I actually checked to see if today was April Fool’s but, seeing as how it wasn’t and seeing as how it would be quite simple to recreate this cool piece of hardware, I figured we could check it out. Basically it’s a DIY tattoo machine that uses a Makerbot base with a needle attached to the extruder. To use it you simply strap your arm to the platform (!!!) and wait for the robot to blow some Sailor Jerry ink into your flesh.
Write the creators from Le FabShop:
In one afternoon, they managed to hack a Desktop 3D printer and enable it to trace on skin, using a pen instead of the extruder. The crowd was amazed and the Minister of culture even came to see the projects, but the young designers didn’t want to stop there. They wanted the machine to make REAL tattoos, on REAL skin, so they kept working on the project during their spare time, with some help from teachers and other students.They borrowed a manual tattoo-machine from an amateur tattoo artist and found some artificial skin for the first tests. They chose to draw a simple circle. The perfect shape to test the precision of the process. It worked! But now they had to find a volunteer to be their “guinea pig”…
Somehow, they had no difficulty. A lot of people where excited by the idea of being the first human tatooed by a “robot”.
You can view the complete instructions on Instructables or you can simply watch the video and imagine the future when reality mimics literature and this becomes the machine from Kafka’s The Penal Colony. Regardless, tread carefully when mixing 3D printers, ink, and sharp needles.