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DeLight Film

Thesis Project Report Qi Zheng | Spring 2016 — Fall 2017 Instructor: Ted Renteria



Executive Summary

About Me

About Photography Inspiration of the Project

Preliminary Surveys

The Meaning of Traditional Photography

Thesis Statement

Current Condition of Traditional Photography Industry Comparison


Market Research Market Assessment Stakeholders Target Users Industry Analysis


Project Goal Hypothesis


Field Research Human Factors Sequential Task Analysis Potential Directions Mock Ups Competitive Analysis Finalize Direction System Diagram Preliminary Product Requirement Document


Technology Research Traditional Darkroom Enlarging Developing Potential Applicable Technology Electronic Device Regulations


Support Documents Human Factors Refined Product Requirement Document



System Design Development Preliminary Concept

Sequential Task Analysis

Mock Ups

Updated Product Requirement Document

Instructions User Test User Feedbacks Product Line Development System Diagram Functional Design Preliminary 3D Model Mock Ups

Exploded View Design Language Study Mood Boards Form Exploration Color Trend Study Color Material Finishes Exploration Final Direction

Task Flow of Printing B&W Photo with the System


Design Refinement Product Line Development 2

Final 3D Models

Mock Ups

Final Color Choices

Developing Tray Functional Test

Final Rendering

Usability Test


Design Refinement 3D Model Refinement



UX/UI Design & Development User Flow Wireframes UI Prototype Rendering on Device


Material & Processes Plastic type Comparison Plastic Processes Comparison Material Choice Bill of Material


Next Step


Market and Business Plan




Executive Summary De-Light Film

De-Light Film is a system that brings the darkroom experience into the light. It provides a simple and convenient way to make a gelatin silver print without a darkroom to enhance the creativity and enjoyment of traditional photography for novices, amateurs and prosumers. Thus, attracting more people to experience and engage in the process of creating images, memories and art with their own hands. It is a two-product system that includes an enlarger and a developer. The base model allows users to print photos up to 10 inches by 10 inches. Users could purchase additional modules to upgrade the system to make larger prints. With the lightproof enclosure, users can print images in a normal light environment such as a living room and home studio. With the builtin display on the enlarger, users are able to have more precise control of their photo’s exposure, contrast and even dodge and burn. With a wireless connection to your smart device or computer, users could manipulate their images in detail on a larger screen. The developer will allow users to develop their exposed photo papers into real photos without getting their hands in the chemicals. When you talk about traditional photography in the 21st century, people may feel a little bit surprised and ask, “Are there still people who are using film cameras?” The answer is YES! There are countless people still practicing this craft as a professional career, as a hobby, or as a personal art pursuit. Camera companies may not continue producing new film cameras, but there are still thousands of used film cameras be6

ing bought and sold in the second-hand market. One of the biggest forums for analog photographers, The Analog Photography Users Group (APUG), has more than 80 thousand registered members. Enthusiasts are still practicing film photography because the experience is fun and very different than digital photography. But taking a picture with a film camera is only half of the fun. The other half is developing the image in a darkroom. There aren’t many public darkrooms across the USA and the barriers of setting up a home-based darkroom still prevent people from experiencing and appreciating the fun of the entire process of traditional photography. With my love of traditional photography and my engineering background and industrial design thinking, I believe this system will offer film lovers an easy and controllable way to enjoy both sides of film photography without having to invest in or find a traditional darkroom. De-Light Film is the solution for film lovers who want the complete film photography experience. It will also help traditional photography regain a foothold in the digital world.

Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever. It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything. —Aaron Siskind


About Me

My name is Qi Zheng. I am an MFA candidate in Industrial Design at Academy of Art University. I am always interested in observing and exploring details around me. When I find something that is inconvenient, I want to make it right. This is my first reason for entering into this industry. I also love photography. The camera is another way of seeing the world. It seizes the moments that are valuable, and it captures the details that are not obvious. I received my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Dalian University of Technology, China. My engineering background assists me in industrial design. It allows me to easily consider and accept the latest technologies, apply them to my design trying to make life easier for everyone. In the future, I would like to focus on designing electronic product devices and accessories, office supplies, kitchen tools and all products related to improving the quality of life. My career goal is to design products or services that will help people live better lives and achieve greater things.



About Photography


Inspiration of the Project The Meaning of Traditional Photography Current Condition of Traditional Photography Industry Comparison Preliminary Surveys Thesis Statement Project Goal Hypothesis


Inspiration of the Project

I love photography. I started taking photos with a point-and-shoot camera when I was a kid. I was using a DSLR to shoot most of my photos. There are hundreds of Gigabytes of photos on my hard drive now. Though DC and DSLR have served me well, I found that traditional photography is way more interesting than digital photography. It fulfills my desire of experiencing a new craft. Shooting with film cameras and walking into the darkroom, developing the film and printing them on photographic paper are a whole different experience from digital photography. Film photography forces us to be more patient because we can’t attain instant results from the camera. It is always exciting to wait for the unknown. The inconveniences of traditional photography give it values and interests ,but also builds barriers to newcomers.



The Meaning of Traditional Photography

Why Are People Still Shooting With Films? When digital cameras came to market, the quality of the cameras and their resulting photos were not as good as film cameras. The resolution, digital noise vs. film grain, dynamic range, ISO vs. ASA, cost and convenience; weren’t on par with traditional film photography. The digital revolution has surpassed film in many regards, killing most of the arguments that film photography is better than its technological counterpart. However, the most notable reason to shoot analog may be the resolution obtained from medium format cameras.

Reference Film vs. Digital: A Comparison of the Advantages and Disadvantages Peta Pixel By Michael Archambault —May 26, 2015


The Value of Traditional Photography Not all explanations can be laid within technical comparisons. Many will argue that shooting analog is a more personal and enjoyable experience.

• Be slower and more deliberate • Think more before you shoot. • See the unique look and depth of photos • Expect unexpected results • Get hands on all phases of the image making processes


Current Condition of Traditional Photography:

Perception and Market Today’s digital cameras are so convenient to access and easy to use. Everyone can be a photographer even with a smart phone. On the contrary, traditional photography has fallen into two user categories in a specific market: artists and hobbyists. People who still practice traditional photography consider it as a way of self-expression. It is the slow process of taking a shot that makes traditional photography more thoughtful and valuable.


“People are starting to notice film or get back into film and I get a lot of mails (50+ a week) from people who are looking for their first film camera.� Bellamy Hunt Founder of Japan Camera Hunter

From the CIPA camera production report (1953 to 2014), we can see that since 1999, digital cameras rapidly harvested the market of the traditional photography industry. The diminishing market of traditional photography is making it harder for manufacturers to gain profit from this industry. This lack of benefit is a significant threat to the industry. Manufacturers have gradually discontinued producing traditional cameras and reduce film product lines.

Units 140K 120K 100K 80K 60K 40K


Compact Digital










CIPA: Camera & Imaging Products Association


“Perhaps listeners unconsciously decided that they really needed to touch something and that something was polyvinyl chloride.� —Andrew Flanagan

Industry Comparison

The Return of Vinyl Records Within 10 years, vinyl album sales went from 8.5 thousand to 9 million. The recent annual Record Store Day event would have us believe it is mainly kids who were born in the mid to late 1980s, bred on downloading and streaming, that forced the market down. When in fact, for them, buying a record is a novelty, a kitsch item picked up while shopping for designer jeans in Urban Outfitters. Vinyl Records as a medium of music, which once was defeated by digital music, has come back to the music industry. Regardless of the convenience of digital music, people want more than just listening to music coming from a compact digital device. I believe, similarly compared to the resurgence of the vinyl records, people will not be satisfied just taking photos from an advanced digital camera or a smart phone. Source: Nielson Music


“The world around us is not air-brushed, and we would all do well to marvel at the quirks of everyday scenes and chance sightings. I like to use film because I feel this gives photographs more character in the same way that while listening to music on vinyl isn’t as ‘perfect’ as CD or digital, it does have more soul.” —Toby Mason, Photographer from Brighton, UK


Preliminary Surveys

I use the following questionnaire in my surveys and interviews with people who live around San Francisco who potentially like photography. The survey was taken at several places, with great scenery, camera stores, photo labs, schools, etc.

Have you ever tried traditional photography? Do you still shoot with film cameras? What do you like about traditional photography? What don’t you like about traditional photography? If you stopped using film cameras, what made you stop? What do you think would make you more interested in traditional photography?


Have you ever tried traditional photography?

Do you still shoot with film cameras?

What do you like about traditional photography?

What don’t you like about traditional photography?


What do you think would make you more interested in traditional photography?

