Paris Designers Combine 3D Printing with Tattoo Art
Paris design studio Appropriate Audiences has combined a 3D printer with a tattooist’s needle to form an automated tattoo “printer” that can create indelible artworks on skin. Tatoué is a cross between a Makerbot 3D printer and a tattooist’s needle – a small handheld machine that inserts ink into a person’s skin using a sharp point, puncturing the skin up to 150 times per second.
Appropriate Audiences adapted software produced by Autodesk to turn tattoo designs into digital files that can be downloaded to the machine. The user then inserts a limb into the printer, and the needle draws the design into his/her skin. The needle replaces the part of the printer that would usually extrude melted plastic to make objects and has been adapted using bespoke 3D printed parts. A sensor reads the surface of the skin of the user, meaning the needle can respond to changes in skin texture and the dimensions of the limb.