3D Printed Tattoo
We have seen some pretty weird and wonderful adoptions of 3D printing be that printing pasta, a cap that’s not really a cap or the ‘shoe burger’- yes, a burger that is indeed a shoe. Yet none of those are particularly permanent applications of the technology.
However, students from the Paris School of Design have found one and developed a way to 3D print tattoos. The idea makes me squirm but it is one I am surprised has not been tackled already.
It’s a fairly straightforward concept. Using a Makerbot 3D printer the students modified the process to firstly trace designs onto the skin. Though there is not a lot of information out there about the printer at this moment in time, it is understood that the machine was customised by replacing the extruder with a regular tattoo gun – ouch.
The team recently showed the printer at the Geek Picnic in Russia. The event houses a range of techy stuff from robots to a mobile planetarium. But 3D printing seemed to take centre stage with 3D printed textiles, InMoove the open source robot and of course, the 3D printed tattoo machine.
The group has released a series of videos depicting their progress starting with a piece of fake skin and moving on to produce a simple circle tattoo design on a human volunteer. Brave, crazy, thing.
I could actually see this becoming a really useful tool. Perhaps some alterations would be necessary before it could be used in real tattoo studios. What about imperfections in the skin? Does the machine just stop if you pass out?
Aside from that, it looks like quite a simple process but I would not recommend trying this one at home – I can’t imagine volunteers would be flooding in just yet. For now, let’s stick with key-rings and iPhone cases, okay?