When this question was asked in the survey, 50% of the respondents who said NO. They clearly stated that nothing would make them go back to traditional photography. They are satisfied with the convenience and image quality of today’s advanced digital cameras. In addition, digital cameras are becoming more and more affordable.

50% Yes

The other half of the respondents’ answers are positive yet varied and conditional. They would like traditional photography to be inexpensive, accessible, and easy to use.

Easier to print in the darkroom Broader range of film types available at low prices Return of local professional labs Better access to scanning equipment Availability of films/developers Cleaner processes


50% NO

New, high-quality replications of classic cameras & lenses Simple, cheap, long lasting development chemicals New, cheap darkroom enlargers Experimental short runs of film

Conclusion From the respondents, we can see people value the differences between traditional and digital cameras. They believe without immediate results from cameras, they will be forced to be more considerate and deliver better works. Traditional photography has become a hobby in today’s world; the cost and time involved can still be a huge barrier. People might enjoy the slower process of producing the images, but at the same time, people could also become tired of waiting for the results to come alive.


Thesis Statement Traditional photography is now at an early stage of resurgence. But the diminished market of traditional photography in the past 18 years makes it much harder to access and practice than digital photography. It has built up barriers for people who want to enjoy the whole experience of making photographs in the traditional way

Project Goal To attract more people to experience traditional photography and engage in the processes of creating images, memories and art with their own hands. Then, the traditional photography market could stay alive and continue to grow.


Hypothesis If

a system can increase the enjoyment of traditional photography and make it easy and fun,


it would encourage more people to enjoy and engage in the whole process of traditional photography and help traditional photography regain a foothold in the digital world.


Market Research


Market Assessment Stakeholders Target Users Industry Analysis


Market Assessment

Film photography in today’s digital world looks a little bit strange, but there are many photographers who are still practicing film photography. The market seems to be diminished by digital cameras and smart phones. But in recent years, there is a sign that film photography is in the early stages of a resurgence. One of the biggest forums for analog photographers, The Analog Photography Users Group (APUG), has more than 80 thousand registered members, and there are more than 1500 of their members online at the same time every day. Even though camera companies still don’t produce new film cameras, there are thousands of used film cameras being bought and sold every day. There is no shortage of film cameras. But shooting with film is only half of the fun; the real challenge and the other half of the fun is the post processing part. In reality, public darkrooms are not available in many cities. People who are not able to build their own darkrooms choose to send their work to online services and wait for the film to come back. This may take several weeks. Therefore, if I could provide a system that allows film lovers to be able to practice the whole process of making an image, it would fulfill the other half of the joy of film photography.



Stakeholders End users can benefit most from the project. There are photographers who love to use traditional ways to express themselves and capture valuable moments. To lower the barriers of traditional photography and let users do what they want to do with less concern can encourage more people to enjoy the art of film photography and be creative. Furthermore, if it is possible to let more people engage with traditional photography, manufacturers and retailers can benefit from a growing market. Chemical waste is still a crucial problem of traditional photography. Understanding the proper disposal of hazardous chemical is necessary.



Photo paper product manufacturers

Online stores

Chemical manufacturers

Local camera equipment stores

Product manufacturers

International shipping companies

Inventory warehouse

End Users

Pollution Control Organizations

Film photographers

Local chemical waste disposal companies

Photographers’ family members


Target Users Film Photographers




Novices are people who is new to film photography or want to have experience in the process but don’t know a lot of basic knowledge of the processes.

Amateurs are people who have or had experience in film photography and the darkroom. They have knowledge of processes in the darkroom and would like to practice the craft once in a while or regularly.

Prosumers are advanced amateurs. They purchase professional level equipment and want to be like a professional. They have greater acknowledge about film photography and darkroom techniques then average amateurs and really looking forward to perfecting their skills and results.


Industry Analysis

Within the whole process of traditional photography, traditional manufacturers like FUJIFILM, Kodak film, ILFORD, etc., are still providing a variety of films and film developers. FUJIFILM and Polaroid hold most of the instant camera market. New companies like Lomography and Impossible Project are providing new and interesting cameras, lenses and films so people can have fun with traditional photography. These new companies are doing well at capturing images by providing all types of films and cameras for both professional photographers and hobbyists. But these companies don’t provide much help when it comes to processing those film images. Uses have to figure out the developing process on their own and this takes time, money and dedicated space.



Field Research


Human Factors Sequential Task Analysis Potential Directions Mock Ups Competitive Analysis Finalize Direction System Diagram Preliminary Product Requirement Document


Human Factors Sequential Task Analysis

I went to Harvey Milk Photo Center in San Francisco, where they have a large public darkroom, to observe and analysis what processes do film photographers do in the post process of film photography. The following charts are the documentations of 3 operations which would happen during the processes of processing films, scanning films and enlarging films in a darkroom.


Human Factors Sequential Task Analysis Task 1: Developing B&W film Ref Sequential Task # 1

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

14 15 16 17 18 19 20

21 22

Mix chemicals of develop, stop, fixer, hypo to match the value of developing tank Light proof room or bag to open Cut the beginning of the film into flat Load the film to the reel Put the reel into developing tank Close the tank Presoak the film with water for 12 mins and agitating Empty the tank and fill it with developer Continually agitate for the first 45 Discard the developer and fill the Return the stop bath to the bottle it can be reuse Fill the tank with water and Discard the water and fill the tank with fixer, agitate for the first 45 secs, and 10 secs for every 45 secs, for 5-6 mins

Potential Issues

Design Considerations

User may concern the safety of the chemical. User may not easy to control the temperature User may feel anxiety in total darkroom User may have hard time doing all the things in total darkroom User may hurt themselves

Better chemical mixing method

User may lose track of time during the development User may find it not please to do the process repeat

Set alarm to remind user for each step Make the processes fun or reduce the repeat job

Developer waste may cause environment Returned chemicals may return into different bottle

Proper treatment for Better identify different chemical

Return the fixer to the bottle it One-minute water wash One-minute hypo wash with Return typo to the bottle Five-minute water wash Photo flo without agitation for 1 mins Take out the film and remove the Finger prints may contaminate the film water with fingers or squeezer Dry the film in drying machine or Film make leave water marks or dust if not hanging properly dried Archive films User may find it hard to keep all the films organized and well documented

Decrease the anxiety Make it easier to load the film in reel

Non-touch method to clean the water More efficient way to clean the film Better archive system


Human Factors Sequential Task Analysis Task 2: Scanning Large Format Film Ref Sequential Task # 1

Open the computer and scanner


Remove the upper cover





Potential Issues

Users may forget to remove it The cover may be misplaced Clean the surface of the glass Users may forget to clean the surface with air blower and soft cloth Users may clean the surface too hard to damage the surface Users may not clean it enough so that it still contains hairs and stains Users may not have the proper tools to clean the surface Take out the negative from Users may have to spend time to locate the archive folder and looking for the right negative within a book of negatives. one the user wants to scan Use the cloth to clean the May cause scratch on the film negatives Time consuming to clean every film Put the negative on the scanner Irregular film formats don’t have proper film (without a negative holder) holder because there isn't a suitable


Make some changes in the setting window


Begin to preview

Too much settings may cause confusion Not all the settings are needed to set up Additional steps to make sure the orientation and other settings are correct; it is needed but add additional time The result may not be satisfied with the default settings in the program Users may not understand all the adjustment setting to have the right result

9 10

11 12


Design Considerations

Better reminder or remove it automatically Simplify the cleaning or eliminate the necessity of cleaning

File management system

Better archive to reduce the dust and hair Better cleaning method Adjustable film holder New way to hold the film flat Simplify user interface Auto recognition of the scene to make change of direction The adjustment settings can be simple and easy to understand and use A customized setting may be stored for future application

User has to make change to each image with similar settings Scan and wait for the result User has to wait in front of the computer till the next round There are some weird waves on Newton’s ring appears when film and glass Anti-newton glass, lift the the result because of the glass contact directly film, film is larger than type and the film is touching the normal size so it has to bottom glass directly make sure it is flat when scanning Standard 4 by 5 film scanning Try to put the film onto the film holder but it does fit exactly

Film may not fit the holder perfectly User has to load it carefully Users may have to trip the film to fit

The holder can be more flexible and easy to load

13 14 15

16 17 18


Go to the cutter to make a little adjustment to the film Come back to put the film onto the film holder Close the lid and begin to preview to make sure the orientation is correct Start to scan Wait for the result Copy the digital files to flash drive

