Being able to finish your 3D printed products with some powerful and funky pizzazz, a required understated look with aluminum coating, or even printed wood or camo can be the difference between a rather boring blob of plastic and a professional looking, polished piece. And from the looks of things at Finuvo, it’s a lot of fun getting ‘dip crazy’ with practically whatever you want.
We’ve covered numerous and sundry different ways to finish 3D prints, from simple sanding and vapor polishing, to water marbling, as well as this fascinating science of hydrographics, which is a process involving the dunking of the 3D model into a liquid containing a decorative film which then automatically wraps around the object.
For more traditional uses, this hydrographics process has been employed heavily by the automotive industry for large-scale projects which use extremely expensive machinery, as well as highly toxic chemicals and materials. One of the reasons hydrographics has always been so expensive in traditional industry is that it’s meant as a high-quality option that one can expect to last indefinitely.
Finuvo has managed to take down the price of the process and put it on a smaller sclae, apply it to 3D printing, and remove the toxicity fright with the first hydrographics printer. The Aqua is to be launched strategically in time for Christmas, and soon to be the center of a Kickstarter campaign. They’ll be posting regular updates on their Facebook page.
The Finuvo Aqua–also referred to as the first water transfer printing station–presents a safe, easy technique that allows for the stunning coating of your 3D printed objects. You can look forward to putting permanent and elaborate designs on nearly anything, with a process as simple as layering the film on top of the hydrographics printer and then immersing your object (this is not limited only to something you produced out of your 3D printer).
“When we say permanent, we mean perfectly solid,” states the team regarding longevity of their product. “The coating will not fade, flake, or crack. We’ve put it on shoes, computer mice, water bottles and tons of other objects and the design is still as brilliant as ever after heavy use.”
Once again, 3D printing sheds numerous constraints previously limiting users such as affordability and accessibility to equipment and products for the hobbyist. Customization is also a key point in the experience with the coupling of 3D design and 3D printing, which allow designers to create, modify, and re-design for new iterations to their hearts’ content.
While currently Finuvo offers a long list of designs, they are planning to make it possible for users to be able to create and dip with their own hydrographics, watching their own innovation come to life with color and vibrancy.
Is this an innovative process you would be interested in supporting on Kickstarter when Finuvo makes their campaign available? We are wondering if you’ve used hydrographics before and how you see this new process changing (literally) the face of 3D printed products. Discuss in the Finuvo Aqua Hydrographics Printer forum thread over at 3DPB.com.