On the internet, you can easily find people hydro dipping all kinds of items.

These stunning crocs, this incredible mopedcar parts, and even rifles

 

Can you do water transfer printing at home?

Yes! Water transfer printing can definitely be done at home.

All that would be required are the films, activators, paints and primers for the basecoat, and a large tank to perform the dipping.

If you don’t have budget for the hydro dip tank, you can use other container to replace it and keep the water as 28-35 degrees when you dipping.

 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF WATER TRANSFER PRINTING?

There are many advantages to printing using the hydro dipping method.

  • Can be used on almost any material

 

Firstly, you have a great option of materials that can be printed upon and the only limit is what you can imagine.

Water transfer printing produces a very clean, precise and sharp image on any material that you might use.

 

  • Greater designs to choose:

 

Compared to other methods of printing such as powder printing, there is a much greater array of possible designs that can be printed.

 

  • Can dip the difficult shaped item:

 

Water transfer printing can also be used on objects of more unusual or difficult shape as the pattern will always neatly adhere even in the hard-to-reach places.

 

  • Easy to start hydro dipping by TSAUTOP:

 

Due to the help provided by TSAUTOP and their printing training, hydro dipping is also something that you, as an OEM, could incorporate into your own business.

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF WATER TRANSFER PRINTING?

Of course, there are a couple of downsides with water transfer printing which it is important to mention.

People often find that compared with the price of powder printing, water transfer printing can be somewhat more expensive.

It is worth remembering, however, that the water transfer method offers a far greater range of options than powder, often produces a better-quality print, and has more availability for customization.

In fact, in the longer term, especially as a business, it makes more sense to invest in water transfer printing as your larger range of higher quality items will easily make up the money.

The second downside you might hear about is the problem of “distorted” prints.

This is really something which only affects new starters or those without the necessary equipment.

To tackle this issue, you could easily invest in an effective hydro dipping training  and some high-end equipment.

For example, a machine such as Tsuatop fully automatic hydrographic equipment fully automates the entire process from start to finish, requires only a single-employee to operate, and will consistently produce perfect prints.

This is largely thanks to the stable robotic dipping arm and the precise control the machine has over the temperature of the dipping tank water.

WHAT IS THE ACTIVATOR FOR WATER TRANSFER PRINTING?

The activator could be described as the secret ingredient.

The activator is applied onto the film as it floats on the water, it then dissolves the film-forming it into a liquid and preparing it for the item to be dipped.

HOW TO DO WATER TRANSFER PRINTING

To start your own journey into WTP, follow these steps to get yourself started and delve into the world of hydro dipping.

  1. Introduction

The first place to begin is to know what to do.

By reading this guide you are making a good start and more articles can be found on TSAUTOP®’s blog to walk you through every step.

  1. Training in water transfer printing

Once you have read all the information you need, it’s time to get started.

As with anything requiring solutions and machinery, safety comes first.

To ensure your safety while making your prints, it would be best to look into a robust training course.

This is something that could be booked for a group or even a single employee if you are looking for a specialist for your business.

  1. Equipment

With your knowledge in mind and your training complete, it’s time to organize some equipment.

Here is a quick rundown of everything you would need to get yourself going.

  1. Sandpaper

The sandpaper is used to prepare your item for dipping.

Ideally, you want a range of sandpapers, probably starting from medium (80 – 120 grits) and going up towards the very fine (220 – 240) or even extra fine (280 – 320).

Which grade you use really depends on your item and its material

 

  1. A paint spray gun

Your spray gun will be used to apply your primer and basecoat.

It’s important to clean it well between uses, especially when switching paint types or colors.

  1. A dipping tank

This is what you will use to dip your object into the film with the activator.

Depending on your requirements there are many to choose from, some much simpler than others, so it’s important to research tanks well.

You can find a wide range with detailed hydro dip equipment specifications for any kind of hydro dipping job.

  1. Drying system

The kind of drying system you use again is dependent on your own specific job requirements.

Sometimes it really can be as simple as allowing your prints to dry naturally in the air or sun, but of course, there are more technical options available.

For larger orders, it is a necessity to find a powerful and controlled drying machine that will allow you to maximize both quality and efficiency.

TSAUTOP’s drying line is such a machine, specialized for all necessary drying requirements.

  1. A washing system

After dipping, the excess film will be clinging to the item and so it must be immediately washed.

Although this is something that can be done on a smaller scale, a true rinsing machine can guarantee no unnecessary water loss and a clean wash.

 

  1. Support

Your relationship with TSAUTOP does not simply end with training and equipment, in fact, they continue to support you throughout the process.

TSAUTOP is committed to promoting the water transfer industry and in helping you to grow your business and will be on hand for whatever you may require.

