Hydrographics (also known as hydro dipping, hydro imaging, fluid imaging, hydrograghic printing) is a 3D decorating process. Graphics such as carbon fibre, woodgrain, camouflage, geometrical patterns are applied to decorate the items.
The Hydrographics process is used worldwide to decorate a variety of items, from aeroplane interiors to very small items like cell phone cases. Films can be applied to all kind of materials including plastic, wood, fibreglass, metal, and ceramics. For the most part, if the item can be dipped in water, the water transfer printing process can be applied.
This process utilises a water-soluble film that contains the printed designs. Once an activator has been applied, the film dissolves and leaves the ink on the surface of the water. The process requires good preparation and the item to be decorated is firstly coated with a primer. After the primer dries, a base coat paint is applied to match with the pattern. So, for example, woodgrain prints often utilise a brown base coat and many camouflage patterns use specific base colour.