Humans are perpetually worried about robots one day taking over their jobs, but we never thought tattoo artists were in danger. French designers Appropriate Audiences made a custom attachment for a MakerBot 3D printer that turned it into a mechanical tattoo artist.
The group first used the MakerBot to create the attachment that would allow the 3D printer to perform a new trick. They installed, tweaked, and tested the automated tattoo machine. They experimented with skin tension and other variables to be sure that, when the contraption was tried out on a human, it wouldn’t horribly maim or dismember that human.
When the team worked out all of the details, a very brave member of the group stuck his arm into the machine and allowed the modified tattoo gun to permanently imprint his skin. The tattoo was just a simple circle, no doubt due to the newness and untested nature of the contraption. In the future, though, we can definitely imagine more complex tattoos being drawn by machines.