AMS Spring 2023

French Tattoo Studio Turns a 3D Printer Into a Tattooing Machine

RAPID

Share this Article

tatoueI got my first tattoo when I was 19. I did it on a whim, picked the design off the wall, and was so freaked out that I shook and the poor tattoo artist had to warn me that if I couldn’t be more still, my design might come out a bit, well, different than I had hoped. Luckily, it came out great, and I discovered that I loved tattoos, and I got more, including a design that I added onto my original tattoo to make it more personalized. I believe that tattoos should commemorate important life events and experiences, and I’ve always associated mine with travel, as I got my first in Toronto and my second in Dublin. For a while I wanted to get a “travel tattoo” any time I went to a new place, but that soon would have left me too broke to travel anywhere ever again.

tat2

I’m thinking now, though, that I might have to make a trip to France specifically to visit Appropriate Audiences, a French tattoo studio that figured out how to turn a 3D printer into a tattooing machine. The idea, which was conceived during a workshop organized by the French Ministry of Culture and held at the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle, seems simple but brilliant. Pierre Emm, Piotr Widelka and Johan Da Silveira, who would later become the founders of Appropriate Audiences, removed the extruder from a MakerBot, replaced it with a tattooing needle, and tatoué was born.

The machine was tested on silicone, and worked like a charm. A simple circle design was uploaded using Autodesk software, and the machine replicated it perfectly. The next step was then to test the machine on a real person. It was a bit of a challenge, the designers said, to work with the curved surface of a human arm, but they were able to tighten and flatten the skin using, of all things, an inner tube taken from a scooter.

tat

We first covered tatoué in 2014, when Appropriate Audiences began using it to tattoo simple designs. Enthusiasm for the invention has been so strong that the designers are now devoting their full-time efforts to improving their machine. They have added a sensor that can read the surface of the user’s skin and adapt to the dimension of the limb and changes in skin texture, enabling a more precise tattoo. Right now, the machine is only capable of tattooing on the arm, which can be inserted into the machine, and the designers say that adapting the machine to tattoo anywhere on the body is their next goal.

tatt

“Making the machine more accessible is a challenge,” the studio said. “And there are many possible future applications – in medicine or in fashion – but our priority is a third version of the machine, which will be able to tattoo any part of the body using a specific architecture. We are currently working on this.”

In the meantime, I’m already planning what I’m going to get inked on me next, as soon as I can travel to France.

You can follow the adventures of the 3D printing machine on Twitter and on Instagram. Check out tatoué in action below:

 

 

Share this Article


Recent News

Department of Defense Buys Large Format Metal 3D Printer from AML3D

Unifying 3D Printing Software for Long-Term Manufacturing Success – AMS Speaker Spotlight



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Sponsored

AI-driven Software is Unleashing Growth in Additive Manufacturing – AMS Speaker Spotlight

Additive manufacturing has been gradually gaining ground, but the road to widespread mass customization, on-demand and serial production has been bumpy. Manufacturers eager to embrace this technology are held back...

Sponsored

The Fight for Clean Data in Additive Manufacturing – AMS Speaker Spotlight

Dirty data costs the additive industry millions of dollars a year. Material parameter development, operational mistakes, or part failure could all be avoided if reliable, detailed and comprehensive data about...

New Mitsubishi Electric Automation Software Simulates Production Lines for 3D Printing

Mitsubishi Electric Automation, a U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese multinational, has announced the release of MELSOFT Gemini 3D Simulator Software. MELSOFT Gemini 3D is a digital platform designed for simulating...

AME-3D Taps AMFG Automation Software to Strengthen 3D Printing & Vacuum Casting

According to SmarTech Analysis in its “Opportunities in Additive Manufacturing Software Markets 2023” report, this market is expected to grow faster than previous projections showed, as it’s “evolving at a...