Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Supplemental funding sought for New55 FILM project

"Start from scratch".

Those are the words you didn't want to hear with regard to the Receiver Sheet development, because you knew that would 1. take more time and 2. cost more than anticipated.  But the coating team did it! The results are good, and there is an environmental benefit too - one that was necessary in light of new restrictions on certain chemicals and processes.

Solving that technical and environmental risk still leaves a considerable financial risk that, to be frank, could be a show-stopper. We must raise a modest additional amount of money to see this through, and there are several ways to go about that, below.  And for those who have and continue to donate to the cause, as we have with our time and personal funds (Sam and Bob are not salaried, but we do have to pay other people to work) again a gigantic Thank-you.

Since we are not very late and "only" short of funds, you have been giving us many helpful fundraising ideas. The first is to get The Shop open on New55.net.  Even a trickle will help there and that leads to the question of what other products might be offered.  Currently you have sent renewed calls (that have not abated since the early days) of getting to you, a version of Readyload or Quickload products.  If so, they will be as fundraising tools - not primary products. No distractions from the demanding work of getting New55 FILM into a produceable state.

All products in The Store should have something to do with the mission of making large format film photography accessible and fulfilling. Though tee shirts do qualify, barely, more substantial products such as other analog films and developers are better. For that reason you are going to be asked to be part of an experiment with some offerings that should appeal to the broader audience and provide a way to start early, needed sales. These items have to be carefully selected.

Requirements for items in The Shop.

An item must be:

1. Compatible with the mission. Either directly related to the cause of film photography, or its supporters and fans.

2. Available in modest quantities. This is often overlooked. Some items like injection-molded tanks, for instance, require large runs and expensive tooling.

3. Profitable. These "other" products exist only to support the much more important industrial development of Instant Film manufacture.

4. Shippable.

5. Environmentally acceptable.

6. Something you, as a serious photographer, can appreciate from a practical, esthetic or simply entertaining viewpoint.

What do you think of these things?

  • Books
  • Apparel
  • Film holders
  • "Readyload or Quickload" type preloaded film.
  • 4x5 branded sheet film similar to discontinued Panatomic X. We'd have to come up with a name for that - Maybe we can have a naming contest.
  • Monobath developers
  • Branded cases and gear
  • Developing trays
  • Modified film-safe IR cameras for those who wish to make their own Visible Darkrooms like we have.
  • Custom film loading service - for instance, someone might order five "loads" with Tri-x, three with Ektachrome (from the freezer) and seven with the as-yet named Pan-X replacement.
  • Original prints from The Gallery, signed and dated.

This is just a start - what else comes to your mind?

ps. Comments are most welcome - you can comment as "anonymous" and if you can, please give your first name.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New55 Positive Print Scale Matches Negative

New55 FILM Positive Print - Copyright 2015
Robert J Crowley. All rights reserved

New55 FILM Negative - Copyright 2015
Robert J Crowley. All rights reserved

New55 Positive Print Tonal Scale Matches Negative

Ashland MA February 4, 2015   

New55 FILM examples were published today to show the progress underway at the New55 FILM project.  The New55 team is pleased that its newly-invented receiver formula matches the tonal scale and speed of the negative as closely as it does.  The formula, which was developed to conform to mandatory rules regarding the use of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), is the first of its kind and represents a major technical accomplishment.  The New55 Receiver Engineering team consisting of Ted McLelland, Charles Fendrock and Jake Kellett had to abandon their first formula after months of trials and then start again from scratch.   

The old method similar to that previously used by Polaroid was found to be impractical and environmentally risky.  A new formula had to be invented from scratch, and the team performed hundreds of test coats and exposures over the last several months.

“The surface of the positive print consists of millions of nano structured cells where the chemical reaction takes place during processing. The structure is an example of photonic nanoengineering that began in the early days of photography. This newly-developed version has potential biomedical applications outside of the photographic field”,   explained Bob Crowley, who has been working on the project.

