Start a Hydrographic Printing (Water Transfer) Business

Hydrographic printing (also known as Hydrographics, immersion printing, water transfer printing, water transfer imaging, hydro dipping or cubic printing) is a printing technique that allows you to apply printed designs to three-dimensional surfaces. A video is probably a better illustration as it’s not a widely known technique:

The business
Hydrographic printing can print or dip various items from car and motorbike engine parts, interiors and exteriors, to knives, guns bows and other outdoor gear. It can also be used on watches, sunglass frames, guitars, helmets, game controllers, golf clubs, cellphone covers and lots of other items.

Now, this is a niche business, it is a bit costly, and so you often get aficionados as clients (someone that just use their motorbike to work is not going to spend R1000 to R2000 to hydro dip their tank).

Hydro dipped motorbike tank

Equipment needed
While there are large profits to be made it also has a bit high of a setup cost (Starting at R50 000 for full commercial kit, you also need some training and practice), equipment and material you will need include:
Dip tank
Rinse tank
Spray gun, touch up gun

Materials needed
Transfer film
Activator, primer
And some other extras.

This is one of those printing businesses that you should start if you already have a source of work, maybe you are familiar with a motorcycle shop owner or club, and then they can send you work. It’s a bit of a professional high-end printing technique. If you looking for something similar but cheaper then you best to look at a novelty printing technique such as sublimation printing where you can get started with 1/10th of the capital. You don’t have to look at the usual mugs and t-shirts (which is fairly saturated) there are a variety of different things that can be sublimation printed.

Image credits: Team-BHP, Pinterest

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