 User may not have to right tool to trip the film

Users may forget to copy it from public service Privacy issue may happen User may not carry an external storage device User may use different operation system that may cause film transport failure Take the film out of scanner put Film order may be displaced them back to the archive folder Especially when there are lots of films to the original place Inappropriate archive method may damage the film

Accessories can be provided with the device

Easy way to store and transport the files

The physical archive system can be easier and more organized and protect the films Â


Human Factors Sequential Task Analysis Task 3: Printing a Black and White Photo in a Traditional Darkroom Ref Sequential Task #

Potential Issues

Design Considerations

User may misplace the film upside down

Carrier should be easier to identify the surface

User may use an unstandardized size of paper that require a customized easel

Easier way to make a customized easel

1 2

Select a negative film to print Place negative emulsion side down in the empty 35mm negative carrier and insert the carrier into the enlarger


Set the adjustable easel blades


Adjust the enlarger height so that when the image is focused


Use the grain focuser to insure the sharpest possible focus of the image

When using the grain focuser, the light may Lower the light and make be too strong for eyes in the darkroom, the focusing position more placement of the handle for focusing and ergonomic the position of using grain focuser maybe uncomfortable


Once the image has been focused, stop the aperture of the lens down to f/8 Apply printing filter to the lens (contrast adjustment)

User may forget to adjust the aperture after Better indicator to remind focusing. users


Place the test strip in the adjustable easel with the paper emulsion side up (shiny side of paper).

User may misplace the paper upside down The side of the paper call in the dark. User may not find a good place be more identical and test to put the test strip to test various tones stripe placement recommendation

9 10

Set timer for 3 secs Use cardboard to expose the User may not see the edge of the test strip Easier way to make test test strip paper in sections by 3, in the dark strip 6, 9‌sec Process the test strip Development time may affect the test result May over develop or under develop Evaluate the test strip and This can repeat several times to get the Easier way to determine determine the time for exposure right exposure time of exposure


11 12

13 14 15



Set the timer to the determined time Change print filter if necessary Place the paper of your choice with the emulsion up into the adjustable easel Press the timer button for exposure

User may not know the combination of the aperture and timer and filter

It may be difficult to place the paper into easel in the dark.

Set up several presets of the combination of aperture and time and filter

Easy way to load paper in the dark

17 18

19 20



Remove the paper from easel and process Place the paper in develop tray for 1-2 mins (depend on paper type and developer) Use tong to pick the photo up move to stop bath for 30 sec Use tong to pick the photo up move to fixer for 3-5 mins

When remove the paper, user may contaminate the paper with fingers User may forget to count the time to over develop or under develop

Avoid human direct contact. Easier way to count down

The remaining chemical on the photo may contaminate other trays The chemical may not be applied to the surface of the photo evenly, that may cause uneven development

Better way to prevent cross contamination Better way to prevent uneven development

Use tong to pick the photo up move to water tray to wash off the remained chemicals Evaluate the photo in bright light Moving in and out of public darkroom Safety of the darkroom people may get bump together or in private should consider and decide if to make any change or dodging and burning darkroom may expose opened papers


Potential Directions Preliminary Product Requirement Document


Compact Darkroom Setup Kit Purpose:


A set of systems that offers users a quick convenient way to set up a darkroom.


Film photography enthusiasts, material suppliers, chemical waste disposal companies.

User scenario:

Users don’t need to have a whole room for photo development. Users only need a 35 by 35 inch flat surface, water and electrical supply.

Functional Requirements: Developing Films 1. Develop film (color and b&w)

8. Squeezer for film

2. Lightproof environment for loading film to reel

9. Hangers to dry

3. Ventilation without light leaking

10. Equipment layout

4. Fresh water input and output

11. Thermometers

5. Chemical collector

12. Water temperature control (100 Ëšf for color film)

6. Timer 7. Chemical bottles

Enlarging Films 1. Enlarger with a foldable structure 2. Lightproof environment with safe light 3. Ergonomic working height 4. Total darkness for photo paper 5. Four liquid trays where liquid can easily be collected into bottles. 6. Printing and developing areas are separated to prevent contamination. 7. Hangers for photos to dry





Portable Film Enlarger Purpose:


An easy device for novices to experience the process of printing photos with an enlarger.

Stake holders:

Novices of film photography, material suppliers.

User scenario:

Without setting up a darkroom at home, people can create a small photo format using the same principle of regular darkroom printing.

Functional Requirements: 1. Small volume, estimated dimension: 7” (length) by 6” (width) by 10” (height). 2. Be able to print a 4” X 6” B&W photo. 3. Photo paper shall be light sealed before actual printing. 4. Built in timer. 5. Developer, stop bath, fixer and water tray will be protected from any light. 6. Developing process best seen by users.



Auto Feed Film Scanner and Software Purpose:


A film scanner that can scan negative films in most sizes. It should have an auto feed function that can continually scans films without changing films between every scanning. This scanner will save time and once it is loaded it can continually scan as long as is necessary.

Stake holders:

Film photographers, film scanning service providers

User scenario:

People who have several rolls of film to scan. The films are already archived and sliced into pieces. For a regular film scanner, we have to load the films into the film holder which can only scan limited amounts of film. With this scanner, people can load the film and it will automatically feed the film inside the scanner leaving the scanner to do the job while people can do other things.

Scanner functional requirements: 1. Regular size of scanners fit a flat work surface with an estimated dimension of 14” X 10” X 5”

7. Film reels that will organize the film before scanning and recollect the film after scanning

2. Lighting on both sides

8. Film connector to connect archived films in order to continually scan without pause

3. Maximum document width 12 inches. Unlimited length

9. Built in Wi-Fi to connect with phone

4. Auto feed system

10. Simplified app and desktop software

5. Film holder keeps film straight while loading

11. Option to scan one line of film or several lines of films at once.

6. Different film formats from 8 mm to large format will work

Scanner software functional requirements: 1. Simplified UX 2. Divided into simple mode and pro mode 3. Simple mode guides users to set up the basic options 4. Pro mode provides all the settings 5. Wi-Fi connectivity with smart phone for saving and sharing 6. Social network sharing API integration 7. Simple editing tools 8. Self-cropped individual frames 9. New file folders automatically created 10. Recognizable film label markers for new folder creation




Mock Ups



Competitive Analysis

With acknowledging the post-processes of film photography and difficulties that users are encountered, I researched in the market looking for current solutions and competitors who try to resolve some of the issues. For film processing, there are automatic machines that can develop color or black and white films so that users don’t have to be watching the time and agitate for the whole time. For scanning the films, there are many scanner companies still offers all kinds of scanners from small portable scanners to larger, high-quality scanners. But most of the scanners can only scan a certain amount of film stripes at the same time. Users have to unload and reload films between each scan. For enlarging an image, the only solution is to have a darkroom which requires lightproof environment, ventilation, and running water. The methods of darkroom processes have not been changed for a long time. There used to be a product called DayLab. This machine can enlarge and project images from films to instant photo paper. But they discontinued the production and it is very hard to find in the market.


Osiris Film Processor Capability Automatic film processing Pros Accurate Temperature Control Cons Relatively expensive.

Film Scanners Capability Digitize images on film Pros Smaller scanners are portable. Larger scanners have better image quality. Cons Larger scanners are expensive. Complicated user interface and slow processing time

Traditional Darkroom Capability Most versatile set up for traditional photography. Pros Professional prints, multiple sizes, very versatile Cons Requires specific operational environment and set up

Day-lab Series Capability Able to print on instant film and photo paper Pros Able to print in daylight Cons Unable to vary adjustments of the final print 55

Finalize Direction

Self-contained Film Enlarger & Development System By analyzing the potential needs from users and the solutions offered by current products. I believe I can offer a better solution for film lovers a new experience and convenient way to print images from film in their living room, in their studio or at school. In order to maintain most of the traditional processes of darkroom printing, the system requires a self-contained lightproof environment to expose the photographic paper and develop the paper in 3 to 4 different chemicals.


System Diagram Film Enlarging System Diagram

Photo Paper Development System Diagram

1. Lamp house

1. Lightproof enclosure box

2. Power source

2. Photographic paper loading gate

3. Light source

3. 3 trays for developing photographic paper

4. Condenser or light diffuser

4. Additional trays for hypo wash and water wash

5. Negative carrier 6. Bellows 7. Enlarger lens mounting plate 8. Enlarger lens 9. Focusing adjustment mechanism 10. Lightproof enclosures

5. Development observation window 6. Process channels for multiple photo paper placements 7. Photo paper supports and guides 8. Photo paper drying squeezer 9. Temperature control

11. Easel platform 12. Photographic paper loading gate 13. Darkroom Exposure measurement system (traditional enlarger light meter or digital camera) 14. Lightproof photographic paper container* 15. Timer and signal trigger

Photographic Paper Container System Diagram* 1. Lightproof enclosure box 2. Focusing level lifting system for photo paper container

16. Circuit board

3. Photo paper container cover opening mechanism

17. Size and focusing observation window

4. Paper protection layer removing mechanism

18. Bluetooth connectivity optional


Preliminary Product Requirement Document

Scope This is a two-product system with the enlarging system and developing system. The following product requirement document defines both system’s functional, usability, technical, environment and material requirements for further development.