“The unexpected development time and difficulties sourcing materials that went out of production years ago have hampered our speed, and delayed the project” said Sam Hiser, Project CEO.  “We plan various fundraising activities to continue the effort” he said.

New55 was started and partially funded by Crowley in 2011. In 2014, Crowley then joined forces with Hiser which raised an additional $365,000 in a Kickstarter effort. Crowley estimates that a total equivalent expenditure of just under $1M might be the to-date “burn", which he believes is a normal amount for such a high-risk product development exercise.

Photo details: Shot with an old Speed Graphic 4x5 press camera fitted with a 150mm f2.8 Xenotar. Full assembly of New55 PN film exposed and processed in a metal Polaroid 545 sheet film holder. Both positive and negative scanned on an Epson V750 and are uncorrected and unedited, except for slight edge cropping. Film speed ISO 100.  Exposure: 1 second at f32. Processing time: 180 seconds, negative cleared in Ilford Rapid Fixer.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New55 website is up, and other things

Sam has put up a very functional and artistically minimal site at http://new55.net which has what I think is a very appropriate look.  You might notice "The Tomato" logo.  I imagine that thing spinning as the film loads.

A new addition is the convenient paypal button that quite a few supporters have used recently!  A gigantic Thank you.

We're definitely not all the way there, and though risks remain - and I feel reasonably optimistic - I am temporarily (mentally) exhausted.  It's a good thing we have a versatile team - one that is running to beat the time and money clock.

In a couple of weeks we'll be showing our balanced receiver and negative which is a big accomplishment.  Yesterday we found pinholes in some of our long awaited substrate. There's always something to deal with.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Spending Summary: 2014 starting cash, and remaining cash at the beginning of 2015

Those who have been following know that the actual amount we got from Kickstarter was reduced from the "pledge" of $415,025 - caused by failed payments, and fees - to $365,256.

1. Beginning Cash. Kickstarter yielded $365,256. 
2. We also put in $2000 to open the bank account, and then people donated $858 through paypal.
3. The starting amount was $368,114.

In early May we opened the New55 checking account with $2000 to cover expenses needed right then, and by May 29 the Kickstarter proceeds were finally in the account, referred to as "beginning cash". We also got some donations totaling $858 at that time. Together, these have been applied to fund the development of New55 and the industrial capacity to manufacture a product, according to the descriptions and risks on Kickstarter.


1. These are the things we spent money on
2. Each category is a summary of what was spent in that area
3. We might adjust these numbers as we go through the end of year accounting.

Nine different expense (spending) categories are listed here. The word "expense" means money spent. We have records of spending that occupies many pages, so this is just a summary according to the main categories.

Rent, Heat and Lights.  New55 occupies substantial dedicated assembly and lab areas, and shared office space, and pays a portion of the rent and utilities at 72 Nickerson Rd. in Ashland, MA. The charge New55 pays is allocated on a square footage basis.

Payroll is what New55 reimbursed, at cost, the hired hourly help. To save time and money, New55 used the existing system at Soundwave Research  (Soundwave Research started New55 several years ago and funded the initial R&D, and other things) which provides administrative, insurance, regulatory, bookkeeping, payroll services, accounting and other things that New55 did not have to go out and find separately.

Equipment consists of machines, tools, tooling (including hard tooling at a vendor location), test equipment, and lab equipment. The sleeve machine, coaters, big microscope, ovens and dies come to mind, and there are others.

Materials are films, papers, emulsions, metals, formed metals, chemicals, reagents, substrates, tapes, adhesives, labels, boxes and more.

R&D is the charge for services from Soundwave Research that are not on payroll, but take professional time, software, or equipment not owned by New55.  For instance, New55 gets full access to CAD such as Solidworks, and Quickbooks Manufacturing as well as other engineering tools used to perform product development and create bills of materials, component drawings, process charts, and necessary manufacturing documentation.  If New55 had to get these by itself it would have been very costly and time consuming.

