Hydrographics, also known as immersion printing, water transfer printing, water transfer imaging, cubic printing, or hydro dipping, is a method of applying printed designs to three-dimensional objects. The hydrographic process can be used on metal, plastic, glass, hard woods, and various other materials. Hydrographic printing can achieve full 360° coverage of the object surface, including small crevices.
In the OKC-HG process, the substrate piece to be printed is pre-treated to remove any oils or waxes that exist on the part. It is then scuffed, or sanded depending on the substrate, it is primed, sanded, and base coated with automotive paints. The chosen film-pattern is then floated on the surface of temperature controlled water. An activator chemical is sprayed on the film to dissolve it into a liquid and activate a bonding agent. The object is then lowered into the water, through the floating ink layer, which wraps around and adheres to it. After removing the object from the water, it is rinsed thoroughly. And finally an automotive clear coat is applied to protect the design.