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Hydrographics services

Sorry, but our Hydrographics services are currently unavailable while we are trying to find larger premises.

Hydrographics, hydro dipping, water transfer printing - there are quite a few names for this process, but they all do the same thing.

So then, what exactly is this process?

In a nutshell, hydrographics, or hydro dipping, is the process used to transfer a printed pattern, on a sheet of film, to a flat or 3 dimensional shape by immersion in water.

Technically, there is a lot more to it than that, but this is the process in layman's terms;

  • Prepare the item (rub it down, prime it and add a base colour)
  • Lay the film on top of water in a specialised water tank
  • Dissolve the film, leaving the pattern floating on top of the water
  • Submerse the prepared item through the pattern and into the water
  • Shake of the excess
  • Rinse the item off
  • Dry it
  • Lacquer it
  • Done.

 What can you dip?

You can dip pretty much anything that is non-porous; metal, plastic, wood etc. The only real limit is the size of the tank.

This means you can now have detailed 'airbrush quality' graphics applied to an almost unlimited number of items; car parts (wheels, mirror backs, spoilers, interior trim), bike parts (wheels, fairings, fuel tanks), computer and gaming cases-controllers, gun stocks, crash helmets, phone cases... the list goes on.

How durable is it?

The durability will depend mainly on the quality of the lacquer used. As in all things, you get what you pay for.
By using a premium grade lacquer, our items will last for many, many years. Unless you lose them, blow them up, or run over them etc..

What type of patterns are available?

The range of patterns and graphics available have increased significantly over the years. Among the 'currently' popular patterns are carbon fibre effect, camouflage (or camo) and natural wood effects.

How long does it take?

The actual 'dipping' part of the process is completed within several minutes. However, the preparation and finishing is the time consuming part. Depending on how busy we are, the state of the item and how large/many components require dipping, we normally require 3-5 working days from receiving the item to us posting/delivering the item back.

How do I get my parts to you?

You can send your items to us by post and we will return them by courier (standard £10.00 charge for this service), drop the item off to us (contact and address details here), or we can collect and drop off within a 20 mile radius of our address (standard £25.00 charge for this service).
In all cases, please clearly mark the items with your name and address to avoid any confusion or mix up with similar parts/items.

And how much does it cost?

The prices for dipping are not just dependant on the size of the item, but also on the time required to prepare the item.
For example, a brake calliper and a small Thermos flask would be roughly the same surface area. However, it would take a lot more preparation for the calliper than it would for the flask.

All of our prices include rubbing the item down, applying both the primer and base colour, dipping and then finally lacquering it, before returning it to the customer.

In all cases, we would ask for the part that is to be dipped, to be removed, stripped down and thoroughly cleaned before dropping it off, or sending it to us. Any extra cleaning and preparation on top of our normal service would be chargeable.
This includes all car and bike parts, laptops PC's and game stations, controllers etc.

Below is a typical example price list for some of the most popular items that can be dipped. Please bear in mind that prices will vary due to the above information;

Car parts

 Item Price
*Wheels - undamaged or minimal damage (each)
From £  50.00
Mirror backs (each) From £  30.00 (£50.00 per pair)
Interior trim parts - Gear knobs, centre consoles etc From £  15.00
Front and rear spoilers From £100.00

 *This price is for a 15" wheel. The price increases by £10.00 per inch increase in wheel size e.g. 15" = £50.00  16" = £60.00

Bike parts

 Item Price
Wheels - undamaged or minimal damage (each)
From £  70.00
Mirrors From £  40.00 (£70.00 per pair)
Fuel tanks
From £110.00
Mud guards/Huggers
From £  45.00
Fairings (Front, side, belly pan, seat cowls etc) From £  25.00
*Brake callipers (each) From £  40.00

*Brake callipers have to be fully stripped and cleaned - pistons, bleed nipples, unions removed, brake fluid removed and flushed.

Miscellaneous parts

 Item Price
Full face crash helmets
From £110.00
Open face crash helmets From £  85.00
Welding masks, hard hats etc From £  55.00
PC cases (mini, midi tower, full tower etc) From £  40.00
Games consoles From £  35.00
Controllers/mice From £  15.00
Air/paintball gun stocks From £  80.00

As with everything else, the parts to be dipped must be completely stripped; any gun components still actually attached to the gun (Yikes!!!) will not be accepted and immediately returned; all PC's/consoles/controllers must have all electronics removed and must not be attached to a chassis of any sort.

Didn't see the item you want dipped in the list? Please contact us to see if we can do it and how much it would cost.