Shipping and freight is what was spent on UPS, postage, overland freight, TNT international, and other charges relating to getting materials, supplies and machines shipped.

Marketing relates to websites, promotions, email support lists, logo designs, etc.

Travel is mainly airfare and hotels, and fuel and mileage. Both US and international travel was done to obtain services and key materials for the project.

Miscellaneous consists of things that are not in another category.

Total spending is the sum of the above. The total, and this report, is unaudited, which means that adjustments might still be made, additional bills could still come in, and checks for errors are still to be done.

Remaining Cash as of January 6, 2015

Remaining cash is what was in the bank on January 6.  New55 has to pay state and federal taxes, and that could be anywhere from 20 to 50% of that remaining amount, or more, which means we cannot spend all of it until we know.

It is apparent that we will need to raise additional cash. 

1. Most of the biggest expenses have been made, and we believe we are close to being able to begin scale up of the New55 product.
2. The project is very near its biggest ramp up event which is to run actual receiver sheet in a large coating facility, and we believe we have the budget already in place to cover that.
3. We have not yet achieved "first lot to stock" which is the formal placing of completed product into a stock location.
4. In addition, we are readying "the store" so we can sell accessories and other items to raise more cash and fund operations.
5. Remaining cash on January 6, 2015 is $111,575, subject to tax.

New55 Holdings, LLC

Friday, December 12, 2014



Ashland, Massachusetts -- December 17, 2014 -- New55 Holdings, LLC, announced today that there will be necessary schedule changes to its New55 FILM project due to delays in materials.  New55 CEO Samuel W. Hiser said "While we are not late - yet - it does look like the team will be delayed by longer-than-expected lead times from key suppliers. Certain industries move slowly, and we have to wait for them to supply us with custom materials, some which have not been manufactured for over a decade.”

Co-founder Bob Crowley remarked, "The New55 project has been unlike any conventional business and as a result we have the freedom to talk about our problems publicly. The last six months have been very productive with several discoveries and many problems, some which have been solved." Crowley added, “Key problems facing the team, and the release of New55 FILM, also involve long supply waiting times for critical materials.”

The project reported that manufacturing has started with certain subassemblies and film supplies. Many components are now in stock, but there are some remaining materials that are being developed. Progress with the all-important receiver sheet has been steady but difficult, and will take more time and possibly more money than expected. 

The goal still is to begin the full production ramp and continue it through Q1 2015, but it will likely get off to a later than expected start. The team thanked supporters for their generosity and encouragement, as well as many interesting and useful suggestions. “Nearly all of the important assembly processes and tools that will be used in Ashland are in place and working, staff are trained, and important local services are in place.  The assembly areas have been nicely outfitted, and we have recently built an additional assembly station that will be used to accelerate the production ramp. Good progress has been made.” said Hiser.

20x24 Studio's recent move to Ashland, which is a key part of the plan, has progressed. "We are pleased they are now neighbors and we work together every day," said Hiser. "We are attempting to build a small, sustainable industry, so our mutual goals are long-term.”

Reports on Financial Matters and Fundraising

New55's store will "go live" on schedule and offer minor products to first learn how to operate the store efficiently and to help pay for additional work that will need to be continued through 2015.

"New55 has a significant tax liability. Crowd-funding has advanced, but tax methods have not, so we are in the position of having to pay ordinary income tax on the Kickstarter proceeds.  Fundraising in 2015 will also be income." explained Crowley.

Hiser and Crowley currently contribute as non-salaried volunteers.  Pre-tax withholding for Crowley has been accomplished by charging the project and withholding an amount to partially cover required taxes. New55 facility owner Soundwave Research is paid a variable monthly fee for rent, utilities, heat, accounting and bookkeeping services, access to tools and machines, consulting fees, and transferred labor. Soundwave has charged New55 “at cost” as a temporary measure to assist the project. Transferred labor consists of technical and engineering time from Soundwave, consisting of three regular employees and two additional paid consultants. 


