Having received nearly 11 million views, the popular ‘Dipping my Hand in Carbon Fiber Film’ YouTube video from El Paso Powder Coating has surely inspired many to take a deeper look into the mesmerizing process of water transfer printing. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before the process worked its way over to the 3D printing circuit and French 3D printing company Le Fab Shop is the first to post on it. In their video, Le Fab Shop president Bertier Luyt uses a DIY hydropgraphic kit that he found online to add a pattern to a pair of 3D printing shoes.

Hydrographics and 3D Printing

Hydrographics are nothing new…although they’ve seen a surge in interest thanks to YouTube videos and social media sharing. In the process, a graphic image is floated on the surface of a vat of water and an activator chemical is sprayed on to help the image’s film dissolve. The piece to be patterned is dipped into the image through the now-dissolved film leaving only ink—which is transferred to the desired object. The method is especially popular with outdoor enthusiasts as it allows them to create and apply camo graphics to everything from firearms to radio accessories.

Source: Le Fab Shop


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.