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Tattoo gun

A tattoo gun, is a gun-shaped machine for marking skin with ink. Tattoo machines utilize electro-magnetic coils in alternation to move the needle bar up and down, which drives the pigment into the skin.

The basic machine was invented by Thomas Edison, and patented in the United States in 1876, as the autographic printer[?], which was intended as an engraving device. In 1891, Samuel O'Reilly found Edison's machine could be modified to introduce ink into skin, and patented the tube and needle system, which is still use today. In fact, modern tattoo machines are essentially the same machine as the one O'Reilly invented.

Most tattoo machines can control needle depth to almost any degree and thanks to this control, tattooing has become a very precise art form, so precise that facial tattooing has become popular in the United States of America. The procedure is called, dermapigmentation[?] or "permanent cosmetics".

How it works

  1. Power is introduced, and conducted via wires in two different directions: Through the coils to the adjustable contact screw (E), and through the frame (A) to the contact spring, (above C), via the armature spring (D).
  2. Current, flowing between the contact screw and the contact spring, completes the circuit, causing:
  3. The electromagnetic coils (B) to pull down on the armature bar (C), which causes:
  4. The needle bar (F)to move down with it, the needles at the end of the needle bar penetrate the skin.
  5. With the circuit at (2) broken, the armature spring (D) is free to exert its upward force again, causing the circuit to close with the contact made, again, at (2).

This process repeats several times a second, providing the artist with a means to penetrate the skin with ink without moving his hand.

The frame (A) must be non-conductive, and plastic bushings at the contact points are be used to isolated the current from the frame. The capacitor (pink) regulates current flow. The needle tube (G) provides a grip for the artist's control, and a small reservior at the tip for ink.

The needle(s) (small; not shown), are welded to the needle bar (F). Finished needle bars are made by welding small needles to the bars in varied numbers, depending on the desired coverage. For thicker lines and for shading in large areas, an appropriate sized "shader" needlebar is used. The tube's size, at the mouth, must be appropriate to accommodate the width of the needlebar.

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