Patterns and designs on the skin are known as tattoos. These tattoos are created by professional using tattoo machines that inject indelible ink into the dermis of the skin tattoo.
Although Samuel O’Reilly is credited with the invention of the tattoo machine it was patented by Charlie Wagner in 1904. The tattoo machines invented by O’Reilly were to be used to colour the skin where as the electric pen of Thomas Edison on which the tattoo machines were based was used mainly for embroidery purposes.
Over the years the tattoo machines have undergone various changes making it better with each innovation but the main object of the tattoo machines has remained the same. That is to inject the skin with ink to create a pattern.
Tattoo machines can be divided into two groups, technical and mechanical. The common technical tattoo machines are liners, shaders and colour. The mechanical tattoo machines are the coil tattoo machine and the rotary tattoo machine.
The original tattoo machines were based on rotary technology and are known as rotary tattoo machines. In this type of machine the needles are driven by an electric motor. The modern rotary tattoo machines are pneumatic.
Where an electric motor is used to drive the needles in the rotary tattoo machines the coil machines use an electromagnetic circuit. These machines vary from single to triple coil machines and could be made from different types of material. The most common form of coil machine is the two coil machine.
Of the technical tattoo machines the linear tattoo machine is used to create the outline of the design in a single dose. For this reason the machine needs to move fast and a short contact circuit of about 1.5 mm – 2 mm is used.
Shader tattoo machines are the other type of technical machines. As the name suggests this machine is used to shade the tattoo mainly in black or the various shades of it. Since this machine has to work at a slower pace than the linear machine the contact circuit is about 2mm – 3.5 mm. Sculpting of lines could be done by this machine and due to the machine causing less trauma to the skin it may be used for all types of lines.
To colour the tattoo a third type of technical machine is used. It is the Colour machine. This machine has the slowest contact circuit of all at 3mm – 5mm. This is because this is the machine needs to saturate the tattoo with the minimum of trauma to the skin.