An open-source film scanning machine.

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Cultural memory should not be dependent on money. The cost of digitizing reels of film is out of reach for the majority of institutions and individuals. Kinograph aims to provide an affordable alternative by focusing on a "good enough" solution . Our goal is to produce quality scans that are good enough for public exhibition and to prioritize further preservation efforts, all at a cost within reach. The project is a community of contributors and is currently active on the forums: Current designs and downloads available at

Current State: Work has begun on v2 but is slow due to lack of time and funds. I am actively seeking individuals who are willing to build in parallel, offer technical expertise, and/or contribute skills and time. Areas of opportunity include:

  • OpenCV
  • Material Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • System Architecture (processing unit)
  • Analog Sound capture
  • Software development
  • Post-process scripting (basic scratch and dust removal, auto color enhancement, etc)

Version 2 has the following design improvement goals:

  1. Stronger and more precise motor control with tension feedback
  2. Improved film path for tension control
  3. Completely redesigned gate mechanisms
  4. Digital frame detection (reflective IR and possibly addition of phase-locked loop feedback)
  5. New camera options ( modular design capable of accepting RPi to high-end 4K)
  6. New electronics capable of handling faster speeds and writing directly to dedicated peripherals

Work will continue in fits and starts. Any recommendations for grants, residencies or other sources of support are very welcome!

- Matthew Epler (New York, NY)


Full build instructions for v1. NOT SUPPORTED OR RECOMMENDED

Adobe Portable Document Format - 2.31 MB - 01/22/2017 at 03:07



Rhino file for sprocket roller

3dm - 2.40 MB - 01/22/2017 at 03:01


Rhino script for adding sprockets to roller

x-python-script - 4.19 kB - 01/22/2017 at 03:01



3D printable sprocket roller file

obj - 781.21 kB - 01/22/2017 at 03:01



3D printable idle roller file (no sprockets)

obj - 382.05 kB - 01/22/2017 at 03:01


  • 1 × Film Scanner controlled by Arduino, with DC geared motors and 3D printed rollers.
  • 1 × Custom Frame Extraction Software OpenCV application written in Processing (Java) for detection and extraction of frames from still images of photographed film.

View project log

  • 1
    Step 1

    See the file "Kinograph-InstructablesPDF" in the files section of this page.

View all instructions

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FORART fe wrote 10/01/2020 at 06:41 point

Hi there, great project !

It would be great to establish some kind of collaboration (to promote the open source licensing approach too) with other related DIY projects:

Hope that helps/inspires.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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