Being an artist can be a tough journey, but we can only imagine that journey being a lot harder as a tattoo artist. Why? Well it’s because their canvas is human skin, and not only are skin types different in terms of how well they hold ink, what colors look better on different tones of skin, how elastic their skin is, but it is also because unlike a painting, you can’t “throw away” a messed up tattoo.


Well perhaps in the future tattoos won’t get messed up because it seems that a group of students have managed to take a 3D printer, modify it by attaching a tattoo gun to it, which ultimately resulted in the machine being able to create tattoos on the fly! The team took the MakerBot printer and instead of using a plastic nozzle, it replaced it with a tattoo machine.

So far they have managed to test out their machine on a human skin analog and an actual human being as well with some varying degree of success. The downside to the printer is that it requires a flat surface, and the human body is anything but flat, so with their human subject, they had to use the inner forearm.

The machine managed to tattoo a small circle on the first try, although compared to a seasoned tattoo artist, it wasn’t up to scratch. This is because tattoo artists hold their client’s skin taut when tattooing, while the machine did not have anything or anyone to help it do that, which resulted in the tattoo looking a bit wobbly. It’s an interesting try and we have to wonder if it will ever come the point where machines could replace tattoo artists, but what do you guys think?

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