Enlarging System

Functional Requirements

Usability Requirements

1. The system can enlarge photographs from film to photographic paper

1. The system can be placed on a typical office desk

2. The system can work within a lighted environment 3. The system will provide easy controlled dodge and burn functionality

2. The system can be operated by one person 3. The system considers ergonomics 4. The system requires minimal setup time

4. The system can print multiple sizes up to 8 by 10 inches 5. The system provides a focusing indicator or observation window

Technical Requirements

6. The system provides recommended exposure times

1. The system can be linked to smartphones or tablets via Bluetooth

7. The system is upgradeable for larger printing capabilities

2. The system uses both 110V-220V AC

8. The system breaks down for storage convenience

3. The system may provide built-in a rechargeable battery

9. The negative carrier and lens is interchangeable to accommodate various film formats 10. The system may be connected via Bluetooth to an application so the user can preview printing results. 11. The system provides real-time visual operational guides

4. The light source provides approximately 1000 Lumens. 5. The LED light array covers all negative film areas larger than 60mm x 60mm 6. The external timer triggers the light source to a predetermined length of time

12. The system provides visual indicators to warn users of operational and system errors. 13. Focusing system positions are preset for different print size for novices 14. Focusing system can function in manual or automatic modes 15. Focusing system uses two bellows: one for resize and one for focus 16. Focusing system is able to collapse and expand without light leaks


Environment Requirements

Additional Technical Requirements

1. The system works in standard room temperatures of 15 °C (59 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F)

Light source: LED array

Performance Requirement 1. Be able to set the system up within 10mins 2. Be able to assist user in making sharp images 3. Be able to print an image within 40mins

Higher resolution can result in more control of the exposure. 16 by 16 / 8 by 8 high / low resolution(put somewhere else) 1. The LED array covers the entire surface of negative, both medium and 35mm formats. 2. The LED array illuminates to approximately 1000 lumens 3. The LED array lights are well diffused by light diffuser filters 4. The LED array is controlled by a circuit board for brightness 5. The LED array’s resolution varies from model to model 6. The LED array condenser may be used on the light house module to increase brightness

Enclosure Body Materials Requirements 1.Lightproof 2.Light weight 3.Ease of manufacture

Bellow Materials Requirements 1.Rigidity to maintain original form 2.Flexibility to expand and collapse upon demand



Developing System Functional Requirements

Usability requirements

1. The system develops B&W photo paper

1. The system should be easy to disassemble for cleaning

2. The system maintains proper operating temperature when used above 15 °C (59 °F) and below 30 °C (86 °F)

2. The system will provide an efficient way to remove chemicals from the developing tray

3. The system includes 3 or 4 trays for darkroom chemicals

3. The system will provide a simple timer to keep track of developing time

4. The system provides additional trays for final water washes

4. The system will provide a timer alarm

5. The system provides drying racks

5. The system allows users to manually control the process of the developing

6. The system allows users to oversee the developing process

6. The system allows users to observe the developing tray while in use

7. The system provides a developing time monitor 8. The system includes light filtering viewing windows that do not interfere with the developing process

Environment Requirements

Material Requirements

1. The system works in standard room temperatures of 15 °C (59 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F)

1. The material will have high chemical resistance

2. The system has ventilation

2. The material will be lightproof 3. The material will be rigid 4. The material will feel solid and reliable


Paper Cassette Functional Requirements

Usability Requirements

1. The cassette provides a lightproof environment for photographic paper

1. The user can easily load the cassette with photo paper without a dark room

2. The cassette has either a fixed or universal easel for different sizes of paper

2. The user has a indicator to show the proper side of the photo paper while loading the cassette

3. The cassette‘s surface must also be a focusing surface

3. The user cannot insert the cassette into the enlarger or the developer incorrectly

4. The cassette level and the focusing surface level must be identical 5. The cassette will provide an exit for detaching photo paper from it so that the photo paper can be developed in the developing system 6. The cassette may store several sheets of photo paper at one time 7. The cassette doors work in tandem with the enlarger to expose the photo paper 8. The cassette may independently act as a developing container 9. The cassette is watertight

Technical Requirements 1. The cassette has high chemical resistance 2. The cassette’s dimensions must match the photo paper size


Technology Research


Traditional Darkroom Enlarging Developing Potential Applicable Technology Electronic Device Regulations


Traditional Darkroom Here are the very basic steps of printing image in a traditional darkroom setting. The full and detailed version of darkroom printing instruction involved around 60 steps to assist you to make a beautiful black and white print. Some of the steps may need to repeat several times to make the image the way you want.




Light Source As a light source in a lamp house of an enlarger, it is not enough if the light only emit brightly so that the exposure time won’t be too long. The light source has to light the whole negative area evenly which means that the whole image could have a evenly amount of light at the same time. In the traditional enlarger’s lamp house, manufactures use light bulb as their light source. Here are 2 examples of current enlarger light bulb’s specifications. In the specification chart, there are 2 index that are keys to the light source. Approx. Lumens and Color temperature.


Adorama PH211 Enlarger Lamp 75w 125v Length (max. mm)


Approx. Lumens


Color Temp. deg. K




Base Type


Avg. Life


Width (max. mm)




Adorama PH212 Enlarger Lamp 150w 125v Length (max. mm)


Approx. Lumens


Color Temp. deg. K




Base Type


Avg. Life


Width (max. mm)





Light Diffuser There are 2 types of enlarger: condenser-type enlarger and diffusion-type enlarger. The optical system diagrams are shown on the left. There are several differences between these 2 types. The singular characteristic of a condenser enlarger is the directional nature of the light arriving at the enlarger lens. It is collimated by the condenser(s), so it is all traveling in the same direction. This means the silver particles in denser portions of a negative can block light from arriving at the easel, both by absorbing it and scattering it. In an enlarger with diffuse optics, the light is already scattered and omnidirectional when it arrives at the same point and further scattering by the emulsion is irrelevant. The net result is, darker areas of a negative “block� more image-forming light when inserted in a condenser enlarger: The negative behaves as though it were higher contrast.


Negative Carrier Negative carrier is a stage used in the enlarger to hold negative films. It has an opening that fits the frame of negative film which allows the light go through the opening and negative film to projected on the photo paper. The negative carriers have different sizes for different films.

Film formats and dimension Film Type Designation

Image Size



120 135 220

2¼” × 3¼” 56 × 70 mm 24 × 36 mm 2¼” × 3¼” 6 × 7 cm


Enlarger Lens The focal length of a lens must be equal to, or greater than, the diagonal of the film format when measured in millimeters. A 4x5 negative will require a lens of at least 135mm focal length. If you are going to be using a medium format camera and shooting 6x7cm format, you will need an enlarger lens of 90mm (or longer) to print those images. Negatives of 6x6cm or 6x4.5cm require a lens that is at least 75mm long. If you are going to use a 35mm camera, you'll need an enlarger lens of 50mm (or longer) to print that format.


Negative format

Lens focal length


50mm - 75mm

2¼ x 2¼ (6x6)

75mm - 90mm

2¼ x 3¼ (6x9)

90mm - 105mm


135mm - 150mm


180mm - 240mm


240mm - 360mm

Resize and Focusing System By changing the distance between enlarger’s lamp house and photo paper, it will achieve resizing the image projected on the paper. By changing the distance between lens stage and negative carrier, it will achieve focusing the image to make the projection sharp and clear.

Easel Enlarger easel provides a frame for photographic paper when it is ready to be exposed. The easel will flatten the paper and provide standard frame sizes or customizable frame sizes.


