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topic 5003

Water Transfer Printing: Dip Printing Process

A discussion started in 2000 but continuing through 2017


Q. To whom it may concern,

I hope that you can be of some help, in either answering my question, or directing me to someone who can help.

I am an importer of resin products (frames, vases, urns and other decorative items). On a recent business trip, I saw a finished resin product that was amazing. The resin product had the finish of a natural piece of wood. I asked about the process of finishing and they commented that it was "Dip Printing". I am not sure that is the real name or not.

From what I understand, the resin piece is submersed into a liquid (that has the colour that is desired on the final product) bath. On the surface of the liquid is a "film" that has the design (natural wood, marble or other). As the piece is "dipped" into the bath, the resin piece is coated by the film, and thus picks up the final design and colour.

I have no idea what this process is called. I would very much appreciate your help in finding out what this process is.

I am looking to purchase this system and use it in our installations.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanking you in advance,

Nizar Jalbout
- Valencia, Spain


A. Dear nizar,

The system you have seen is a patent off a Japanese company. The name is Qubick painting.The installation is very expensive. I have a good alternative. Prime the resins, spray a colourmix on the primer (black and brown), take a very aggressive solvent and dip with a piece of cotton on the mixing coulor--then you get a wood effect. Lastly you protect it with a high gloss or matte clear coat.

good luck,

jan rijn
- goes holland

"How to Make Money with 3-D Printing"
by Jeffrey Ito

from Abe Books
info on Amazon

3-D Printer


A. The process you are referring to is called 3D printing. Different companies call it different names. There are two options - hot process for metals and glass in fairly regular shapes and cold process for heat sensitive materials, glass, wood and metals in irregular shape.

Mahendra V. Sakariya


A. The process is called dip-printing.

Jasmine Uddup
- Milton Keyes, UK


A. Hello

The process is called by many different names, cubic printing, water transfer printing, emrison printing, 3d printing, dip printing and some more I am sure that I have forgot to list.

Andy Corp
- Warsaw, Indiana, USA


Q. I too am interested in this process. Can someone direct me for more information.

Or the name of a manufacturer for this equipment?

Thank You,

Paul McConnell
- Vero Beach, Florida, USA

June 2017

A. I think Andy was right, above. "Water Transfer Printing" or "Hydrographics" are probably the most common names for google searches. A film, rather like a soluble decal, is floated on the surface of a tank of water. As the parts are picked up out of the tank, the film wraps over the part.

A wood finish is one possible pattern, but there are many. However, to discourage spam, we do not recommend vendors or print commercial suggestions; sorry.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


A. I manufacture novelty helmets in South Africa and make use of a local company that does dip printing. It is a fairly easy job to do, using a slightly modified printer you print your pic onto a water soluble film. You place the film into a water tray and leave it to turn to a jel. The helmet is then submerged into the gel and then removed. Once dry a clear coat is sprayed onto it to protect it. Hope this helps.

Gregg Aberdeen
- South Africa

Polaroid Transfer
from Abe Books



Q. At several websites I have reached this machine's manufacturers, but the problem is I couldn't find any site of the owner, or manufacturer, please if anyone knows give me the address, that includes, the machine, specs., and price, or something like....

If it's an expensive system, I think manufacturer must have a website? or this system is a secret between system owner's community? :)

Thanks a lot, from now on...

Best regards

Mehmet [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- U.A.E.

Ed. note: We have many threads on the subject right here, Mehmet, or Google "water transfer printing" or "hydrographics". Good luck.


Q. Gregg Aberdeen - novelty helmet manufacturer South Africa: Gregg you mention you use a slightly modified printer to print your film. Could you please give more details of the modification.

Harold Gasparotto
- Sydney, NSW, Australia

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