A tattoo pen is a mechanical needle used for inserting ink in the skin of humans and/or animals. With the goal of making permanent drawings or text.
Jerry had to think a bit. “I dunno cap. I don’t think there is any for visiting the Antarctic or sailing the Southern Ocean. You can get a tall ship for passing Cape Horn.”
“Let’s make it a new tradition then.” Rose said as she pulled off her shirt. “Put a breaching Orca here.” Pointing to the right side of her ribcage.
“Oh, that’s cool. Maybe add a snapped oar in its mouth to symbol we held battle there?” Jerry responded enthusiastically.
Most if not all tattoo pens are electrically driven. Eiter by a small motor with a crank set up moving the needle up and down, or by a coil and a magnetized needle pulling and pushing the needle up and down with the changing magnetic field of the AC powered coil.
Some tattoo pens use compressed air. These pens are lighter and easier to use, but do require an air compressor, lines and hoses to be set up, and therefore are generally only found in tattoo shops.
Traveling artist nowadays mostly use a battery powered pen.
The ink is held in a reservoir above the needle. Every time the needle retracts, a small drop flows down over the needle to be stabbed into the skin when the needle goes down again. Swapping colours can be done by having several needle and reservoir combinations which can be attached to the driving mechanism or by cleaning out the needle and reservoir. which needs to be done after every time it is used anyway for hygienic reasons.
There several set-ups from a single needle to do fine artwork to a group of needle to draw thick lines. Most pens are advanced enough that the speed the needle moves and the distance it travels can be adjusted.
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Sailors are famous for their tattoos, but what do they mean?