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WTF: You’ve Got to Check Out the First Ever 3D Printed Tattoo

From toys and tools now to fashion and food in the future — 3D printing is well on its way to changing how we make things in our homes that we’re used to running out to the store to pick up. We’ve seen that concept expand to art (beautiful sculptures!) and even beauty (beautiful nail art!), but the latest 3D printing first has us wanting one of our own. Ladies + Gents: The first 3D printed tattoo has been tatted. And you can tattoo it too.

A young design student in France came up with the idea while biking to school (how French of him) and with some help from his peers and a little hacking know-how, Pierre Emm turned a MakerBot into an at-home robot tattoo artist. And that is cool.

He took your average, every day (we have four in-house!) Makerbot 3D Replicator 3D printer and replaced the extruder with a pen. When that worked, he and his team replaced the pen with a manual tattoo needle that they tested out on artificial skin material before a real human arm went under the ink. The first ever tattoo-by-3D printer was a simple circle design.

Instructables has the instructions for you to try it out with your own MakerBot and the software you’re used to using for your 3D creations.

The thing we love about this idea is that we don’t think it has to replace a tattoo artist. At all. Instead, we could see something like this installed as one option for inkage in a techy tat parlor where artists could upload their designs and supervise the process. Come on, would you really entrust permanent Sharpie powers to a robot? Maybe… but we’d rather see this as a collaborative effort.

From there, tattooists could enhance the reach of their art by being a part of an online international marketplace of shared and downloadable designs that you could bring to your local shop. For the average tattoo enthusiast with an eye for design, you could even work with an artist on tat creation through Solidworks or another program.

Excuse our enthusiasm on this one, but we could see this starting something huge and sparking some serious creativity. What do YOU think? Would you tattoo yourself using a 3D printer?

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