3D Print Finishing with Hydrographic Film

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to apply hydrographic film to your 3D prints.

Hydrographics is a process where water is used to transfer graphics onto 3 dimensional objects. Perfect for 3D prints. There are a lot of places to get hydrographic film but I got mine from: http://www.dip123.com/ and don’t forget the spray activator.


First gather your supplies. You will need:

  • a bucket or tank wide enough and deep enough to dip your print into.
  • a mask or respirator for painting
  • at least one glove for dipping
  • scissors
  • the spray activator
  • the hydrographic film
  • your 3D print

  1. Cut your film so that it will cover your print
  2. I like to glue a small handle on the bottom of my print that I can hold onto when dipping. I just use some scraps that I have lying around.
  3. Fill your tank with water.
  4. Place the hydrographic film down on top of the water with the glossy side of the film toward the water.
  5. Wait about 2 to 3 minutes. The film will wrinkle and then stretch back out. You need this to happen before you spray the activator.
  6. Now shake the activator can really good and give the top of the film a light spray.
  7. You have about 10 seconds after you’ve sprayed the film to dip your object.
  8. Dip your object slowly to allow the graphic film to wrap around your object. I then give the object a little twist to disconnect it from the film.
  9. Remove your print and allow it to dry overnight.

Want more 3D print finishing techniques, check out how to Water Marble Your 3D Prints.