Samuel W. Hiser


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Image collection of test coater for coating team

Although this is only a 12" coater it could be used for development of the next generation materials at a cost less than we might pay at a commercial coater.

  1. Made by Modern Metal Craft in Midland, Michigan.
  2. Built in 1990.
  3. Weighs ~1200 lbs.
  4. Nip and doctor blade
  5. Unwind and rewinds
  6. Variable speeds
  7. Pump
  8. Heated roller (may be used cold)
  9. Designed for paints, but can be used for coating other low viscosity materials.

DOW BENCH BLADE COATER (excerpt from manual)

Basically, the bench blade coater consists of side plates, a backing roll, two idler rolls, two unwind stations, a rewind station, a doctor blade holder, doctor blade, and variable speed gear motor which drives a chrome plated or stainless steel drum (12" diameter by 12" wide), which may be heated by recirculating a 50/50 blend of water and glycol.  Some users like to substitute peanut oil when operating at temperatures above 212 degrees F but less than about 250 degrees F. For high temperature applications (greater than 250 degrees F) it is recommended that Dow Corning Silicon Oil 710R be used.

The coating is applied to the paper from a puddle via a trailing blade. Blade pressure is accomplished via sliding weights attached to the hold-down arms. Coat weights are controlled by coating solids and the placement of the sliding weights on the hold-down arms (additional weight may be added to further reduce the coating weight if desired). Machine speed is dictated by color solids, coat weight, and drum temperature. Speeds of 30 to 40 feet per minute are typical for a 62% T.S. color dried at 195 degrees.

The coater requires 12" wide rolls of base stock wound on standard 3" diameter cores with a maximum roll diameter of 12". Colors of 10,000 cps or less can be easily handled, and in normal practice, a minimum of 10 grams of coating is placed in the nip and the machine started. The coater may be left running until all the coating has been used, thus avoiding messy clean-up. Much larger quantities of stock may be coated by continuously replacing the coating as it is being used. Plastic squeeze bottles (4 oz.) with eye dropper nozzles are suggested as a means of placing the desired amount of coating in the nip. The semi-dried coating film remaining on the doctor blade is removed with a single-edge razor blade.

The coated sheet, dried by the heated drum, and the IR Dryer and/or Hot Air Dryer if they are used, is fed out at the rear and wound into a roll. Coating two sides as well as double coating can be accomplished by proper placement of the coated windup roll in the secondary unwind station, which rotates in either direction. The paper supply shaft will rotate in either direction too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Image collection for coating team access. Click images twice(OSX) for a high res closeup

10u ABV over blue. Rough, but perfectly sealed.

20+u of Image over gloss. Remains smooth, but too thick so it will crack

2+u of release layer over Image. Look at how smooth the top is. This thickness did not interfere with image color or density formation.

2u Release layer. Like a ruler. 

This week's Three Layer Mix over blue. Hills and bumps like a cheap hotel room ceiling. Dmax inside the valleys is perfect. Almost no Image remains on the tops of the hills. 
The white spots are just the hilltops and the polluted Dmins are reagent puddles.

1966 T47 uncoated area. Image is 1-2u thick and the colloids can be seen too. Brown area is hydrogen sulfide affected lead acetate nucleant degradation where I missed with the print coater.

GreyBack from Polaroid. Looks familiar.

Friday, November 14, 2014

November Update - a setback and some progress

It was bound to happen: The tight schedule we set out for ourselves over the Summer went well, and luck was with us as we developed an all-new receiver sheet.  The work done by Ted and Jake, in particular, yielded at least two good performing formulas. Last month I reported that we had a November 6th date to coat one of them, but the formulas didn't cooperate, and now have to be reformulated to a new schedule.

The outcome of this could be a delay in the first receiver sheet that we expected in November. That would set the schedule back by about a month, and we are attempting to fix that.

Good progress on the pod paper. A new potential vendor has been found and the race is on to get it in sooner than the old supply runs out.

The clips are performing well.

