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Would You Get a Tattoo From a 3D Printer?

Would You Get a Tattoo From a 3D Printer?

Posted By: John Published: 30/12/2015 Times Read: 152 Comments: 0

It’s a question never before asked: would you get a tattoo from a 3D printer? While you sit and ponder that, we’re here to discuss the technology behind the latest piece of tech to emerge from the world of 3D printing – the 3D Printer Tattoo Machine.


Developed by a team of French inventors, the 3D Printer Tattoo Machine combines the pioneering technology behind the world’s leading 3D printers with traditional tattooist gadgetry to create an automated device capable of “inking” human skin.


The concept behind the machine is simple and similar to any other 3D printer; a tattoo design is sent to the machine, whereby it is processed and delivered to the surface via a series of pre-defined motions. Unlike other printers however, the 3D Printer Tattoo Machine must understand the depth, shape and size of the subject within the machine – something that proved tricky for developers.


In the early stages of development, the designers – led by Pierre Emm – tested the technology on pieces of silicone, before a brave a volunteer finally agreed to become the first person ever to receive a permanent tattoo from a 3D printer. The experiment proved successful; the machine quickly drew a perfect circle on the forearm of the plucky volunteer using regular tattooing ink – demonstrating its accuracy, precision and speed.


As well as 3D printer technology, the 3D Printer Tattoo Machine also utilises Haptic technology; a form of tactile feedback normally used in video game controllers to provide a sensory experience for players. The machine uses this tech to produce a 3D map of our world, which it uses primarily for navigational purposes.


So, does this spell the end for the tattoo trade? Not likely. Whilst there has been much hype surrounding the pioneering new technology, the machine has been met with harsh criticism from tattoo purists who believe it’s impossible to replicate the skill, creativity and control of a tattoo artist.


That said, the 3D Printer Tattoo Machine marks yet another milestone in the evolution of 3D printing technology, and one can’t help but wonder just where the technology will head next. 

Image sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: David Bakker.


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