Hydrographics are a cosmetic finish we apply to Multi Jet Fusion parts using graphics that are printed on a soluble sheet substrate. When the sheet is placed in water, and activator is applied, the substrate dissolves and the graphics are left on the surface of the water. The MJF part is dipped through the graphics which transfer them onto the part in a “wrap” fashion.
The graphic is relatively durable, but can be further improved by a clear topcoat that can be either glossy or matte. There is a huge range of graphics available including wood grains, carbon fiber, diamond plate, camo, metallic, leather, etc. Hydrographics add very minimal thickness, with the clear topcoat adding just 0.005”.
Careful consideration needs to be taken to avoid a “stretching” effect with grained patterns such as carbon fiber, leather or even wood grain. Also, the graphic film may not reach some pocket or “deep draw” features since the graphic becomes too thin as it stretches. However, we at GoProto have utilized this technique extensively on MJF parts and are happy to help determine the best hydrographic for your specific design.