A snag in the paper supply: The paper supplier has a minimum of 5000 pounds, which we agreed to. Now they expect the paper run to occur in January. Obviously, we can't wait that long. If you know of 9 to 10 mil, black, 60# rolls of dust free paper somewhere (NOT craft paper or construction paper) we can buy it.  The cost of the material is $3.10 per pound so a 5000 pound roll is $15,500 - before converting, slitting, and transportation. A roll that big cannot be picked up by hand. We are looking for an alternate supply.  This paper is the material used for the tongue. Once we have the paper, a vendor applies the various tapes, makes laser cuts and other things, and does them beautifully.

The economy is improving which is good and not so good for small R&D companies that need the big companies to pay attention to them. Such is the case here with a few items. I will give an update on all these in two weeks.

Bob Crowley


Here is a shot of a recent successful coating.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October Update

Instead of editing previous updates I thought I would start again from scratch and focus on the most critical items in their order of urgency and risk. With just a couple of months to go there is considerable schedule risk on one key component - the receiver material - and that could still cause a launch delay.  The good news is that is the rest of the components are either on hand, or we have a very good design with some solid applications engineering left, which we think is just work, and not as much risk.

The Receiver

I've been talking about and posting pictures of coatings from the scanning electron microscope for those nerdy enough to want to see the details, and there are dozens and dozens more we have done. Ted, Jake and Gerry have proven feasibility of New55's unique receiver system, and we have some good examples. Now it is time to scale it up at a commercial coater.

That's not easy and we are racing to finish that formula for a projected first test coat of wide roll material on November 6!   The time has been booked at a great Massachusetts coater and they have been a dream to work with so far, but we still have work to do, and this event is only a couple of weeks from today.

The risk: We might not have the formula ready for coat. They do the coating, we supply the "juice".

If we are successful the coated roll will be slit into smaller rolls and go straight into the Sleeve Machine which is a key machine we have up and running well.

Die Cut Sleeves

After the well-working Sleeve Machine, an outside service has to make the complex curve cuts which means we have to cut to length and then send them out. The first units had ragged edges and some other problems that were not cosmetic, such as out of spec flatness. This is a worry but not a major one as the vendor has shown a great deal of improvement in his process. We decided not to bring die cutting in house because it is so widely available.

The Clip

The first pieces we got of the famous Clip worked better than any clip from Polaroid, Kodak or Fujifim.  They hold shape, are stronger, and straighter. They fly into the 545 holder and grab the sometimes-work finger like a vise. So we went ahead and OK's production of 30,000 of these little items, and they aren't cheap. But, they are worth it.

The Tongue

Des Fyler has devised a film loading scheme so practical, so elegant, so intuitive, that it is hard to believe that Polaroid, Fujifilm or Kodak never did it. The part is made in such a way that the pod and film are held in a fixed position to each other every time and that also attaches itself to the Clip using a special adhesive.  Tooling and sourcing this design is an ongoing part of our race to the finish, and it's gonna be close.

It is worth noting that the way the Tongue and the Clip work together overcomes some legacy problems associated with the 545 holder. The angle of the clip relative to the sleeve is biased in favor of the back, allowing the finger to grab the clip, while still assuring a smooth entrance and light-tightness.  If we can, we want to do things in a better way than before even though we know there is risk in change.

The Pod

Ted and co have pre-produced some pods with a new reagent for us to get started with. This will at first be a somewhat laborious and unprofitable operation which will have to be corrected by additional pod making tooling or even a new machine, which has been quoted at the alarming price of over $100,000. That's just for one unit. It means that we would have a $4 per unit tooling burden to pay down and that could drag out unless we ramped up into the 400,000 unit realm. I don't know about that, but some others around here are more optimistic.

Update: An hour after I published this I learned that the pod machine will not arrive until the following month. This could affect the pod making schedule and will delay the engineering changes to the machine, which is owned by 20x24.

The Reagent

Some of the chemicals used in the reagent are going out of production.  I hate it when that happens.

