Coming steps closer to a dystopian future ruled by robotic tattooers, a group of students in France hacked a Makerbot Replicator 3D printer to create a DIY tattoo machine, entitled the 3D Printer X Tattoo Machine project.
According to 3Dprint.com, the team, led by Pierre Emm, participated in Public Domain Remix, an event hosted by the French Ministry of Culture, in which the students had eight hours to hack an electronic device (with some help from LeFabShop). Here's more:
What the group did was replace the extruder of the printer with a pen. This allowed the machine to draw on a person just like they were getting a tattoo. The students were not ready to stop there, so they set out to replace the pen with an actual manual tattoo instrument, and it actually worked. They first tested the machine on an artificial skin material, and found that it worked great, but if they were to proceed on a real human being, many precautions and precise calculations had to be made, and more importantly they had to find a volunteer who would become the "guinea pig" for this procedure. Amazingly, finding someone to volunteer was much easier than they thought.Instructables has step-by-step instructions on the 3D Printer X Tattoo Machine. And check the video below to see how it works.
This isn't the first robotic tattoo, however. As we wrote back in 2011, in our Auto Ink: Chris Eckert's Automatic Tattoo Machine post, artist Chris Eckert created a robotic sculpture that tattooed a symbol on a person's arm (and not a symbol of the person's choice).
I love the intersection of tattoos and tech, and it's exciting to see how far this will go.
Geek blogs have been blowing up over Nokia's "Haptic Communication" patent application for a device that is either attached to -- or even tattooed into -- the skin and is "capable of detecting a magnetic field and transferring a perceivable stimulus to the skin, wherein the perceivable stimulus relates to the magnetic field."
Essentially, the device could give you a literal buzz when someone calls or texts you. [The sex industry must have some similar patent for this.]
Breaking down the tech so that I even I can understand it, Vlad at Unwired View explains:
Haptic tech is employed, for example, when your phone vibrates as you type on its touchscreen. Haptics deal with appealing to your sense of touch by applying forces or vibrations to your skin.Roberto at Wired notes that "it's unlikely most Nokia users would get inked just so their latest Nokia smartphone could announce the arrival of a text message." I'm not so sure. After posting articles like scannable barcode and augmented reality tattoos as well as numeric control tattoo machines, I'm guessing there are a bunch of people out there willing to try the tech and permanently keep their phones in vibrate mode.
Yesterday, Father Panik gave us his own (special brand of) review of the Star of Texas tattoo convention in Austin, but he wasn't the only one offering reportage of the event. Austin 360 gave a play-by-play (and a small lame sideshow), while TV stations KRQE and Fox Austin posted short videos online of the show. I dig these photos and quick videos because they offer a look at the scene, which helps decide what will be on my convention schedule next year.
The Bangkok International Tattoo Convention also got some nice coverage. Reuters took beautiful photos from the show including the one above, and CNN has a few nice shots as well. Sky News joined in with a video from the floor.
With thousands attending these conventions worldwide -- and the media chasing after us -- you'd think that the debate whether "tattoos have gone mainstream" was thoroughly squashed, but a new study says otherwise.
Texas Tech University's "Body Art Team" [real name] has found "The more body art you have, the more likely you are to be involved in deviance," according to the Chicago Tribune. The swat Body Art Team surveyed 1,753 students at four colleges and reported that the heavily tattooed and pierced drank more, did drugs more, had sex more and cheated in class more. [They add, "For low-level body art, these kids are not any different from anybody else."]
NBC news in Dallas also reported on the study and gave this reasoning behind the results:
To see what tattooed people think about the study, NBC went to a local studio and talked to artists and clients -- who, as expected, laughed at it. Watch their video report below:
The study is somewhat silly in its over-generalization and limited study group: How many of us drank, smoked and fucked more in college? A lot.
But yes, we've seen more young people heavily tattooed and modified in more extreme ways than just a decade ago. I wonder, though, if it's because of a need to rebel or simply because there is greater access to tattoos and mod procedures. Feel free to weigh in in the comments section.
If anyone is pissed off about the popularity of tattoos, it's Helen Mirren, who got her hand tattoo while drunk and lookin' to be baaaad.
Tattoos are not popular enough for Armani, however. They airbrushed those of Megan Fox in their latest undie ad.
Even less scientific than the deviant study: "How tattoos can reveal your lover's personality."
The Marine Corps are also concerned about heavily tattooed (deviant?) soldiers saying that "tattoos of an
excessive nature do not represent our traditional values." Values like Shock & Awe? A new Marine Corps reg tightens and clarifies tattoo policies for active-duty troops; most notably, it "prohibits enlisted Marines with sleeve tattoos from becoming
commissioned officers, even if the tattoos, which were banned in 2007,
had been grandfathered in according to protocol." I know this is wacky but I have no problem with our military lookin'
Real deviants will soon be less likely to get tattooed with new technology that matches tattoos to criminal records. The newest development called "Tattoo ID" helps law enforcement match up tattoos to suspects and victims. For example, the Boston Herald says that "a security camera image of a suspect's tattoo could be checked against an image databank to come up with a short list of suspects." Problem here is that we assume most criminals have artistic acumen for fine art custom tattoos. What about those who picked off some flash from a tattoo shop wall along with tons of other clients? Internet-industry journal IEEE Spectrum asks, "Is a tattoo ... enough of a unique identifier to put someone under suspicion?" A valid question to explore before innocent tattooed people are accused.
In more on the tattoo law front ...
A new tattoo bill in Florida will prohinit those 16 and under from getting tattooed even with parental permission. [Teenagers 16 or 17 years old would still need a parent to sign for them.] The bill also requires every tattoo artist in Panama City to register with the Florida Department of Health.
In South Carolina, however, tattoo rules are being eased. The state's tough tattoo law requires parental consent for tattoos on those aged under 20 years of age, but that restriction will be lifted if a state House bill passes and the Governor signs off on it. An impetus for the change is soldiers under 20 returning to South Carolina after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who want to get tattooed but can't -- they're allowed to be shot at but not tattooed.
On the pop culture tip ...
Check this black light Lost tattoo. The story behind it is pretty cool:
"In the late summer of '08, I took my Lost love to the next level by getting a Dharma tattoo inked onto my ankle. Since my good pal had recently started working at small parlor nearby, we decided to collaborate. I had been wanting to experiment with iridescent ink. My pal had never worked with the stuff, so we struck a deal: I would be his guinea pig if he would spring for the ink.
If you've never heard of it, iridescent ink is a dye that glows under a black light. The tough thing about tattooing with it is that you have to illuminate the surface of the skin just to see what you're doing.
Dharma logo seemed perfect for this technique, with a thick,
recognizable shape....We decided to use the Looking Glass Station's
logo -- a white rabbit inside of the Dharma shape -- a reference to Alice in Wonderland, and the (site) of my favorite Lost episode, the Season 3 finale."
In clear tattoo view, a Baton Rouge man tempts fate with a "Saints Superbowl Champion" tattoo even before this past Sunday's game. Thankfully, they at least made it to the Super Bowl.
Best Headline (and Jersey Shore reference): "This Is Why Cadillac Has an Image Problem.
Worst press release ever. "Tattoo body art is not only a kind of body art but a great way of advertising your business and products as tattoo advertising has many merits compared to other ways of advertising."
And More Quick & Dirty Links ...