Tested: Hydro Dipping Carbon Fiber Blaster Grips!

For Adam’s Star-Lord cosplay last year, he assembled a pair of blasters based off of 3D-printed parts. The carbon fiber grips were finished using water transfer film in a process called hydro dipping. Jen Schachter took the lead on that part of the build, and walks Adam through the lessons she learned in wrapping hydrographic film around a complex shape. It’s a very rewarding process!

Comments (9)

9 thoughts on “Tested: Hydro Dipping Carbon Fiber Blaster Grips!

  1. Hey Adam, have you considered doing actual carbon fiber layup for things like this? It’s not _that_ complicated of a process…

  2. Want to do your own hydro-dipping after our how-to? Here’s what we used:

    Hydrographics Water Transfer Film https://amzn.to/2TbpRbk

    Hydrographic Aerosol Activator https://amzn.to/39RgljK

    Joule Sous Vide tool https://amzn.to/35BINmq

    Krylon Colormaster metallic silver spray paint https://amzn.to/39RgnIo

    Tamiya TS-42 light gunmetal spray paint https://amzn.to/35yvl2D

    Krylon gloss clear coat spray paint https://amzn.to/37PrKim D

    Disclaimer: Tested may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through the links here.

  3. I wonder how the pros get around the problem with the leftover activator in the water? I’ve seen them doing it and it’s usually in huuuge baths, so presumably they’re not draining it down every time.

    for these particular objects, do you think it would help to pre-cut small holes in the film where the holes in the handle are, to help that internal wrap, or does it split and open up well enough by itself?

    Great video, I’ve always been mesmerised watching this being done, so it’s cool to know it is somewhat approachable for us mortals.

  4. Cool! Been waiting for this one as I wasn’t sure how to do both sides. Thanks for solving it.

    I was thinking about trying to mask one half while dipping the other to get a cleaner line at the seam. I wonder if that would work or if you tried it?

    Cheers!

  5. I’ve never tried it but it seems like it’s fragile enough after the dip that you could quickly scrub off your mistakes and try again as you practice instead of making dozens and dozens of sacrificial parts for learning.

  6. Hydrographic dipping is such an interesting way of applying textures. My favorite is a video from a SIGGRAPH technical paper from a while ago that takes it a step further and makes texture wrapping literal. I don’t know if it ever progressed beyond what they show in the video, but I hope something came of it. Here’s the demonstration video that accompanied the paper:

    https://youtu.be/YlUhPrAqiY0

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