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03/11/2021 - 04/11/2021

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Technology that gets under your skin

Technology that gets under your skin Tattoo professionals consider themselves to be artists; accordingly, their tattoo devices are the equipment with which they realise their art. They are occupied for many hours, without a break, when creating a large-scale tattoo. Modern tattoo machines are therefore characterised by a low intrinsic weight and the flexibility to adapt to individual movements.

What is also desirable for the work procedures is that the device operates quietly and with low-vibration, and it fits the hand well.

At first glance, a tattoo machine functions similarly to a sewing machine: one or more needles oscillate and thereby puncture the skin. The pigment is injected at the desired part of the body at a rate of several thousand pricks per minute. A seasoned tattoo artist neither punctures the skin too shallow nor too deep; ideally, he or she gets to the middle layer of skin. Because, if it is applied too superficially, the tattoo will not be permanent; if the punctures go too deep there will be bleeding, which would influence the dispersion of the injected pigment.

Essentially, tattoo artists can choose between two types of machines: coil-based machines and rotary machines. Coil-based machines belong to the older generation, and function somewhat like an old-fashioned doorbell in which a clapper strikes a little bell repeatedly in rapid sequence. These classic tattoo machines work with alternating current which constantly reverses the polarity of the magnetic coil, in turn moving the needle. This technology is currently used with increasing frequency in tattoo studios. However, the newest generation tattoo machines work with high-performance electric motors. With them, the needle is no longer actuated by means of a coil but instead by a motor. The advantages are that these so-called rotary machines are especially smooth running and significantly quieter than the coil-based machines, and - thanks to their low intrinsic weight - fit much better in the hand.

In these angular devices, the motor is located in a cross-piece and drives an eccentric mechanism in order to linearly oscillate the injection needle. This more likely requires thicker and shorter DC-Micromotors.

Faulhaber motors, available in the UK from EMS, are able to meet these requirements. Depending on the model, the drives just barely weigh 20 to 60g, and with diameters of around 13mm they can enable more compact and lighter drive solut-ions to be realised. At the same time they can deliver the ne-cessary performance - thanks to their high efficien-cy factors of up to 86%. This is a particular benefit in compact, battery-operated devices.

Where tattoos were once popular seemingly exclusively among motorcyclists, they have now gained mainstream acceptance, through famous footballers, Olympic athletes, actors and pop stars, both male and female. Indeed, along with stunning images, women are now enhancing their beauty with 'permanent make-up' whereby eyeliner and lip contours are permanently applied. All of this requires compact, light application devices that can be delicately operated with the precision of a ballpoint pen. With Faulhaber motors at their heart, these devices meet the highest demands on technology and design, and deliver the highest levels of precision and reliability.

Faulhaber models are differentiated from conventional DC motors by the rotor. It is not wound around an iron core, but instead consists of a copper coil manufactured with a self-supporting, skew-wound design. This provides for low rotor weights, very smooth-running operation and a highly dynamic cogging-free action without the usual magnetic hysteresis losses associated with other technologies.
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