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Thread: Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine

  1. #111

    Re: Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by calebarchie View Post
    Chromabox-4...? Hmmm not feeling it, let me know when you produce retrofit tanks for Phototherm machines
    Enjoy your phototherm while it lasts!

  2. #112
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine

    I have been following form afar, but can you give a brief synopsis of the current setup as it looks like refinements have been done since I first saw this.

    The tank does not spin, the reels spin in the tank (YES?)
    What type of reels will fit?
    How is temp. regulated, is there a water bath?
    Is there a cleaning cycle or what to do between sessions?
    Are you using a roller pump, or do the chemicals go into the pump mechanism?

    Even though I have a Jobo CPP2, it would be nice to have something that can be setup and taken down quickly for one or two rolls of film.

    Thanks

  3. #113

    Re: Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    I have been following form afar, but can you give a brief synopsis of the current setup as it looks like refinements have been done since I first saw this.

    The tank does not spin, the reels spin in the tank (YES?) Yes
    What type of reels will fit? Anything that fits into a Patterson style tank, although I've yet to test a wide range of spools
    How is temp. regulated, is there a water bath? No water bath, chemicals are pre-heated in a separate tank before being pumped into the developing tank. The developing tank sits on a heated pad to maintain temperature during the process
    Is there a cleaning cycle or what to do between sessions? It does an automatic clean between each chemical during the cycle, it's recommended that the last step in a cycle is water and after that it should be nice and clean for the next run. There will also be a specific cleaning program to run if you want to change the chemical channels around
    Are you using a roller pump, or do the chemicals go into the pump mechanism? It's a gear pump, the pump wetted components are all compatible with common photographic chemicals (stainless steel and PPS plastic)

    Even though I have a Jobo CPP2, it would be nice to have something that can be setup and taken down quickly for one or two rolls of film.

    Thanks
    ic-racer I've replied to your comments above in bold. The Chromabox-4 is much smaller than the JOBO CPP2 and because it doesn't use a water bath to heat chemicals it doesn't take a long time to get up to temperature, so it should be perfect for doing a few rolls here and there. I'd imagine the CPP would be better if you wanted to do a lot of film at once or some prints or really large negatives. Because the Chromabox-4 is fully automatic too you just need to push the button and walk away, during testing I'm often running the machine through a cycle while I'm doing something else around the house.

  4. #114

    Re: Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine

    Coming up on the 1 year anniversary of starting the project, I've had a lot of life getting in the way recently and that always takes precedence but now I'm trying to get back on track and have made a new blog post of my recent progress.

    http://midtonemachines.com/news/level-sensors-at-last/

    I finally got the floating level switches I ordered and 3D printed a prototype of the new heating tank, everything going well so far. I need to get back into modifying the firmware but programming really isn't my favourite task so it's hard to get started (once I'm doing it I don't mind so much though).

  5. #115
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine

    Thank you for taking time to answer the questions. Congratulations on the anniversary.

  6. #116

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    Re: Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewBurns View Post
    Coming up on the 1 year anniversary of starting the project, I've had a lot of life getting in the way recently and that always takes precedence but now I'm trying to get back on track and have made a new blog post of my recent progress.

    http://midtonemachines.com/news/level-sensors-at-last/

    I finally got the floating level switches I ordered and 3D printed a prototype of the new heating tank, everything going well so far. I need to get back into modifying the firmware but programming really isn't my favourite task so it's hard to get started (once I'm doing it I don't mind so much though).
    Looks very nice. What is the size/ capacity of the heating tank? In my previous life we would make aluminum tooling for injection molding prototyping, helped alot. Aluminum tooling might be adequate for low volume production??.

    Anyhow looks great.
    Best Regards Mike

  7. #117

    Re: Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine

    Mike, the heating tank is just over 600mL of chemicals, enough for 4 rolls of film. From what I've seen the break-even point of injection molding when compared to other techniques such as resin casting is about 300 parts, I'm not sure how many of these machines I could sell but for the time being I'm assuming there won't be enough demand to make injection molding cost effective (would be great if I were wrong though!).

  8. #118

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    Re: Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine

    600mL that makes sense. I wonder what kind of educational market there is for something like this????
    E6 market seems to no longer require mounting slides. For a camera shop that still processes C-41 with a minilab, but sends out E6 and black and white this might be a good idea.
    It really looks neat, good luck.
    Best Regards Mike

  9. #119

    Re: Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine

    New blog post is up, I've had a 'version 2' of the sheet metal parts manufactured and moved all of the prototype machine components onto that, looks a lot cleaner now and is super sturdy! I have to make some design changes to the heating tank again so that it drains better, but that's the beauty of being able to 3D print functional parts during prototyping.

    http://midtonemachines.com/news/sheetmetal-version-2/

  10. #120

    Re: Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine

    http://midtonemachines.com/news/bits-and-pieces/

    New blog post up, new heating tank that's working well, some ease-of-use firmware updates, getting some parts injection moulded etc. I've also added the ability to send the used chemical from any channel to any other channel, which allows for even easier replenishment without any external hardware.
    For a gallery of my work and to buy prints, please visit my website:
    www.andrewburnsnz.com

    Or for information about the Midtone Machines automatic film developer:
    Midtone Machines

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