I'm aware of the automated 35mm machines that used to be in retail stores and that's not exactly what I'm trying to describe. Rather I am talking about something more similar to a current desktop ink jet printer, only a device that develops medium format film.
I have been wondering if it wouldn't be fairly easy to design & build an automated desktop / desk-side medium format film development system. Unless I'm missing some obvious detail it strikes me a fairly knowable / doable thing. I guess I should mention that my day job is the development of professional medical diagnostic devices, so building a machine that moves fluids from point A to B precisely is all in days work for me.
Years ago my father & I setup a darkroom and developed our own black & white film... I'll be the first to admit, despite being fascinating & fun, it was a real pain in the behind for what you got out of it. Having a device which was automated and precluded the need for a separate darkroom would really be an incentive to pick film back up... and be really fun in the process.
Does anyone know of such a thing or know someone who has built one?
Please take this in a friendly way. Film is dead. Digital has taken over. The only film camera I frequently use is a 4x5 technika and that is now only for B&W. Color has largely given up and is 99% digital.
While I still love film, the processing costs, the lack of immediate feedback (at the shoot, not refering to at the lab), have all conspired to push film to the third world (this per Kodak) but I think they're wrong. Digital is everywhere.
So many, myself included, would have welcomed you with open arms 10 years ago, we are no longer looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
Now I would encourage you if this were a project you were building for yourself. But, I'm just afraid there are not many customers for such a machine.