Wow. I can scarcely contain my excitement about this, being someone who got into film after it was essentially obsolete. One of my greatest personal worries is being stuck in a world in which 35mm film is no longer produced.
I'd love to see the plans/information on this machine be made available for the community; I wonder if our unnamed wonder chemist would be amenable...
If the fellow isn't already here, he should be invited.
Perhaps one of the drive rollers towards the end of the run can be a sprocket punch / film slitter. What needs to be determined is if it would be a rotary punch, or something intermittent, perhaps driven by a geneva mechanism, or rotary cam, or something along those lines.
Timing it would be 'fun'.
I've been thinking about this quite a bit, and came to the conclusion that it would be a bad idea to make slitting/chopping/perfing part of the coater's job.
It would limit you to making only one format on that particular machine.
If you coat a "master roll", and chop that up in another machine, you immediately have a coater that can produce many formats - which, given the low demand for film is quite useful.
After thinking about your post, I have to agree with you. Separating the two tasks into 2 machines makes good sense, and reduces complexity quite a bit.
Thanks for the second look, Ben.
What about flashing edge markings on? Engineering that would be even more 'fun' than the sprocket pucnh.
A line of LEDs shooting into small fibre optics arraged into a line could be driven by a PIC to print text in a similar manner to "POV toys"
These things work on persistence of vision, and basically flash out a message on one line of LEDs. As you swish them through the air, their message appears, courtesy of the persistence in your eye.
The same trick would work with film. If you really wanted to be complex, you could hook the clock input of the PIC to the speed of the film - I doubt this would be necessary though...
hopefully the attached files will make it a bit clearer...
Pic driving LEDs:
Fibre optic head over the edge of the film:
The LEDs flash like this: