Sharing a language
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Worldwide Pasta Machine Survey. Now we can recommend labeling pasta machines with a thickness guide that will help set a shared standard.
After analyzing the survey results we have four key findings:
- As we suspected there are huge differences not just from one model to the next but also from machines of the same model.
- The Imperia has the smallest range (in one case just 1 mm – 2.1 mm!) and the Dream Machine has the largest range (.5 mm – 3.4 mm)
- The common range is between 1 mm and 2.5 mm.
- Absolute precision is not possible due to differences in the way each artist measured their clay and machine, the types and age of clay, the variations in thickness of playing cards and the shifting of the rollers over time.
Pasta Machine Thickness Guide
The survey results were used to create this simple chart that can be used as a more consistent way to talk about thickness regardless of the brand of the pasta machine or the number of settings.
Note that the actual thickness of playing cards does not necessarily equal the millimeter equivalent. The stacked cards will commonly be a bit thinner than the clay that comes out of the machine at the equivalent setting but should be within .25mm. This is due to the cards not filling the space precisely as well as expansion of the clay as it rests after being rolled through.
Not every project needs precision in measuring thickness, and not every artist wants to work with this degree of accuracy. But for those who do, establishing a standard will provide a guideline for teachers and writers to use when preparing instructions for students who would like to duplicate steps as closely as possible.
How to label your pasta machine
The instructions include a chart you can fill in and then cut out to tape to your pasta machine. It only takes about 15 minutes to measure and label your pasta machine. The more machines that are labeled, the more we can shift to sharing a common language about thickness.
We believe it’s important to include the worldwide polymer community in the process of developing this kind of standard. Please let us know your thoughts by continuing to comment here on PCD.
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