Wraps & Coverings
Relatively new to the scene, automotive wraps have been advancing in technology on a rapid pace. 3M’s new line of Scotchprint Wrap Films are specifically designed to provide dimensional stability and durability without the need for an over laminate. Basically, that means the stuff is made to be durable and last up to 12 years outdoors (according to 3M), thanks to a UV protective layer. While professional installation is recommended, we happened to get a firsthand preview of how easy the Scotchprint is to install. The pressure-activated adhesive allows you to slide and reposition the film multiple times for fitment, until you apply firm pressure. And thanks to non-visible air release channels, bubbling won’t be an issue either. One word of caution though: The wraps must only be laid on factory paint or high-quality repaints. Even though they are designed to release with relative ease, the adhesive is strong enough to peel paint if the surface beneath was improperly prepped. This stuff is so good that we thoroughly plan to use it in the future on a project.
My Dip Kit is a DIY version of the commercial process known as water transfer imaging. That’s the same process that many automotive manufacturers use to print woodgrain or brushed patterns on plastic interior pieces. Similarly, My Dip Kit allows you to apply a variety of decorative finishes to pretty much any submersible, hard, non-porous surface such as plastic, glass, hardwoods, fiberglass, and metal. It’s actually a very quick and easy way to refinish just about any part. The print itself resides on a thin base of water-soluble film, so when the film is placed in water the base begins to dissolve. An activator chemical is then sprayed over the film causing the ink to remain floating in an oil-like state on top of the water. Next, the part to be coated is immersed into the water, and the upward pressure of the water causes the ink to wrap around and adhere to the item. From there, it’s just clean and then clearcoat. Currently you can choose from camouflage, carbon fiber, metal finishes, skulls, animal prints, woodgrains, and illusion patterns.
Want to see some of these processes put to the test? Watch for web exclusive stories on some of these products on PopularHotRodding.com!