Do tattooers dream of electric sheep? Maybe not at the moment, but a new machine that was built at France’s Culture Ministry has given us a glimpse into the future. At least, the Daily Mail would have you think that this is the future- I’m not so convinced. The machine was made by some students in the ministry, from a modified 3D printer, and they used it to draw a perfect circle on the skin, to show how accurate the machine is.
From the Daily Mail (don’t judge me):
‘The big difficulty was to repeat the same exercise on a curved surface and on a material that has much more flexibility than silicone,’ Mr Emm told NPR.
The students explored different methods of holding the skin taut where the tattoo was planned, including a metal ring and elastic bands, but finally settled on a tube with an open area where the skin was to be marked.
They did not find it hard to find a brave volunteer eager to gain the accolade of having the first robot tattoo.
Honestly, it’s kind of cool that we’ve managed to push technology to a point where we can use a machine to tattoo a person. There may even be a specific time when this might come in really handy. I can’t think of any good times, but maybe I’m being pessimistic. It is cool that it’s possible, but that doesn’t mean that anyone should do it.
While this machine can draw a perfect circle, it will never be able to get a proper feel for your skin- no one’s skin is exactly the same, and the layers in some people’s skin can be different in size, meaning that a tattooer may have to go a little deeper or shallower in different parts of a tattoo. A tattooer can tell when they’re fucking up, where an incorrectly aligned machine will keep going. A tattooer can tell when you’ve had enough, when you might be sick, or when you’re going to move, and they don’t need to clamp you into a machine to try to hold you still!
There are videos, and shockingly there are also ‘how to’s online, which show you the whole process. I don’t really want to post those because I don’t like to encourage anything dangerous or anything that will make you loo stupid permanently. If you ask any tattooer though, they’ll tell you how dumb this is. If this was a machine a tattooer could control to keep them away from your stinkin’ feet, then they’d be all over it! Until then, though, don’t try this at home!