Case Study: Design Development


Our client is well established in the tattoo equipment supply industry. When the time came to develop their own equipment, they sought expertise in electro mechanical product design and researched and approached several specialists. After an initial body of conceptual work was completed, we were appointed as designers for the development of the new brands flagship tattoo machine.

The Design Phase: We initially received a design brief which covered several technical improvements over existing rotary tattoo machines, along with the requirement to create a visually distinctive product. Conceptual design work was developed and presented to the client at key intervals, allowing for review and feedback until we had selected a preferred design to take to prototype. Then followed an intensive body of design engineering and 3D CAD, building all the intricate elements needed to realise such a small and precise product.

Tattoo machines use small but powerful motors to drive a reciprocating action at around 10,000rpm. The mechanical system needs to be very well balanced and robust to handle the loads placed on it. We tested DC motors from many manufacturers, eventually selecting a Maxon unit as it was found to have the best stall torque characteristics, a useful feature for a tattoo artist as they constantly vary the pressure applied to the skin by the needle, depending on tattoo position and type.

We supplied a range of working prototypes, which went out on test with professional tattoo artists. When the design was approved, we then moved onto the manufacturing process, which we managed from quotation to inspection of production parts.

The Result: The process of testing and refinement helped to create a finished product which has a range of innovative and unique feature within the tattoo industry. The product was launched in early 2015 and has enjoyed strong sales globally. The client recently exhibited the machine at the International London Tattoo Convention, receiving great feedback and securing more distribution channels.

As a follow-on to the design process, we also delivered the assembly of the machine and have also been awarded new commissions to develop 3 new innovations in the product range.