Developing Developing Chemicals:

Chemical 1: Sprint Developer (1:9 100ml developer: 900ml water) Use: Develops your image on photographic paper. Physical properties: Light brown color Exhausted when: When stop bath exhausts, developer will most likely be exhausted as well. What to do with exhausted developer pour it down the darkroom drain, if chemical is not exhausted return it to tank. Time: 1 minute for RC, constant agitation. 2 minutes for Fiber Based, constant agitation

Chemical 2: Stop Bath (1:9 100ml developer: 900ml water) Use: Terminates development Physical properties: the stop bath we use is yellow, it is acid, so be sure to add acid to water, not water to acid. Exhausted when: it turns lavender. The stop bath we use is an “indicator stop bath� so it tells us by its color change that it is exhausted What to do with exhausted stop bath: pour it down the drain, if chemical is not exhausted return it to tank. Time: 1 minute, constant agitation


Chemical 3: Fixer (1:9 100ml developer: 900ml water) Use: Fixers dissolve undeveloped silver salts, which are washed from the print. It also makes your print permanent so that it is not sensitive to light. Physical properties: Clear, but smelly Exhausted when: do the negative test. To do a negative strip test, take a piece of undeveloped film and place it in the fixer. If it clears within 3 minutes it is still good. What to do with exhausted fix: pour it down the drain. Please note, in facilities where large quantities of fixer are used, a silver recovery unit would be present. If chemical is not exhausted return it to tank. Time: 3 minutes for RC, constant agitation. 5 minutes for Fiber Based, constant agitation Chemical 4: Fixer Remover (1:9 100ml developer: 900ml water) Use: Hypo clear accelerates and promotes the elimination of fixer from the paper and the emulsion and in doing so substantially decreases washing time. Physical properties: Blue in color. Exhausted when: The fixer remover will go from blue to green to yellow when exhausted. It is also an indicator chemical. When it is yellow, it is exhausted. What to do with exhausted hypo: pour it down the drain, if chemical is not exhausted return it to tank. Time: 2 minutes for RC, constant agitation. 3 minutes for Fiber Based, constant agitation

Art 208 Photography I


Potential Applicable Technology

LED Array A new way of dodge and burn With the application of LED technology as a controllable light source, it is now possible to precisely control dodge and burn of your image. Each LED can be controlled individually by brightness and color temperature through circuit board. It will provide a similar result from dodge and burn which users could only have done in darkroom with special customized tools and with multiple attempts to find the right exposure level at certain area on the image. In this way, users could have a better control (quantified and visualized control) of not only overall exposure intense but also local exposure level.


Wireless Communication-Bluetooth 5 A BluetoothÂŽ device uses radio waves instead of wires or cables to connect to a phone or computer. Communication between Bluetooth devices happens over short-range, ad hoc networks known as piconets. Bluetooth technology has been used in audio streaming for a long time. But due to its limited transmitting speed, it is not a good experiece dealing with images with Bluetooth technology. But in June 2016, a new standard for Bluetooth technology has been anounced -- Bluetooth 5. The new standard raise the transmitting speed from 1Mbps to 2Mbps. And communication range has been raised to 300 meters in theory. So now in theory, it will take 4 seconds to transfmit a 1 MB file through Bluetooth.


Wi-Fi Wi-Fi is a very common technology term for wireless local area networking. People use this technology everyday to have access fast internet. It has a lot of advantages compare to Bluetooth communication. Wider range, much faster transmit speed. But it also has higher cost, bigger module and higher power consumption. But one of the biggest inconvenience is that user has to disconnect their phone from current Wi-Fi network to connect to other devices.


Electronic Device Regulations UL Standards UL is an American safety consulting and certification company. UL provides safety-related certification, validation, testing, inspection, auditing, advising and training services to a wide range of clients, including manufacturers, retailers, policymakers, regulators, service companies, and consumers.

Federal Communications Commission The FCC regulates anything that is electronic including WiFi, Bluetooth, Radio transmission etc. There are two regulations within FCC for both intentional and unintentional radiators.

Restriction of Hazardous Substances RoHS regulates the allowed content of 6 substances within the product. Lead(Pb), Mercury (Hg), Cadmium (Cd), Hexavalent chromium (CrVI), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE).

European Conformity CE marking is a mandatory conformity marking for certain products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA) since 1985. There are two directive under CE Certification. Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive Low Voltage (LV) Directive


Support Documents


Human Factors Refined Product Requirement Document


Human Factors





Working Range 39.1mm

Sitting Distance 20.3mm

Visual Limit 35 degree

Working Range 39.1mm


Eye Level to Table 470mm

Normal Sight Line 15 degree

Eye Height 1574mm

Shoulder Height 1371mm

Low Counter 914mm



Product Requirement Document

Scope This version of PRD is an additional document for the previous PRD. The following product requirement document defines each sub-system’s requirements and standards for further development of design solution and serves as a guideline for concepts and implementation.





System Design Development


Preliminary Concept Mock Ups Instructions User Test User Feedbacks Product Line Development System Diagram Functional Design Preliminary 3D Model Mock Ups Task Flow of Printing B&W Photo with the System Sequential Task Analysis Updated Product Requirement Document Exploded View Design Language Study Mood Boards Form Exploration Color Trend Study Color Material Finishes Exploration Final Direction


Preliminary Concept

Enlarging System In order to create a light sealed environment for paper, the enlarger needs an enclosure when it expose the paper by projecting an image from black and white film.



A New Way of Dodge and Burn




Enclosed paper box as developing tray. Fill chemicals into the box through ports on the top of the box.

Enclosed developing tank. There are 3 trays contains 3 different chemicals. The photo paper is attached with a handle which users will use it to move papers from one tray to another.


Mock Ups


Negative carrier The carrier can adapt to both 35mm film and 120 film.

Transfer the photo carrier to developing box. Insert the carrier into the bottom of the developing box.

Insert the negative carrier into the light house. The light house will lock the carrier in place. There is also a light diffuser between the LED and film to make sure the light is evenly distributed onto the film.

Close the gate to ensure there is no light leaking. On the top of the developing box, there is a observation window for users to observe the process of developing exposed photo paper.

Photographic paper carrier After loading the paper carrier with photo paper, insert the carrier into the bottom of the enlarger and close the gate to ensure there isn’t any light leaking.

Move the handles along the channel in order to move the photo into 3 different chemical trays to finish the development process.


Instructions The following frames are instructions for users to operate the system to print and develop an image.

Photo paper container 102



Developing System









User Test



User Feedbacks

The carrier is slippery making it hard to keep the film in between layers.

The film strip is too long to insert the carrier into the light house. It is not easy to understand how this device works without instructions


The handle is not smooth between the channels. The photo could get stuck in some position. Users could not see the channel when moving the handle when facing the front of the box.

It can only develop one frame per time. During photo paper development, agitation may not be even so that the image may not be evenly developed.

It is not easy to fill the chemicals into the bottle because it has a small opening. When pouring the chemicals into the developing bottle, the bottom of the photo will be developed longer compared to the top of the bottle.


Product Line Development

3 Levels of Target users Considering the different skill levels of photographers and different requirements for them. I decided to expend the product line into 3 different systems target at 3 different levels of users: novice, amateur and prosumer. The key features and functions remains the same. But each level of the system will provide different features specifically designed for each group.


Key Features •  • •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • 

Enlarge 35mm and 120 B&W film. Develop exposed photographic paper up to 10 by 10 inches. Operate the system in normal light settings. Adjustable printing size up to 10 inches by 10 inches. Upgradeable system for higher quality and larger printing size. Interchangeable lens. LED controls the light source for adjustment of the image. Built-in display to visually adjust the image. Automatic developing device. Easy to clean the device and recycle chemicals for future use.


System Diagram

A system diagram is a visual model of a system, its components, and their interactions. The following 3 diagrams show the basic structures of each system that designed for each level of users. Functional designs are based on the structure and modules in the system diagram.


Novice 111

Amateur 112

Prosumer 113

Functional Design Section 1 Lamp House



Section 2 Negative Carrier



Section 3 Focusing System



Section 4 Enclosure Wall


Section 5 Paper Cassette


Section 7 Developing Tank


Section 8 Display & UI




Preliminary 3D Model



Mock Ups This new version of mock ups is based on the feedbacks of first version mock ups’ user test and functional design.

The display is located on the top of the light house. User will use this display to interact with the system and control settings of the system.

The top part is where the LED panel located. The panel can move up and down internally to adjust the distance between light source and light diffuser.


The negative carrier is adjustable to fit different film formats.

The light house can move up and down together to adjust the distance between lens stage and photo paper in order to achieve changing print sizes.

Photo paper cassette will be inserted through the opening on the top of the developer. Chemicals will be pumped into the paper cassette by a pump located in the base of developer.

4 chemical boxes are located in the same base with pump. The are connected to a manifold so that the system can control the chemical flow in order to develop the photo paper properly.


Task Flow of Printing B&W Photo with the System





Sequential Task Analysis Above is the basic flow that users using the system to make a print from the beginning to the end. Below is a more detailed sequential task analysis of operating the system and potential issues with design considerations.


