Chris Eckert created a CNC tattoo machine with a twist:

Auto Ink is a three axis numerically controlled sculpture. Once the main switch is triggered, the operator is assigned a religion and it’s corresponding symbol is tattooed onto the person’s arm. The operator does not have control over the assigned symbol. It is assigned either randomly or through divine intervention, depending on your personal beliefs.

John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

  • Anonymous

    Oh crap. I’m apparently a Disciple of Zoroaster and must stalk the Gatekeeper Sigourney Weaver.

  • Anonymous

    The concept is pretty cool, but what really sells it is the Art Nouveau frame.

  • Tyler Higgins

    brings to mind Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony”

  • Shawn R MacDonnell

    It’s kind of a neat idea, especially since, I would assume, most people don’t actually choose their religion. It’s something given to them by their families and communities. That the bulk of people are Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish or whatever is itself decided randomly.

  • Alan

    “Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars; the Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars…”

  • Anonymous

    Dunno. This looks like just the thing to imprint serial numbers on people. You just sit the next person down, insert their arm, and advance the counter.

    • Anonymous

      yep. “choose your religion”, automated tattoo’ing on arm…. must. not. go…Godwin

  • Ink Tattoo Designs

    I do believe this sort of technology will be developed fully within the next decade.

  • Alex Leitch

    Totally beautiful machine.

  • General Chad

    what about stretching the skin for a good looking tattoo? this machine doesn’t do that… going to look like shit.

  • Brea

    i dont think this is sanitary…

  • Resimleri

    that’s good.

  • Ashley Rodgers

    Ummm do they change the needle after each person???

  • Rachael Rice

    it’s = it is

  • Rachael Rice

    it’s = it is

  • Harbor Marais

    It takes away from the individual art each artist offers.

    • Danny Fedonni

      you’re a douche

  • Modena Get scared

    ‎( ´◔‿ゝ◔`)

  • Robert Snyder

    Cool concept except for the religion thing.  That seems totally irrelevant and annoying to me.  Why doesn’t it just generate a random geometric pattern, like a spirograph?

    • Gareth Branwyn

      Chris Eckert is an artist. This is an art piece. I don’t know how many people are actually getting tattooed with this thing. His latest “sculpture” is a device that endlessly writes out to-do lists.

  • Blake A

    Why would you waste parts and materials on something that moves, looks like it works, but doesn’t actually work?  It would produce crap tattoos, since there’s nothing to account for the curvature of the user’s arm and adjust for pressure, speed, etc. 
    Yeah, yeah, it’s a physical manifestation of religion in our culture.  And the frame is pretty.  It’s “art,” I get it.  I just hate seeing machines that don’t work properly.  If you’re going to build something like this you should go all out, not half-ass the job and pat yourself on the back about what a statement you’re making.

  • Casey O’Keefe

    This is the most retarded thing ive ever seen.  I would never let that needle touch my skin.

  • Tom Bryan

    I tried this once and got hepatitis from Zephyr….

  • Tom Bryan

    also its not random if it is using religious symbols. It would only be a religious Russian  roulette with your body…

  • Taylah Broskie Semple

    Almost everyone who has commented is missing the point. I’ve seen the video of it working and it’s actually pretty damn awesome if i do say so myself. The whole concept of it is art. The machine is art, the tattoo is art, and even the idea of a random religious sign is art. Seeing how many people, especially nowadays, get tattoos of random bull shit that has no real meaning, not even to the one who is getting the tattoo, there should be no reason not to enjoy a random “fated” tattoo. And anyone who really, truly, loves tattoos, art, or any form of expression should appreciate this. And seeing how it is a sculpture and not something to actually be seen as a tattoo artist, all the arguments of the shit tattoos it would produce are simply dumb. Appreciate it for what it was meant for and what it is, and if you’re going to bash it, make your own.

    I love this.

  • Carlitos Sansores Sanchez

    this is how to fuck hundreds of jobs… the real art is in the person who makes a tattoo with his own hability

  • Bobby400

    this’ll definitively make it into the next Final Destinations as the dumbest way to die

  • Colt

    Form over function. This is a piece of art, nothing more. It will never go to mass production and I don’t believe it is intended for anything other than to stir up conversations such as these. As a tattooer myself, this is a beautiful piece, yes the tattoos will not look good and this machine is potentially harmful because it cannot account for depth or necessary change in hps, and has no human element, can’t know when ink is getting low or if the lines are consistent. But as an artist I appreciate what this is and why it is, even though on another level it I a complete nightmare.

  • oliver

    should be chinese characters and zodiac signs. A tramp-Stamp version?

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