The Pod Material

The paper of the pod is special and needs to be sourced before the initial amount runs out in mid-2015. Polaroid invented the idea of pods and paper a long time ago and today we have ketchup, cosmetic, sanitary and prophylactic pods of many kinds, but few with what the industry refers to as "frangible seals". That is taken to mean "more easily breakable", in the pod world, and several strategies have evolved. Pods often have sections and some instant film products have sections where the chemicals change over time, producing pod stripes on the picture. We only expect one chamber, so any stripes will be due to other manufacturing variabilities, or the subject.

The Film

In the freezer. Works good. Special run for us and more coming in. Another freezer will be needed. Yay.

The Box

Sam has finally found a very strong box that has all the right attributes, including a price that makes sense, and is about to get these made. He needs to order a large amount, so, we will have a lot more boxes than we need. Maybe we can put something else into them besides New55 FILM.

Packaging and Fulfillment

Sam is ably developing the right methods with a fulfillment system that will be simple  - once it is set up. This is nontrivial and requires a lot of development still. Beside the actual product, it must also efficiently ship out accessories and rewards across the globe.

The Schedule

All these things and much more are supposed to converge in November when process development, production flow organization, documentation and supply chain metrics will be first established. It will be a busy time and one that will determine when we have our First Lot to Stock of New55 FILM.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Production Ramp for New55 FILM

Production ramp up estimates are usually expressed in straight lines, but never, in my experience, occur that way. There are bumps, delays, overages and changes along the way. Our supporters have pledged for New55 FILM to become a sustainable product, not a one-shot deal. That means we have to 1. estimate the steady state sales demand and 2. tool and schedule materials and labor for the required numbers.

The chart shows how it all might work: On the vertical scale are units per week. I prefer to have that as a measurement because it works well with production assemblers, who may work part of the week, or have a certain quota to meet. If week 7 fell a little short, for instance, then the assemblers still have week 8 to look forward to.  This is better than waiting a month to find out if production targets are being met.  So in our case we will call start of production "week 1", which starts out as zero.

The steady sales demand estimate is pegged at 1000 units per week.  This number surprises some people as rather small, but it represents the point where in steady amounts the product nears break even which is the term for "not losing money, not making money".

Since nobody imagines that the Kickstarter "demand" of some 20,000 units can all be built and shipped at once (nor could they be unless we hired a lot of people and then had a big layoff after the first 20,000 are shipped, which would be very wrong!) a scale-up ramp that within a reasonable time achieves the steady state demand is used and the shipping schedule is established to fit it.

Early "orders" get filled first and in the sequence they came in, which means that a trickle will go to the first few supporters and from then a stream will build up until all have been shipped.  This kind of "first in, first out" method is very common, and along with a scale-up ramp, allows a small number of people to be employed on a steady basis through the demand. It also has the advantage, the very big advantage, of allowing us to fine tune the process, which will naturally get better over time if there is no "panic".  Steady, sustained, even and smooth are the words you want to hear.

The big risk is what happens after the demand is filled. A sharp drop off in orders would be bad. More orders than expected would be good.  1000 units per week (that means 200 boxes of 5 sheets) comes to 25 units per hour in the normal week.  That's a good and sane starting pace that is fair to the assemblers and achieves - we hope - a new instant film product that can be made for many years. Time will tell.
There is also a low side estimate within statistical possibility

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1 update

Risk Summary - September 1 covering progress in August, 2014.

Here is a summary of the various at-risk components of New55 film as of September 1, 2014. Please refer to the August summary as well so you can compare progress.

The Sleeve Assembly. This contains the Receiver sheet which has several parts, the stop tab, end tab and printing. It has to be stable yet easily peelable, light tight, and axially stiff enough to allow easy insertion into the 545 holder. And as we have advertised, it should produce less "Polatrash" than its predecessor.

Status: Some parts done, several in development. We continue to rely on The Sleeve Machine and it works well. We have even found a die-cutter who can perform all the cut to length operations at an OK starting price.

Cost: Still high, but at least now we know.

