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Can You Print Your Own Hydrographic Film by Yourself? [Answered]

Hydrographic film printing is a very curious and satisfying job, actually. Nothing is more pleasing than this when you can implement any design you love very much on a specific surface.

Can You Print Your Own Hydrographic Film?

Industrially, printing hydrographic films require much money as production is very costly. But people like me want their own solution and practice it at home.

Some assume that this is not possible to make this on your own. My dear friends, nothing is impossible in the world if you are determined to do this and you have the right source to guide yourself.

In this article, I’ll become the right source for you and will guide about how you can print your own hydrographic film. So stay with us, my beloved readers.

What Is The Hydrographic Film?

What Is The Hydrographic Film

A bunch of magic ink is called hydrographic film that dissolves in water within 60-70 seconds.

Usually, there is a unique ink print on a roll of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). This PVA printing can be separated by peeling off from the paper.

On any OEM (original equipment manufacturers), you can amazingly bring quality colors with excellent finish and precise patterns using the film. But for that, an activator is also needed before you deep the OEM parts.

So hydrographic film means the successful way of designing any OEM parts by dipping and floating special ink in water, waiting until it dissolves, spraying over the activator, and then dipping the thing you want to be printed.

Moreover, this type of film comes in meters, whether it is ½m, 1m, or 1.3m. (1/2 meter=19.7″, 1m = 39.4″).

How to Print Your Own Hydrographic Film by Following Some Easy Steps?

How to Print Your Own Hydrographic Film

When you find any OEM eye-soothing to you because of the design or hydrographic film and intend to buy it from a store, it becomes too expensive.

So why not make it at home? This will reduce your cost and will allow you to design many things that will be helpful for home decor, or you can sell too.

So let’s know how to print your own hydrographic film without any further ado. For your convenience, I’ll discuss it step by step.

Step 1: Gather All Things That Are Going To Be Needed For Hydrographic Film Printing

You have two options here. Either you can buy from any store dissolvable PVA printing hydrographic film or make your hydrographic film stickers at home.

If you choose the second option, then you’ll need a few things. These are –

  1. Blank dissolvable pva paper/sticker/film.
  2. A printer (let me tell you that there are specific hydrographic film printers available in the market)
  3. An activator A.
  4. Spray bottle or spraying mouth for bottle.
  5. Water-based, highly pigmented ink.

Step 2: Make Your Surface And The Printer Ready

Make Your Surface And The Printer Ready

Now you will have to ready the surface, I mean to say ready the dissolvable PVA paper in what length or width you want to print hydrographic film. If you have purchased ready blank PVA, then this is awesome.

Take it forward. It is better if you bring things first, then start printing. Then make your printer ready. Turn on and set all the pigmented water-based colors in the printer.

Step 3: Set Connection Between Your Printer And Computer

To set up the connection between your computer and printer, you can use a network connection or USB cables.

For a network-based connection, follow these steps.

Go to control panel > view devices and printers > connect with your desired printer.

Look, so easy!

For USB connection, just plug the wire from both sides on printer and computer.

Step 4: Work with The Image on Your Computer

Work with The Image on Your Computer to print hydrographic film

When the connection between printer and computer is successfully done, now you should work on the image on your computer. Choose the image to mention the size you want.

It can be 1/2mx1/2m, 1mx1m, 1/2mx1m in length and width. Most of the time, the hydrographic film maintains the same size in length and width, but that depends on your choice.

Step 5: Make A Trial With The Printer’s Colors And The Size You Choose

This step is for new inks; I mean the inks that you haven’t used earlier. When your water-based inks are new, it is obvious that you should give a trial first. For that purpose, choose a normal paper instead of PVA papers.

If the colors are not pigmented enough, then at least your PVA papers will be saved from wasting. Here, you can look at whether the size you choose is perfect or not.

If you find the colors and size perfect, you should go to the next stop. Otherwise, change the color and resize the image.

Step 6: Hydrographic Film Design Implementation Time

After the successful result of the previous steps, you are ready to print your desired hydrographic film. Feed your printer the PVA surface you prepared at step 2. Press ok in your printer, and start counting how long your printer takes to bring you the result.

If you face any problem during the printing, stop printing and retry. If again come to any issue, check your printer and do this job taking some time.

Step 7: Wait To Dry The Hydrographic Film And Apply Activator

Hold it carefully and keep it somewhere straight to dry it when the hydrographic film is out of the printer. The reason behind this is it is very wet now.

Then it would be best if you spray activator A on the printed surface. This is essential if you want to protect the ink.

You can now cut the PVA paper’s extra border if you want. I suggest you do this when this is ready or completely dry.

If you have a hydrographic printer, you will not have to face the wet issue. After printing, just spray the activator a.

Make sure after you spray the activator, you’ll have to wait until it is completely dried out. This is very important for hydrographic film printing.

So when this is dried, you can roll it and keep it for later use.

How to print hydrographic film on OEM?

print Hydrographic Film

You print hydrographic film for OEM parts, right? This implementation is both interesting and amazing. To do this job, follow the given instructions.

#Step 1

Peel off the pva hydrographic film carefully from the heavy paper. Do this job being very careful. If you are not careful enough, the paper will get folded and ruined.

Set a boundary so that the hydrographic film doesn’t spread much. This is significant for a perfect come out. if your hydrographic film measurement is 19×19 inches, then give a boundary of 18.5×18.5.

#Step 2

Now place the hydrographic film carefully in the water. Its specialty is this it get dissolves in water. All the little folds will gradually disappear when you keep this in water. 60-70 seconds is enough to dissolve completely.

#Step 3

Spray activator in the water where the dissolved hydrographic film is. Make sure the spray reaches every corner.

#Step 4

Take your OEM part, pour it gently in the water by taking enough time. When pouring is done, stir it underwater. Your OEM part is beautifully decorated with the hydrographic film.


My dear friends! I have successfully guided you with the easiest way how you can print your own hydrographic film.

I focused on making a to z clear to you in this article. Here you’ll find every detail that relates to hydrographic film printing.

I believe I made the amazing thing more amazing to you if you thought this was too tough.

Thanks, my beloved friends, for staying with me.

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