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The Background

Chameleon Studios approached several Product Design Consultancies. After an initial body of conceptual work was completed, 4D Products were appointed as mechanical product designers for the development of the new Sabre brand’s flagship tattoo machine.


Concept Design

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.


3D CAD Design

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.


Prototype & Test

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.

4D Products supplied a range of working prototypes, which went out on test with professional tattoo artists.

3D CAD-Design-Tattoo-machine

The Result

The process of testing and refinement helped to create a finished product which has a range innovative features some of which are unique within the tattoo industry. Our design team worked with the client into manufacture and beyond, supporting the initial product assembly. Since its launch, the product has enjoyed strong sales globally.

The X17 machine has enjoyed strong sales globally.

The powerful DCX and featherlight Air versions followed soon after.

Mechanical Design – Sabre Tattoo

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