Would You Get a 3D Printed Tattoo?

The future of tattoo art may be 3D printing.

The team at Appropriate Audiences, with the help of 3D printing company Le FabShop, successfully hacked an existing 3D printer to turn it into a tattoo printing machine they call Tatoue.

Using a standard tattooist’s needle, the machine makes up to 150 punctures a second. Sensors adjust the tattoo needle based on the texture of the skin and the presence of muscle and bones.

The first human subject was tattooed back in 2013. With the 3D printed device, they were able to make a perfect circle on the subject’s skin. Yet, eventually, even the most intricate designs will be a possibility.


“Anything you want can be designed on the computer, and replicated onto the skin. We are still working to develop the software in order to produce something that is more user-friendly, particularly for tattoo artists,” Appropriate Audiences said back in 2014.

It is yet to be seen if people will be willing to allow a machine to make an indelible mark on their bodies by puncturing their skin, but the team of Appropriate Audiences are moving forward and working with existing tattoo artists to learn how their tattoo should best work on human beings.

“The next step for us would be to travel and meet as many tattoo artists as possible, in an effort to discover new practices and techniques throughout the world,” a spokesman for the group behind the 3D printed machine hack said.