Ref # SEQUENTIAL TASK POTENTIAL ISSUES DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS Condition: Printing black and white photos with the device in living environment set the device on a table top device may too heavy to move around reduce the weight as much as posible and make it easier to store 1 2 3

unpack the device layout the modules assemble the modules in the right order

too many modules and modules may look similar. users may have difficulty to assemble the system in the right order


differentiate each module so that users won't misplace them have clear instructions on the module so that users don't need instruction on paper to assemble the system

Put the paper cassette module on the bottom 5

plug in the power for the device check the light proof enviroment inside the enclosure

6 check the chemical status of the developing tank 7 8 9 10

choose a film take the negative carrier out of the module adjust the carrier to fit the film size


open the carrier


insert the film into the carrier


put the extra film in the storage box

14 15

close the negative carrier insert the carrier back into the module


choose paper size and type


insert the paper cassette into the paper module

user may forget to check the light environment before printing

check the environment automatically and have indicators to show the status user may forget to check the chemical check the environment environment before printing automatically and have indicators to show the status

user may forget to adjust the carrier have clear instruction on the before they put the negative inside it negative carrier to guide people which may cause scratches on the film through the procedure. user may not know how to open the carrier for the first time user may not align the film to the window of the carrier which may cause unintentional croping user may have difficulty putting the film inside and may cause damage to it

have clear instructions for each module to show the procedure provide adjustment ability after user puts the carrier back into the module provide easy way to deal with the extra piece of film

user may not know the right type of paper user may be using the wrong process that causes accidental exposure on the photo paper

show the type of paper or detect the paper automatically provide protection lock to the cassette so that user won't be able to open it before developing



turn on the display

19 20

scan the image adjust focusing distance


double focusing with zoom in feature user may forget to double chech the focusing choose film size on display choose light sourse on display user may not understand the difference between light sources choose print size on display user may not be sure about the printing size and user may want to print smaller size on a larger paper

22 23 24

user may not know how to turn on the automatically turn it on display user may have difficulty to achieve a sharp focus

automatically focusing or providing more options to suggest user to make a double check on focusing

automatically detect the light source automatically detect


choose photo paper type on display


adjust overall exposure on display

27 28

adjust overall contrast on display adjust local exposure on display


adjust local contrast on display

user may not be familiar with digital provide easy UI for user who is not image adjustment procedure and may familiar with digital adjustment or have difficulty using the digital method simulate traditional procedure in the darkroom


confirm adjustment on display

user may not be familiar with digital provide easy UI for user who is not image adjustment procedure and may familiar with digital adjustment or have difficulty using the digital method simulate traditional procedure in the darkroom


tap print button on display

user may not be familiar with digital provide easy UI for user who is not image adjustment procedure and may familiar with digital adjustment or have difficulty using the digital method simulate traditional procedure in the darkroom


wait exposure finish

user may not know for sure when the exposure is finished and may accidentally take out the cassette or open the gate before fully exposed or before the protection covers the paper


take out the paper cassette


user may not know the type of the automatically detect paper user may not trust the scanned image using good quality display and on display simulate the end result as much as possible user may not be familiar with digital provide easy UI for user who is not image adjustment procedure and may familiar with digital adjustment or have difficulty using the digital method simulate traditional procedure in the darkroom

provide protection lock to the system so that the user won't be able to open it mistakenly, but provide an emergency stop button


insert the paper cassette into the developing tank


turn on the display on the developing tank choose the printing size user may choose the wrong information choose the paper type choose the preferred developing level user may not know the difference of different developing level confirm configures tap develop button wait for the finishing of development user may not know if the development process is finished and user may take out the cassette too soon.

36 37 38 39 40 41

user may insert the cassette in the wrong direction

provide direction information on the cassette and single direction port so that user won't be able to insert the cassette in the wrong direction

automatically detect the information show the diffenence on the display

provide protection lock to the system so that the user won't be able to open it mistakenly but provide emergency stop button


take out the paper cassette

the cassette may still be wet and dripping which could cause other problems for the user. It could also contaminate the product itself

provide a tray or station for user to take out the cassette


expose the photo paper

the paper is still wet and chemicals could contaminate environment

provide a tray or station for user to check out the end result of the print with a good light environment

44 45

check the printing and developing quality put the photo into final wash tray

user may forget to put the print into the water for final wash

remind user to wash the print and provide place to squeeze it and dry


clean the paper cassette

the cassette may be tight and have a lot of corners that is hard to clean.

provide easy cleaning process or special tools to clean the system


dry the paper cassette.

user may reuse the cassette before it dries through

provide quick dry tool or provide multiple cassettes

Conclusions of design considerations: 1. Easy assembly instructions.

4. Error prevention or alarm system.

2. Easy guide(UI) of the whole process.

5. Hands free from chemicals.

3. Automatize all possible processes.

6.Easy to change chemical boxes.



Product Requirement Document

After analyzing how users would interact with the system and with the conclusion of design consideration, here is the updated product requirement document that further defines measurable details of the system.


Section 1 Lamp House

1. The light source will provide white light intensity within the range of 800 to 1300 Lum and color temperature within the range of 2800k and 3400k 2. The light source will cover the entire negative film area for both 35mm and 120 film, up to 56mm by 67 mm open area. 3. The light array will provide a light of uniform intensity before light travels through the negative film and intentional local exposure adjustment for printing without creating hard spot light marks or dark/bright corners on the print. 4. The lamp house will be able to change color intensity combinations of red, blue and green within range of 0 to 100% for individual color, in order to have accurate adjustment of image contrast. 5. The light source’s intensity, color temperature and color combinations will be controlled by the built-in control system and can be adjusted by users. This manual interface digitally mimics traditional darkroom developing tools. 6. The distance between light source and negative film will be consistent and can be adjusted by the user. The distance will be determined by the type of light diffuser. 7. The light diffuser will provide a frosted surface which allows light to travel through and creates an even light from LED array until the shape of the array cannot be seen. 8. The module will be easy to assemble and disassemble without special tools and include high school level instructions for users who can operate ordinary hand tools. 9. The light source module contains a power supply module inside of the case and provides 50W 5-24V DC output, 110-220V AC input. 10. The light source module will provide power connectors for the focusing system control panel.


Section 2 Negative Carrier

1. The carrier will hold both 35mm and 120 black and white negative film. 2. The carrier can be adjusted for various film sizes. 3. The carrier will hold the film flat within the opening window area so that every part of the film will be in focus. 4. The carrier will not create any dark corners on the film or final prints. 5. The carrier will be easy to plug in/out with one or both hands. 6. The carrier will guide users to place the film on the correct side of the film for so that users won’t accidentally reverse the intended image. 7. The carrier can adjust the position and alignment of the negative film after user inserts the carrier back into the module so that the film will have better alignment with opening frame due to the possible disruption of the alignment while inserting the carrier back into the module. 8. The carrier hinge will be durable and withstand at least 30,000 opening/closing operations. 9. The carrier will withstand an impact if dropped from the height of a counter desk plus the height of the device or a total combined height of 1300 to 2500mm. 10. The carrier will provide a light tight locking position, so no unintended light will leak through the carrier to the lens. 11. The carrier will not have sharp edges and corners to reduce the chance of any damage or injury. 12. The carrier will be heat resistant up to 80 degrees Celsius. 13. The carrier will be corrosion resistant to air moisture and human handling


Section 3 Focusing System

1. The focusing system includes the focusing mechanism and the lens stage. 2.The focusing system can be precisely adjusted, manually or automatically, for focusing distance between the lens stage and the film (see chart below). 3. The focusing system can adjust the height of the lens stage in 1mm increments and stay at that height until next adjustment occurs. 4. The focusing system will provide an easy method to achieve a sharp focus when printing the image so that the user will be able to observe the focusing result instantly and make manual adjustments at the same time or be prompted by an automatic feature to the proper setting. 5. All moving parts in the focusing system will be lightproof. 6. The focusing system will provide a simple way to change the lens with two hands without using special tools. 7. The focusing system mechanism will not block the image projection light path. 8. The focusing system will carry the light house at all times when the module is moving so that the distance between the light source and negative film will stay the same. There won’t be any light intensity change.