Risk: Moderate mechanical risk, high materials risk.

The Receiver Sheet

Status: New design developed by New55

Cost: High? We don't really know what the bill will be yet.

Risk: High. This is the highest risk component of the project and is quite complex. The team has done well, and have a single layer all aqueous system that works.  The design is out for quotes at coating facilities.  THIS IS A HUGE MILESTONE.

The Base is paper, of a certain thickness, width etc. that serves as the support for some 8 other layers of materials.  Further experiments with the Base paper show it is a suitable substrate, subject to the addition of a bridge coat, and a bright white coating.

Status: We have it

Cost: Low

Risk: Modest

The Laminate in this case is the opacification layer, which is something we invented, and the polymer overcoat layer.

Status: We have it, but we might not need it anymore, given the apparent success of the single layer all aqueous receiver design.

Cost: Low

Risk: Modest

The Bridge is an additional coat that seals the Base and Laminate making them impervious and less susceptible to excess water absorption during coating steps and user processing. It has to be a material that will support the next coat.

Status: Still needed and one version tested that works reasonably well.

Cost: Unknown

Risk: Moderate

"Image" is what we call the layer that is white and has the glossy surface you see. In actuality, this layer is fairly complex, has to have an exact pH and pH over time characteristic, and have a high whiteness. It also has to have a nanostructure that is particular to the DTR process and image quality requirements learned from the photonics fields, and therefore requires specialized services which we do not have, currently.

Status: We might have eliminated this, too. Luck may be with us here, but we do not know for sure.

Risk: Being reassessed.

The Nucleation Layer is where the black and grey tones of the positive image are developed and held for eternity or at least for a long time. We have formulated our own modern Nucleation Layer and now have to find a resource to apply it.

Status: We invented this, it works, and we think it can be commercialized

Cost: High. This layer uses very expensive materials in small quantities, but it adds up.

Risk: High. Even though we know how to do this, it has never been commercialized, but we have possibly found the right coating resources to make it a reality.

The Release Layer is the very topmost layer and it keeps the reagent from sticking and making a mess. We have to find someone able to do this, or do it ourselves. It isn't all that complex but this layer can impart a brown or yellow tone to the positive, which looks awful. So we want to avoid that.

Status: Tests show this is an easy process.

Cost: Moderate

Risk: Low/Moderate

The Cover might also be called The Back of the Sleeve Assembly. Its job is to keep the assembly light tight and form a thin cover for parts to slide. We have designed The Cover to mimic the operation of our Base and Laminate, only thinner, to keep the total thickness within the limits of the 545 holder. The Cover works very well, looks nicer than anything Polaroid used for its sheet film, and it seals the light out like no tomorrow, so hooray for The Cover!

Status: We have it here and it works well. Leaving well enough alone!

Cost: Low

Risk: Modest

The Stop Tab is a piece of thick paper that prevents you from pulling The Sleeve all the way out of the camera. It has to be cut from the right stock and glued into the right place and we need to invent a tool to do that, because nobody wants to hand-glue 25,000 tabs.

Status: Being designed and sourced, with significant vendor contact now

Cost: Unknown

Risk: Moderate/Low

The End Tab is the part you hold with your hand as you insert the film into the 545. It has to be peelable, stiff, locatable with simple machinery, and have opposing adhesive stripes applied to it prior to assembly. It looks like something we might have made for us. Fingers crossed.

Status: Being designed and sourced with significant vendor contact now

Cost: Unknown

Risk: Moderate/Low

Printing on The Sleeve is expected but not absolutely necessary. Some kind of "Lens Side" mark might do. I'm not even going to think about it now.

Status: None

Cost: Unknown

Risk: Low

The Pod is very important and has to be configured to fit inside the sleeve, on The Insert Assembly, and contain the processing jelly, or reagent.

Status: Working prototype needing further tooling and a schedule.  We have estimated the quantities and a further consideration is the move of 20x24 which could make scheduling a problem in the coming months.

