Hydro dipping is a fun, hands-on way of adding printed designs to any surface! This process can be done on any material that can hold the base coat and can be submerged into water. Works really well with any 3D printed project, but molded and cast parts also benefit. You’ve probably seen cool videos of motorcycle helmets and ceramic statues being dipped – when done right you can cover an entire shape with colorful ink.
Start by using an ink-jet printer (laser printers won’t work!) and print on your design. Solid, abstract and repeating patterns work best because it can be challenging to line up the artwork when you’re doing the dip. After printing a pattern or design, the thermal paper is floated on top of a vat of hot water. The ink will float, held together by a thin clear polymer layer on the top. Prepare and slowly dip your piece at a 45 degree angle into the water, the image is transferred onto your project. If it doesn’t quite turn out, you can scrub it off before the ink sets.
Note it does take a little practice to get good at this technique, but we have a handy DIY video that takes you through the process with lots of tips!
This thermal paper is A4 size and works best with water-based pigment ink. Comes in a pack of 10 sheets you can cut the sheets down and/or reuse un-printed parts as long as you have enough border space.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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