Enlarger Image Projection Distance Measurements Lens Type Film Format Print Size 120 75mm 135



Film to Lens Stage Lens Stage to Paper Film to Paper Film to Lens Stage Lens Stage to Paper Film to Paper Film to Lens Stage Lens Stage to Paper Film to Paper








3.5' 17.75' 21.25'

3' 16.75' 19.75'

3' 16.75' 19.75' 3.25' 24.5' 27.75' 1.75' 16.75' 18.5'

3.25' 14' 17.25'

3.25' 12.75' 16' 3.25' 18' 21.25' 2' 12.25' 14.25'

3.75' 10.25' 14' 3.5' 13.75' 17.25' 2.25' 9' 11.25'

4' 9' 13'


Section 4 Enclosure Wall

1. The enclosure wall will provide a lightproof environment inside the enlarger system. 2. The enclosure wall may be able to collapse and expand to reduce its size for storage and also to adjust its height for different printing sizes. Refer to the focusing module data sheet for height adjustments. 3. If the enclosure wall can be collapsed and expanded, it should not compromise the lightproof enclosure. 4. The enclosure wall may provide a mounting port for an additional display. 5. If the enclosure wall provides a port for display, the enclosure wall will also provide power and data connections so that the display and the rest of the system can communicate with each other. 6. All additional communication connections will not compromise the lightproof environment and wireless connections will follow FCC regulations. 7. The inside surface of the enclosure wall will not create reflective light during image projection which may damage the photo paper. The surface should have an anti-reflective coating or matte finish that would reduce any reflected light.


Section 5 Paper Cassette

1. The paper cassette will provide a lightproof environment for photographic paper. 2. The paper cassette may be a universal easel for different sizes of paper up to 10x10 inches. 3. The paper cassette is also a focusing surface used to adjust the focusing distance before exposing the photo paper. 4. The focusing surface will be flat and parallel to the lens stage and negative film carrier. 5. The focusing surface finish will be similar to the surface of the photographic paper. 6. The paper cassette will ensure the photo paper stays at the same level of focusing surface when the photo paper is exposed. 7. The paper cassette may be able to store several sheets of photo paper at one time 8. The paper cassette must be opened inside the enlarger at a specified time during the exposure process. 9. *If the cassette is used for resizing the print, then it will need the height adjustment mechanism to move the cassette up and down. Refer to focusing module data sheet for height adjustments. 10. *The paper cassette must remain parallel to the lens stage and film carrier at all times during height adjustments.


Section 6 Display & UI

1. The display is capable of monitoring and controlling the enlarger and developer systems. 2. The display will be an FHD LCD/LED display with color calibration, touch sensibility and good image quality. 3. The display must communicate with other parts of the systems during the operations. wireless and wired 4. The display will have some level of water resistance (IP44)and chemical resistance(TBD) 5. The UI will be easy to understand for all levels of users. 6. The UI will guide users through the processes of enlarging and developing. 7. The UI and system will detect errors during all processes and notify users of any errors. 8. The UI will provide at least two modes(novice and professional) for different user types. 9. Novice mode will do most adjustments automatically (resizing, focusing, exposure and contrast) and Professional mode will give more advanced users the freedom to adjust all settings. 10. The system should be understood by the user with equivalent high school education or higher.


Section 7 Developer

1. The system will develop B&W photo paper sizes up to 10 x 10 inches. 2. The system will keep the temperatures at 20 ¹ 3 Celsius 3. The system will include 4 chemical-resistant containers for developer, stop bath, fixer and hypo wash. 4. The chemical container will contain enough volume of chemicals needed for the developing processes (volume TBD). 5. The system will detect and alert users of the status of all chemicals’ freshness. 6. The system may have interchangeable paper developing trays to accommodate different paper sizes. 7. The system provides pumps for chemical injection and extraction. 8. The injection and extraction processing times must be complete within 5 seconds to avoid uneven developing. 9. The system will keep chemicals used in the developing tray circulating. 10. The system may also provide an additional tray for final water wash. 11. The system may provide drying racks or hangers for wet photos. 12. The drying hanger will provide clips for hanging photos. 13. There may be a monitor used to adjust paper type and developing time settings.


Exploded View Based on the functional sketches and updated product requirement document for each sub-system or module, here are the exploded views of the enlarger and developer. They show the fundamental structures of the system and the relationships between internal components.

Light Adjustment Dial Lamp House Cover Power Transmitter Movement Alignment Rail Led Array Light Diffuser Negative Carrier Focusing Dial Lamp House Box Lens Stage Focusing Rail Paper Cassette Door Enclosure Wall

Paper Cassette

Paper Cassette Box


Paper Cassette Paper Cassette Insert Port

Developer Enclosure

Chemical Box Chemical Pump Developer Side Panel


Design Language Study

The product line is aiming at 3 different levels of users with different needs of functions. The design language will be different among these 3 categories. In order to have a better understanding of differentiate these products from each other, I did a study on photography industry and other industries.



Photography Industry



Conclusion There are more features and controls towards professional level. Professional products have more solid and sturdy and heavy body compare to entry level products. Professional products use more metal to the body part. Entry level has less dedicated buttons for controls. Entry level has less ports for extensions. Professional level has distinctive logo or design element to show quality.




Auto Industry




Audio Industry


Conclusions Entry levels use more dome shape to be less aggressive and intimidating. Advanced levels use more dynamic lines and narrow space to be more aggressive and speedy. With sharp edges and corners, it gives a feeling of precision. Little details like stitches opening patterns offers premium feeling. Use of premium materials effectively show the quality of the products. Use of surface finishes can also offer different quality with same material.


Mood Boards

Design Language Key Words After comparing products in other industries and analyzing how they would treat with products for different levels of users, I came up with key words for 3 of my target levels. These key words describe the design philosophy and emotions when people playing and operating them. And then I have 3 mood boards as a guide for my design and further development.

Novice Playful, Inviting, Friendly, Easy, Intuitive

Amateur Simplify, Minimalism, Clean, Neutral,

Prosumer Precision, Aggressive, Elegant, Serious, Profound






Form Exploration With the industry comparison and mood board inspirations, I started to explore form iterations and then later with selections of designs, I categorize them into 3 different levels.












Color Trend Study

Prosumer 172


Novice 173

Color Material Finishes Exploration









Final Direction










Design Refinement


Product Line Development 2 Mock Ups Developing Tray Functional Test Usability Test Design Refinement 3D Model Refinement Final 3D Models Final Color Choices Final Rendering Prototype


Product Line Development 2

Considering the increasing skill level of any user, they will want to be upgrade they system with higher quality, bigger prints and more functions. But with 3 very different design for each level of users, it is hard to maintain design consistency if user want to upgrade with the existing system. And also manufacturing cost will be 2 times more than one design. With user upgrade cost and manufacturing cost in mind, I decided to minimize the product line into uniform design with upgradeability so that users won’t have to purchase a whole new system to upgrade.



Mock Ups These new mock ups represent new modular design. The light house on the top can be detached from the enclosure body. In this case, when users want to upgrade for bigger prints, they will only need to purchase a new enclosure body and paper cassette. They can user the same light house with the new body. They will save a lot money because the light house is where all the importance components located.


The developer system shares the same principle of the enlarger. The basement of the machine ,where all the mechanical components located, will remain the same when users want to upgrade. They will only need to purchase a new set of chemical boxes and developing tray that will match the newer printing size so that there will be enough volume of chemicals to develop the photo paper.


Developing Tray Functional Test

The test shows that if the paper drop onto the developing chemical, the top of the paper will not be properly developed because the paper will flow on top of the chemical.

With two linear guards on top of the paper help the paper to stay under the chemical, but the paper is still not fully emerged into the chemical.


Here is a test proved with the paper dropped into the developing tray (face down) first and import chemical after that, there will be bubbles beneth the paper.

Then I upgrade the guard from 2 linear guard to 4 corner guard to grid guard design. And the paper will be fully emerged in the liquid with grid guard design.


Developing Tray Guard Design



Usability Test With the modular design mock ups and refined developer guard design, I took them out for usability test to look for feedbacks.

David Egan

Feedbacks: Where to put film stripe into the negative carrier? Concerned that the chemical box may be pulled out. The chemical temperature may change due to electrical components. It would be better if the display size corresponds to the real size.


Grant Rusk

Concerned about chemical residue will stay around the tray or corners. Prefer display on the device. It’s better to be able to print from film stripe because single frame is hard to handle and easy to cause finger print contamination. Wish bigger print size.

Jessie Morris

It would be fine either way for the display on the device or connected with an Ipad or laptop. It helps traditional photography to be accessible for everyone. It reduce the chemical exposure, it feels safe.



Easy to follow compare to traditional darkroom. The UI is clear and easy to follow if I know the names of each components. Labeling on parts or a diagram for parts.

Jason Andrescavage

Don’t like the baffle. It may be pain to operate, it may jam. I am curious how much I can replicate dodge and burn with this compare to what I do in the darkroom.