Cost: High

Risk: Moderate

The Pod Materials is a bit touchy as it uses aluminum barrier material perilously close to a strong alkali, but Polaroid and Fuji got away with it for the most part, and then so must we. A better pod material is something worth developing, but later on.

Status: Some on hand, more needed later

Cost: Unknown

Risk: Moderate

The Reagent is made of a specially blended developer, solvent, alkali booster and thickener (and other chemicals) that process the negative and do double duty of transferring dissolved silver sols across an electrolytic barrier into the Receiver Sheet. A book could be written about The Reagent. It won't be published today. Suffice to say that a suitable reagent processes a good negative and a good positive, and stays active for a while before something happens to it.

Status: Complete and working, but now we need to run it in quantity and test it again.

Cost: High

Risk: Moderate

The Tongue Assembly is the insert that holds the sheet film, pod and is terminated by The Clip. Its final assembly has to be done in total darkness so it is the last assembly step.

Status: Prototyped and a very clever prototype it is, with laser cuts and adhesive strips! Pretty cool!

Cost: Low

Risk: Moderate

The Clip is "just" a piece of metal. No understatement stings more than that one at this moment, when the tooling charges and lead times for The Clip are still ringing in the checkbook. The original style Polaroid clip was made of soft steel and painted. The cost to make this part from a painted steel would be enormous today. Without the paint it would rust, so we have found a substitute material that does not require paint and has better springiness too. It has never been tested, so we wait with bated breath.

Well, the first batch is out of spec. They want us to see if we can use them the way they came out. I don't think so. This is a bummer and needs to be addressed right now.

Status: Designed and on order with prepaid tooling, awaiting decision of engineering if we can use them as-is. Probable change to tooling needed.

Cost: High

Risk: Dammit

The tongue is shaped like a tongue, sort of, and supports the film and pod. It is made of thin but stiff and slippery stock which has to be die cut. Pretty doable.

Status: Designed and very cool prototype from a can-do vendor! We like that!

Cost: Low

Risk: evolving.

The Adhesive Strips have to be applied to The Tongue with a machine. This involves vendor development and has not been done yet, so it remains an unknown for now.

Status: In design

Cost: Unknown

Risk: Moderate

The Negative is rather important and something we could not make ourselves. It has been unnerving to see our favorite negative - EFKE - go out of business. It worked the best in DTR mode because it was primitive and had cubic grains that were mainly at the surface - like Panatomic X used to have. It turns out that the more primitive emulsions work the best in DTR and advanced T grain types do not. They were latecomers anyway and there are still some old school emulsions left. The makers of these emulsions were not quite sure if they should be named in New55 because the performance of the film is very different in our system, but it doesn't matter much to us as long as we can get 4x5 negative in bulk, cheaply! We cannot do that, but we are doing our best to keep the cost reasonable. You had better start buying more 4x5 films from these vendors is all I can say right now.

Status: Sourced AND NOW IN OUR FREEZERS. Whew!

Cost: Higher than expected

Risk: Moderately low

Source A has agreed to ship a starting quantity of film in stages and we are tracking the heat history, lot numbers, emulsion characteristics, packaging and other things that can ruin film or degrade, fog or damage it - before we have a chance to.

Source B has suggested they might compete with Source A in price but we have not any agreement on that at the moment. 

Since last month, we have prices for each of our suitable emulsions. The price ratio is about 2:1 and we have chosen the right balance between cost, performance, and suitability for Diffusion Transfer Reversal.

The Package is essential if we want to ship New55 FILM to anyone.

Status: To be sourced, no change to status

Cost: Unknown

Risk: Unknown

The Liner is a fancy name for a sealed plastic bag that seals the film from the environment. There has to be the right size and a sealer that is quick to use.

The Box has to be stiff enough for transport but light in weight and inexpensive. It should be plain for shipping and not appear to be sealed after opening.

The Label has to be printed and put on the box. There is a machine that does that and uses the label to also seal the box, saving tape, time and expense.