This 3D Printer Gives Tattoos

April 3, 2014 | Andy Cush

If you’ve been yearning for a more precise hand to give you your next tattoo, a group of French students may have the answer: have a robot do it for you. Pierre Emm, Piotr Wedelka, and Johan da Silveira hacked a Makerbot 3D printer as part of an electronics workshop at Paris’s ENSCI-Les Ateliers design school, rigging it with a tattoo gun and inking people up. See it in action below.

Brave, French-speaking souls with access to a 3D printer and tattoo equipment can try it themselves, as the team has posted detailed directions on Instructables. For now, the tattoo robot is only capable of simple designs like the circle in the video.

According to Samuel Brenier, the group’s instructor, “The idea really isn’t to replace the tattoo artist: you can’t replace their eyes and brain. What’s interesting is to open the discussion.”