The Impossible factory is located in Building Noord (North) of the former Polaroid plant in Enschede, Netherlands. www.theimpossibleproject.comLia Saile 1 of 50
Factory Floor Plan. When Impossible acquired all the machinery from the Polaroid plant, they had to consolidate four buildings worth of equipment into the three floors of Building Noord. www.theimpossibleproject.comLia Saile 2 of 50
The last working large format 8x10 production machine was carefully relocated from Waltham (near Boston) in the US to the Impossible factory in 2009. It is planned to be put back to work once production of the PX integral film formats are running smoothly. www.theimpossibleproject.comLia Saile 3 of 50
Third floor: The Production Hall consists of nine giant production machines, several pod filling machines, one big slitter, the reactors, two molding machines and many additional tools. www.theimpossibleproject.comLia Saile 14 of 50
Ground Floor: Home of Jos Ridderhof, the godfather of camera repair. For many years he serviced, repaired and resurrected thousands of SX 70 cameras. Since the start of the Impossible Project he restored as many cameras as possible. www.theimpossibleproject.comLia Saile 48 of 50
Take a look behind-the-scenes at the The Impossible Project Factory located in Enschede, a small industrial city in the far east of The Netherlands. In 2008 Impossible brokered a last-minute deal with Polaroid to purchase all the machines and equipment used to make instant integral film just before they were scrapped, and set up shop in Building Noord (North) of the former-Polaroid plant.
For those not familiar with the back story, getting the new film to market was not without it's difficulties, it was nearly impossible as Polaroid closed the chemical plant that produced their secret colored dyes almost two years earlier in anticipation of shuttering their analog business. In fact they only started dismantling the factories once all the reserves had been used up. The real challenge for the Impossible team — aside from figuring out how to modernize production — was finding a partner that could produce the chemicals necessary to make the magic of instant film work.
In March 2010, the first Impossible film — PX100 and PX600 — made it's debut, much to the relief of analog photography enthusiasts who had been stockpiling expired film in case they could never shoot their vintage Polaroid cameras again. Today the film range offered has expanded considerably with various monochromatic shades and colored blends available but the Impossible team are still hard at work perfecting the PX integral film formula. There are plans to resurrect the popular 8x10 format using the last intact production machine which was shipped from the US in late 2009, and they have started designing their own camera which will no doubt take strong cues from the iconic SX-70.
To keep our factory tour authentic, the first three quarters were shot on Impossible film and if you want to learn more about how the film is made, check out this great video from the Science Channel we posted a few months ago.