- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tattoo artists may not be dead men walking, but the future is now likely to provide them with robotic competition.

A group of French students at the ENSCI-Les Ateliers design school put their ingenuity to work and created a tattoo machine using parts from a MakerBot 3D printer, New Scientist reported.

While the machine was only able to draw rudimentary shapes, the students were able to provide proof of concept. After going out and using parts from a tattoo kit they were ready to test the device; volunteers were not in short supply.

“A lot of people were excited by the idea of being the first human tattooed by a ‘robot’,” team leader Pierre Emm wrote online, New Scientist reported.

“The idea really isn’t to replace the tattoo artist: you can’t replace their eyes and brain,” instructor Samuel Bernier said, New Scientist reported. “What’s interesting is to open the discussion.”

If students can create a machine that can keep human skin taut, it will only be a matter of time before they advance to more advanced tattoos.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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