Simple and convenient so that I don’t have to come to public darkroom every day or every week


Prefer display on the top of enlarger because it is eye level. Like the idea of developer because it reduce chemical expose. Reduce chemical waste / paper.


Feedbacks Summary & Refine Options The chart below is a summary of user test feedbacks and design refinement options based on the analysis of those feedbacks.

Design Refinement Based on User Feedbacks Module Name


First Option

Second Option


Display location/size

How to make it larger

The data shows it will be on the device


Size of the button on display

Larger activation area

Negative Carrier/ Lamp House

How to store film strip into negative carrier

Bend the film

Paper Cassette

Differentiate the side of the cassette

Graphic solution

Make it insert only one way or having a shape or graphic indicator to show the direction like a SD card

Paper Cassette

The order when closing the lid of the cassette port

Adding additional layer for preview

Paper Cassette/Developing Tray

How to make sure the paper falls down to the tray

Test and prove with failure rate

Developing Tray

Baffle bending when pulled out

Add support structure

Developing Tray

Chemical tray residue

Nano spray/ slop/ guard shape/ less corner

Chemical Box

Chemical box lock mechanism

Chemical Box

Chemical temperature concern

Temperature control


Chemical Box

Chemical Package options

One refillable one disposable

Chemical Box

Concern of someone would Add lock pull the chemical box Add enclosure during the procedure

Lock with hinge of the enclosure


First hand on experience

Diagram for parts


Micro adjust position

Label on parts


Design Refinements Here are the design refinements that based on the user’s feedbacks.

Developing Tray Section View A

B Baffle


The value of A is greater than B, which means when pulling out of push in the baffle, there will be at least one guard is in between developing tray’s inserting port to provide a light tight environment.

Paper cassette hinge design

Inspired by the hinge design for attachable sun glasses. US20120069292A1-20120322-D00005.png


Developing Tray Fluid Guide Channel


Chemical Flow Diagram










Paper Cassette Paper Cassette



Enlarger Design Refinement



Developer Design Refinement



3D Model Refinement



Final 3D Models Enlarger Assembly



Enlarger Internal Components







Enlarger Exploded Views


Enlarger Orthographic Views


Developer Assembly



Developer Internal Components







Developer Exploded Views


Developer Orthographic Views


Final Color Choices Based on previous color trend study, I initially offer 5 colors for users to choose, Black; Blue; Green; Yellow and White. Black and blue stand out from other colors. Each of them earns one third of the votes.



Final Rendering







Prototype For prototype I combined with 3D printing and acrylic sheet together. I 3D printed internal components and radius corner of the enclosure. I laser cut out the flat surface and then glue them together. The top part of the enlarger and developer is too big and complicated for FDM 3D printer. I send it to a 3D printing company to print with resin.





UX/UI Design & Development


User Flow Wireframes UI Prototype Rendering on Device


User Flow There is a 6'' full HD IPS LCD touchscreen placed on the lighthouse of the enlarger. Users will use this display to control the system and adjust their images. Users will also receive operational instructions through the display. So it is critical that the UX and UI system is simple to understand for both novices and professionals. And at the same time, the UI system is flexible for more advanced users to have as much control as possible. The operation processes are linear. So I first simulate and analyze the process of using the system to print an image from a black and white film.








UI Prototype

UI Render on Device



Material & Processes


Plastic type Comparison Plastic Processes Comparison Material Choice Bill of Material



Plastic Type

Plastic Type Comparison




Low friction engineering plastic with outstanding chemical, high temperature, and weathering resistance.

Strong, stiff plastic, good machining characteristics, bearing and wear, and chemical resistance.

A strong, dimensionally stable plastic with outstanding chemical resistance and wear properties.

Good Chemical Resistance Impact Resistant High Temperature Easy to Fabricate Good for Friction and Wear Good Electrical Insulation Good Weathering Sealing High Purity

Easy to Machine Good Dimensional Stability Good Chemical Resistance Strong and Stiff Easy to Fabricate Good for Friction and Wear Good Electrical Insulation Stain Resistance Good for Bearings

Easy to Machine Good Chemical Resistance Strong and Stiff Easy to Fabricate Good Dimensional Stability Good for Friction and Wear Stain Resistance Good for Bearings

Easy to Machine Hydrolysis Resistant Good for Bearings





Strong, stiff engineering plastic often used to replace metal bearings and bushings.

Low cost, chemical resistant plastic with excellent aesthetic qualities.

Plastic material with excellent chemical and corrosion resistance at elevated temperatures.

Easy to Machine Good Chemical Resistance Strong and Stiff Easy to Fabricate Good Dimensional Stability Good for Friction and Wear Good Electrical Insulation Prototyping Good for Bearings

Easy to Machine Good Chemical Resistance Easy to Fabricate Easy to Weld Orthotics and ProstheticÂŽs

Easy to Machine Good Chemical Resistance Strong and Stiff High Temperature Easy to Fabricate Good Dimensional Stability Good for Friction and Wear Good Electrical Insulation Hydrolysis Resistant Autoclavable Good for Bearings High Purity 259

Plastic Processes Comparison





Material Choice Here is a list of major custom parts within De-Light Film system. It shows the parts’ names and material requirements, potential material choices and manufacture processes. By considering material requirements, such as Opaque, Chemical Resistance, Wear, Structural Strength and Thermo-Stability, and the characteristics of variety types of plastics, following types of plastic are being considered applied in the system.

System Category

Part Name

Material Requirement Chemical Resistant

LED panel holder Light Diffuser holder Negative Carrier Lens Stage Enlarger

Lamp house enclosure Display mounting base Display protective panel Enlarger Body Paper cassette Developing tray


Developer main body Chemical Box


Light Seal


Material Structural

Manufacturing Process

Thermo-Stable PET/PBT




Stainless Steel/Aluminum Stamp Stainless Steel/Aluminum Stamp PET/PBT

Extrusion/Injection Molding

PET/PBT PET/PBT PET/PBT/Steel/Aluminum Injection Molding/ Sheet Metal Fabricating PP

Injection Molding/ Extrusion




Injection Molding


Blow Molding/Rotation


Bill of Materials





Next Step


Up to this point, I have completed the market research and assessments, technology research, functional/aesthetic design, user experience design and test, and 3D model. In order to continue developing the project, a team of software and hardware engineers will be needed. The software engineers will make sure the user interface and experience is fluid and responsive. They will also calculate and tune the “scanned� images so they match the images displayed on the screen. The hardware engineers will build the control system of the electronic and mechanical components. Then they will also build alpha prototypes and test the reliability of the complete design. Both software and hardware engineers will work together to make sure the focusing distance, exposure time and developing time matches the settings in the control system/UI. Once the alpha prototype system is working, they will put all the sub-systems together into the enclosure to make a beta prototype. Then, they will put the system through functional tests to make sure the system is meeting the requirements of all electronic product regulations, such as FCC, CE, UL, RoHS etc. Meanwhile, crowd funding has been lunched to cover the initial manufacturing costs. A more detailed market and manufacturing strategy will follow in the next section.


Market and Business Plan

I am aiming at 10,000 units of De-Light Film system for the first batch in the market. Looking at registered member from major forums that targeted specifically at traditional photography, Analog Photography User Group: 84,000+ ; Analog Photography Reddit: 65,000+. And considering other traditional photographers and those who are about to get involved in traditional photography, 10,000 units would be a good start for the first batch put out in the market. As we approach the manufacturing stage, a crowd funding campaign will be conducted to cover the costs of initial tooling and supply purchases. The pledge goal is $500,000


Crowd Fouding

Backers who pledge $5-20, will receive images on artistic post cards made with photographic paper enlarged and developed by the system. This will give backers who don’t have a lot of confidence in purchasing the system an idea of what they can achieve by using it. Backers who pledge $900 (90% of market price), will receive one complete system with one set of disposable chemical boxes and a set of image post cards. Backers who pledge $1300 (130% of market price), will receive one complete system with one set of refillable chemical boxes and one set of developing chemical powder. They will also receive one pack of B&W photographic paper and a set of image post cards.

After initial funding, the complete system will be manufactured in China due to lower production and labor costs, convenient supply chains and efficient production lines. To start, all sales will be based on e-Commercial websites. Hence, the product will be sold on its own website and shipped worldwide from China. If overseas markets reach certain profit benchmarks, international supply chains will be explored. The system will also be sold at 3rd party stores, such as Taobao, BestBuy, B&H Photo Video, local camera stores and niche stores.


Bibliography AnAt-Home-Film-Developing-Kit-That-Doesnt-Require-a-Darkroom 274


Bringing the Darkroom Experience into the Light


Qi Zheng Thesis Project Report  
Qi Zheng Thesis Project Report