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The Machine

The Machine

AuRA is a simple yet powerful rotary assist film development machine. It eliminates the boring part of the process, especially for films with long processing time, by handling timing and rotation, and providing good consistent results.

Current mechanical configuration supports popular German 1500 system tanks (1510, 1520, and 1510 with 1530 extensions), 2520 tank, and English System 4 2 and 3 reel tanks. Other tanks may be used, but were not tested. Horizontal tank orientation allows for huge savings of chemicals needed (40-60%, depends on a tank).

Rotary Modes

AuRA has 4 different time-controlled rotary modes:

  • "Easy Mode" is the closest to the manual development. It agitates 30 seconds using preset speed, then slows down to 1/5 of that speed. Then, every 30 seconds, it changes direction and accelerates to the preset speed for a short moment of time for better agitation, and decelerates back to 1/5 again. This mode is really good for BW films and provides really close results to the manual process.
  • "Continuous" agitation mode - when the tank rotates in the same direction during a specified amount of time. This mode is ideal for washing cycles and usually used on higher speeds.
  • "Oscillate" mode - when the tanks turns forward and backward even amount of time. I found it to be great for fixing stage when you want even non-aggressive agitation.
  • "Progress" mode is a variation of the "Oscillate" mode - tank rotates forward, then turns back for about ¼ of the previous rotation, and then rotates forward again.

All rotary modes can run any of the preselected speeds, from 10 to 75 RPM. Available speeds are 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 60 & 75rpm (note: for the 2520 tank max speed is limited to 50rpm due to tank size). The current speed can easily be changed during the operation by rotating the control dial.

In addition to four rotary modes machine has a "Timer Only" mode that allows to time different operations without using the rotary feature.

The time for all modes can be set in 1 second intervals from 1 minute to 60 minutes.

Presets Feature

AuRA also has "Presets" option that allows you to set 5 different "Mode-Time-Speed" combination settings and quickly recall them during development time. All settings, when saved, are permanently stored into machine memory. Note: presets work only for rotary modes.

Audible Notifications & Other Features

When current operation is close to completion, AuRA beeps at 1 minute, 30 seconds and 0 seconds marks. By using the settings menu this feature may be disabled when quiet operation is required. Also the settings menu lets you choose what kind of tank is being used for better rotation control.

By pushing the control dial for about two seconds, each operation can be interrupted if needed. You can also hold the control dial to to navigate backwards within AuRA menus. AuRA has a built-in counter of successfully finished processes.

Machine Design & Production

Each machine is manually assembled, will be inspected and tested before each shipment. AuRA is fully serviceable. Most of its components are readily available and do not require any special manufacturing processes. Mechanical part of the machine runs using heavy duty sealed ball bearings with load ratings that greatly exceed machine requirements. Stepper motor is controlled by the TMC stepper driver - it is very quite compared to other available options. All major electronic components have active cooling. The way machine components are aligned minimizes the risk of getting liquid into an electrical part (note - machine is not waterproof) . Case and rollers manufactured using FDM process. Base is made from the aluminum extrusion while rotating shafts are made of hardened stainless steel.

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