Personal Tattoo Machine – Project Progress

My project’s timeline has shifted a bit, as I knew it inevitably would. These last couple weeks have been exceptionally busy, and I haven’t had much time to devote to my project, other than to research parts for purchase and to brainstorm designs for my future prototypes. I am planning to make substantial progress on my project over spring break, and I’m hoping to be near my project’s completion by the end of break, which would allow for ample testing, analysis, evaluation, and potential redesigns to take place in the weeks leading up to break. Or, best case scenario, my project is completed with several weeks to spare, allowing me the time to create a series of functioning prototypes in time for expo.

Initially, I was planning to have my project operate at a relatively low RPM, as to allow for beginners to practice their skills, but as I have thought more about the project, I have been considering the possibility of incorporating a potentiometer to regulate the voltage supplied to the DC motor. This would allow for variable speed, which would open up the platform to tattooers of all skill levels. Upon coming to this consideration, I began thinking about my project inspirations, mainly Teenage Engineering, and how I could relay more information back to the user; this could be RPM, battery life, etc., and this information would be provided to the viewer via an Arduino controlled-LCD display. This could be an immensely usefully feature to have, but I’m not sure if I am technologically capable of doing this while keeping an aesthetically pleasing form-factor.


Detail of the Teenage Engineering OP-1’s gorgeous OLED display

I would love to take stylistic queues from the OP-1’s display, like the use of interesting images to represent information and provide feedback.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Elizabeth Whitman
    May 4, 2016 3:54 pm

    I still haven’t had a chance to see the tattoo machine yet! Can’t wait to see it in action. I like that you always draw inspiration from Teenage Engineering. It is cool that you have such a love for that company and are able to use them as inspiration to create your own unique designs!

  • Derek Sikora
    April 4, 2016 6:03 pm

    Including the potentiometer into your design is a great idea and will take the product to the next level. I am curious to see how your prototyping process is going to go. The OP-1 displays are so clean and simplistic, love the idea to include them.

  • Sreyas Krishnan
    March 20, 2016 11:02 pm

    I just have to say: MAN I LOVE the OP-1. One of my friends has one in his studio. Aside from looking like a space age toy, it’s a shockingly powerful synth too. Always reminds me of this music video:

  • Katie Hortik
    March 20, 2016 8:16 pm

    I totally understand that the timeline has been pushed back. I am looking forward to seeing your aesthetic and I think the addition of a variable motor is a great idea. The designs of Teenage Engineering have lots of nobs and buttons and now you can add a new one to the design for the motor control. Do you have any initial sketches of your design? I would love to see them!


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