Core 77 Dubai Design Week

Kanton DX35

BFA HfG 2016
16 Weeks
Analog photography is getting more popular again nowadays at the same time as professional film services keeps disappearing. The only alternative is developing the negatives at home which can be time consuming and unreliable in the outcome, especially when it comes to color negatives. There is still an undeniable feeling to analog images which makes them worth preserving in a digital era. Having faced the struggle of using diy solutions on my own I developed a device which precisely heats both film and chemicals while making a bulky dark room unnecessary. It consists of a base station with heating elements, the user interface, three clearly labeled bottles and a developer tank. The film can be put inside the tank during bright daylight and is winded onto a reel inside automatically thus simplifies the developing process tremendously. The project is still ongoing while I am in contact with possible investors.

„How to develop films at home and make analogue photography more accesible?“

01 Home Development

Faced by the big cost of professional equipment most analog photographers rely on cheap solutions. One of the most difficult tasks is to precisely heat up the chemicals. This is most often done in a sink or on a stove - both highly unreliable and inconvenient. In addition also the tank containing the film has to be kept warm and continually agitated during the whole process.

02 Darkroom

Putting the film inside the developer tank has to be done in complete darkness. Alone on youtube one can find over 13 000 tutorials resembling the difficulty one is faced. To make sure no light reaches the sensitive film you either have to complete the task inside a perfectly dark room or inside a thick developing bag.


Automated film winding and agitation inside the tank


Precise chemical heating


Ready to go in 15 min, all setup in it's place


No water-bath or wet bottles are needed


Suitable for 35 and 120 mm films in both b/w and color


Using only half the amount of chemicals

Intuitive ergonomics

Designing a foolproof usage required breaking down the process and creating an intuitive experience. At the same time the footprint had to be as small as possible to make the device usable in a home environment.

Quick Prototyping

To evaluate the ideas of heating and steering the liquids, simple prototypes were used. This allowed to base the user experience on immediate feedback and several iterations.

Adjust the reel to 35 or 120 mm

Insert and fasten the film

Start the developing process

Beginn inserting the first chemical

Wait for the timer to end

Pour back the chemicals

Continue with the next chemical

Take out the finished film


To get a high quality result the interface guides you though the whole process. It also provides a database with time presets for common films as well as the possibility to create custom presets


The chemicals are being heated with copper elements conducting the heat from the base station into the bottles without any cables. The needed data is transferred through spring contacts


After having developed a film negative it can be scanned and brought to a digital workflow. The scanner also includes an integrated knife to allow an easy storage.


The plastic parts are designed for injection moulding, a magnetic steering ensures an evenly spread temperature of the chemicals to get exact measurements.


Whenever possible I try to create a working prototpe of the concept. In this particular case a lot of electronics were involved to make it become reality.


An arduino microcontroller was used as a basis to control the pid based heating, temperature measurement and agitation of chemicals and film. A simple interface allowed testing the whole process.

PCB creation

After the initial setup was validated a proper pcb replaced the breadboard


With everything in place the first stage of a mvp was created. This allowed developing a first batch of films and proofed the concept a success..

I am working on making this project become reality.
Please tell me your email so I can get you updated about the progress.