For some years now we have allowed robots to build the cars that we drive and the vacuum the road that we drive now. Now let’s ask ourselves if we are ready to allow these robots to give permanent tats to our body.

During a recent electronic workshop which was held at the ENSCI-Les Ateliers Design School in Paris, a group of students decided to modify a MakerBot extruder for a pen. Within a few hours the extruder had changed into a pen which could draw simple and short squiggle on skin. These generated temporary tattoos, the team then decided to add a few parts from the standard tattoo machine and the result of this addition was impeccable. A printer which could give permanent tattoos! The concept behind this is that a normal 3D printer creates objects by layering the melted plastic in this case a single layer of ink was used. The first design was very simple as it was a circle and the robot managed to pull it off with utter precision. The design was created in regular modeling software. As of now the printer can draw only simple figures and outlines. Human skin is flexible and curved which makes printing on skin a challenge. A tattoo artist while tattooing a person holds the skin tight so that the needle just gets into the upper layer of the skin whereas in this case ensuring that the skin is taut and flat is the biggest problem.

The first tattoo was made on simulated skin and after the success at this level finding volunteers to get inked was child’s play.

Image Credit: instructables.com