CUSTOMIZATION

Customization is perhaps the biggest selling point of water transfer printing and its main advantage over other printing methods.

You may be asking, is it possible to use my own designs for water transfer printing?

Yes, it is certainly possible.

In fact, a leading hydrographic business will be able to work with you to design and produce your own patterns.

This is just one of the services that TSAUTOP can provide for you.

After having helped you produce your design, TSAUTOP will then send you a free hydro dip film sample within two weeks so that you can get a feel for the end result.

Besides this, TSAUTOP offers a vast range of their own designs which are suitable for many different usages.

One of the effects that really draws people into using water transfer printing is its ability to create very natural and organic-looking prints.

For example, take a look at these wood grain hydrographic film.

Cartoon and cell-shaded type patterns are in great demand and have a wide range of usages such as this sample collage below.

HOW IS WATER TRANSFER PRINTING DONE?

By this point, you are no doubt curious as to how the process of water transfer printing actually works.

Here is our step-by-step that will provide you with an overview of how these prints are done.

  1. Preparing the item for printing

Firstly, the item needs to be made ready for the process to begin.

Objects will often have imperfections, sometimes rather large, that could compromise the quality of the end result.

The sandpaper will be used to remove these imperfections, as well as to provide a better surface for the primer and base coating to cling too.

It’s important to wash the item well too to remove grime, dust, and oil which would also affect the print quality.

 

  1. Primer and base coating

To apply the primer and base coating to the best possible standard, you should set your spray gun so that the paint emerges as a fine mist.

The primer should be applied lightly, allowed to dry, and then applied in two subsequent heavier coats.

Between each application, you must allow the item around 10 minutes to dry, though depending on conditions this could be much longer.

Repeat these steps for the base coating.

The color you choose for the base coating is according to the pattern you have chosen.

Remember that any transparent parts on the film pattern will be filled in by the base coat.

 

  1. First drying

Once you are done with the base coating, the item should be allowed to dry well.

This is where it would be wise to invest in a drying line such as Tsautop automatic hydro dip equipment dry line, where you can easily control the drying time of the item and would be helpful with larger batches.

 

  1. Preparation of the dipping tank and dipping

The dipping tank must be heated before the item is dipped.

This can take a while depending on the volume of the tank, though again many automated models allow you full and precise control over this and maintain a systematic temperature.

When the right temperature is achieved, the film must have lain upon the surface of the water.

A common question is, which side of the film goes face-down in the water?

When you press the film between your fingers, you will notice that one side is slightly tacky.

It’s this tacky, sticky side that you want to place face-down in the water.

Allow the film some resting time in which you will see it starts to expand and the film will become one with the water.

After a short wait, the activator must be applied with a spray gun in an even layer over the entire film.

You must wait again for the activator to work correctly.

Most printing issues are caused by incorrectly applied activators or by not allowing it sufficient time to work.

When you see that the film has started to act like the surface of the water itself, then you are ready to dip.

This is the most satisfying part of the process and the part that will make you fall in love with hydro dipping.

There are many videos that demonstrate the dipping process.

Hydro dipping videos that captures it very well.

  1. Post-dipping wash

The ink will have adhered and bonded directly with the object during the dipping process however some film will remain on the object.

The item should be washed thoroughly to remove any remaining WTP film.

Don’t worry, the ink will not wash off.

 

  1. Second drying

Now the item must be dried again which will begin the process of sealing the print fully.

Depending on the porousness or size of the object, drying times can vary.

Ideally, you would be able to use a quality piece of drying equipment to ensure the pattern is as good as possible.

 

  1. Final coating for protection

Finally, a top coating should be provided to protect the finished pattern and ensure the longevity of your new print.

This top coating can be matte or glossy as you prefer and should be applied much in the same way as the primer was in the beginning.

After allowing the coating to dry, your water transfer print is complete.

 

TSAUTOP® HYDROGRAPHICS AND YOUR BUSINESS

Hopefully this guide has answered all of your questions about water transfer printing and provided you with a good understanding of how it is performed.

TSAUTOP is a leading one-stop solution manufacturer and supplier for all things related to the industry.

They have a commitment to quality and to promoting the water transfer business both at home and abroad, providing support for all their clients.

Any questions or queries you may have, they are on hand to answer and provide you with everything from technical support to additional training.

In this way, they ensure a profitable relationship as you grow and expand your own business through the medium of water transfer printing.

 

WATER TRANSFER PRINTING TODAY

Water transfer printing is a growing industry.

A quick look at Google Trends is enough to show that interest in water transfer printing is rising at a dramatic rate in recent years.

As your business grows, integrating water transfer printing will be a good move for the years to come.