Water Transfer Printing is also known as
\Hydrographics, immersion printing, hydro dipping
Hydro Dipping kits in Australia
The process is a unique, Patented technology. This is the only printing method capable of applying decorative pattern to any 3-Dimensional Product. It has been widely used in many major industrialized countries such as USA, UK, JAPAN, ITALY, SWEDEN and KOREA.
How does hydrographics work?
Specially formulated PVA printed films are chemically treated and then fed out onto the surface of a water tank.
The product is immersed into the softened film so that the natural pressure of the water impresses the ink onto the product.
The plain product emerges from the dipping tank (Hydrographics Machine) decorated with the pattern of your choice.
The residual film is washed away and a top coat is applied to give the product luster and durability.
Like most technical advances the technology sounds simple enough however it requires timing precision and quality products. Backed by years of research, the results are truly impressive.
Hydrographics Main application:
The Origin of Hydro-Dipping
Hydro-dipping finally appears to be gaining mainstream exposure, thanks in part to home hobbyists’ access to online forums and social media channels. But what was the industry like before YouTube and Facebook, or before the internet itself? How different were the practical aspects of the process then from the methods today’s manufacturers employ?
When and by Whom Was Hydrographic Printing Invented?
The earliest patent records credit the invention of water transfer printing to Motoyasu Nakanishi of Kabushiki Kaisha Cubic Engineering in 1982.
A bit technical and over-complicated, but it sounds like they’re talking about a hydro-dipping machine, right? Yeah, they’re totally talking about a hydro-dipping machine. Check out the entire patent article for yourself: http://www.google.com/patents/US4436571.
Accumulated Spherical Granule Immersion Transfer Printing!
Interestingly enough, Mr. Nakanishi also filed for and received patent CA 1149227 A1 – a process identical to water transfer printing but with “a number of fine granules such as, for example, steel balls” used instead of water.
Wisely, Nakanishi realized that Accumulated Spherical Granule Immersion Transfer Printing didn’t have quite the ring to it as does Hydro-Dipping, and thus the process fell to obscurity. Here’s the entire ASGITP patent article: https://www.google.com/patents/CA1149227A1.
Though the patent records are pretty clear, the exact origin of cubic printing is still somewhat of a debatable subject. Case in point, the websites of three different water transfer printing companies state three different company names as being the first to introduce the concept. Only one – Taica Corporation – however, claims to have done it themselves.
Convincing enough. Cubic Co., Ltd. (again renamed Taica Corporation in 2006) invented the process in 1976. Wait, what?
Not to leave things too simple, here’s what TWN Industries has this to say on the matter:
TWN Industries doesn’t lay claim themselves, yet they give credit to Cubic Engineering, not Cubic Co., Ltd.
To make matters even less clear and more Asian, Taita Chemical Company, Limited (read not Taica Corporation) states:
Okay, so multiple organizations give credit to multiple other organizations which may or may not all be the same Japanese organization with multiple names. Got it.