Hydro Dripping: The Easiest Way to Print Complicated Colors to 3D Printed Objects
Over the years, there were many innovations done to improve printing techniques. This comes along with the increased fabrication speed and improved raw materials used. But one amazing breakthrough is the discovery of 3D printing that allows 3D printing to objects even with the use of complicated colors and patterns. On top of all these, this can be done at a low cost. Such method is called “hydro dripping”.
Printers that can print variety of colors and designs have been with us for some time now. However, it is a fact that not many of us can afford these expensive industrial machines. But recent development called hydro dripping allows consumers to color objects using standard 3D prints from a 3D printer.
Another term for hydro dripping is “hydrographic printing” or “water transfer printing” where manufactured objects can be added with patterns and colors speedily on any manufactured object. This is done with the use of a transparent thin sheet film which bears the pattern and colors. This is dipped on a tub of chemically added water. It has to be laid flat and allow to stay for 60 seconds. Once done, the object will be dipped slowly to the film on the water. And designs and color on the film will bond to the object as it wraps around it.
Hydro dripping has been employed for decades now on many different products. However, this has its own sets of flaws as well. It is hard to use this process for printing that requires precision placement. This is because the dunking process can be unpredictable. It is hard to determine at what specific points of the film will stick with the object. If you are working on a car model’s scaled Formula for example, you have in no way know where the decals, sponsor logos and other featured decals will end up.
However, Zheijiang University and Columbia University are now working to perfect the flaws of the process through creation of stretching simulation during the transfer process and the application of such changes to the film. With the use of computational hydrographic printing, more accurate designs can be possible. This can be done by using precise control of the object’s orientation as well as its dipping location. And ordinary users need not fret about this since the entire system was made on an off-the shelf hardware. Hence, this can be set up with ease even by ordinary users.