Dream Machine Polymer Clay Roller – A Review

NOTE: The Dream Machine is no longer being manufactured and is no longer available for sale.

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The Dream Machine is the first polymer clay roller designed by a polymer clay artist with our specific needs in mind. This is not a re-labelling of a pasta machine! I bought the Dream Machine because my old Atlas had begun to have too many ripples and I had heard from so many people who said this machine truly was a dream. My experience hasn’t exactly matched up with that. Here’s my review of the Dream Machine. This is the fifth in my series of polymer clay machine reviews.

  1. Pasta Machine Problems
  2. Cheap Pasta Machines (Makins, Amaco, and Sculpey)
  3. Atlas and the Modified Atlas
  4. Imperia
  5. The Dream Machine (this article)
  6. LC Machine
  7. Summary – What’s the Best Pasta Machine for Polymer Clay?

Overview of the Dream Machine

The Dream Machine is a heavy duty clay roller.

The Dream Machine is a polymer clay roller designed by Polymer Clay Express at Artway Studio. Rob and Wilma Yost are the owners of the company and they designed the Dream Machine to meet the needs of polymer clay artists frustrated with the limitations of pasta machines in conditioning, sheeting, and mixing polymer clay. The Yosts developed the specifications for the machine and then contracted with Albion Engineering in the US to make the them. Albion apparently outsources the machine’s construction, as mine arrived with a sticker indicating that it was made in Taiwan. The Dream Machine sells in batches when demand is sufficient, and sells for USD$345.

Overall Construction

The Dream Machine is a solidly built, heavy machine that has no sharp edges or rough areas. The base of the machine is a single piece of cast steel that’s been coated with a black enamel. You’ll see the company name and number etched into the coating on the base. There are holes in the base of the Dream Machine so you can bolt it to a workbench if you’d like.

Here you can see the steel rollers of the Dream Machine.

The base has four rubber feet that keep the machine from sliding around on  your work table.

The underside of the dream machine includes rubber feet, the serial and manufacturer number, and the "Made in Taiwan" sticker.

Along the front and the back of the machine are thin tie rods that hold the machine together. These tie rods are not covered with fenders. On the front tie rod there are removable plastic width adjusters that can slide back and forth on the tie rod. The clearance under the rollers is a mere 1 3/4″ (45 mm). The base of the Dream Machine is 13 1/2″ (343 mm) wide by 4 3/4″ (121 mm) deep. You do need to allow room to the right of the machine for a motor or clearance to use the crank handle.


The rollers are made with a very smooth stainless steel. The throat of the machine is 10 1/8″ (257 mm), but the rollers themselves are only 9 1/2″ (241 mm) long due to exposed washers at the ends.

The Dream Machine rollers don't go all the way to the edges.

Scraper Blades

The Dream Machine’s scraper blades are flexible steel with a dark coating. They are not tapered at the edge and have a pebbled surface. The blade fits onto a metal bar. This assembly is then installed under the Dream Machine rollers by mounting it onto another mounting bar. The blade and mounting bars are held in place by three hex nuts. The front and back blade assemblies are very similar. A major selling point for the Dream Machine is that you can remove the blades for cleaning.

The coating on the metal blades of the Dream Machine appear to be non-stick. Clay does still accumulate, however.
The coating on the metal blades of the Dream Machine appears to be non-stick. Clay does still accumulate, however. Note how the edge is not sharp or tapered.
The Dream Machine blade is black and fits onto a galvanized carrier bar.
The Dream Machine blade assembly.

Width Adjusters

Wide rollers mean that there’s nothing to keep your polymer clay sheet from expanding widthwise. Width limiting features are very useful. The Dream Machine includes two width limiters made of a strong plastic and fitted to the front tie rod. They’re held in place by a thumbscrews that are tightened down. On earlier versions of the Dream Machine, these limiters were permanently attached and could only be moved side to side. Now they can be removed completely.

You can remove the width limiters of the current model of the Dream Machine.
The width adjusters can be placed anywhere on the front tie rod, or removed completely if you don’t need them.

Thickness Adjusting Knob

Just like pasta machines, with the Dream Machine you can adjust the distance between the rollers, and thus the thickness of your polymer clay sheet by using an adjustment knob on the left side. There are 10 thickness settings (1 through 10) and they’re changed by pulling out and turning the knob. The numbers are very clearly marked on the knob and there is a marking on the side of the machine to indicate which setting is being used. The knob has knurled ridges on it, making it easy to grab.

Crank Handle

Again, just like all other clay conditioning and rolling machines, You can use a crank handle to turn the rollers. The handle is heavy-duty and strong, and slots into a hole in the side of the machine. You can use the Dream Machine from either side, so it is perfect for lefties. The crank is steel and has a black plastic handle.

The Dream Machine handle fits into a hole on the side of the machine.

What Comes in the Box

The Dream Machine arrives nestled in a box and packaged in closed cell foam. Aside from the Dream Machine itself, you also receive the crank handle, a manual that I consider incomplete, and a small wrench. There is no clamp included. It’s simple enough to use a C-clamp from the hardware store. This also means that you can accommodate tabletops of any thickness.

Dream Machine Accessories Available

The Dream Machine does not come with a motor, but you can buy one for USD$475. A motor is nice, of course, and it allows the machine to be used without clamping. Therefore, you can use it anywhere on the table or workbench. There is also a sheet feeder available for USD$22.50. Because the Dream Machine has such low clearance under the rollers, Polymer Clay Express now offers a Dream Machine Elevator that raises your machine another 4 inches (100 mm). You can get the elevator for USD$49.50. You can also buy replacement scraper blades and retainer nuts.

Using the Dream Machine

Seeing the “specs” of equipment on paper doesn’t always tell the full story. It’s much more helpful to get a user’s view of how it actually performs.

Cleaning the Blades

Unlike an Atlas pasta machine or craft store polymer clay machine, you can remove the blades of the Dream Machine for cleaning. But they don’t come out easily. The instructions in the manual are aren’t very clear and difficult to read. The included small wrench isn’t very effective for removing the hex nuts as directed in the manual. Try using a socket wrench for a much easier experience. Nancy Ulrich shows how to do thes in under two minutes in this video. But for me, it still takes about 10 minutes. Unlike the “Monafied” Atlas, you can’t leave the machine in place. You have to unclamp it and turn it over. This makes it impractical to clean the blades between each color.

The supplied tiny wrench does not work for removing the blade of the Dream Machine.
The supplied tiny wrench does not work well for removing the blade of the Dream Machine. Try using a socket wrench instead.

Something in the machine scrapes the face of the sheet of clay as it goes through the machine. This causes it to collect a lot of clay that later falls out onto the following color. It’s not possible to quick-clean the blades by using a baby wipe to reach under the rollers and wipe off the blades as many users do with their Atlas. There is just not enough clearance between the blade assemblies and you can’t get your finger in there.

Sheeting Polymer Clay

I was unable to consistently get a nice smooth sheet of clay thinner than a #8 setting with the Dream Machine. This correlates to #3 setting on my Atlas Wellness. Even using stiffer clay such as Kato, I can’t reliably get thin, smooth sheets. The sheets don’t chatter, rather they have wide ripples. I also see scraping of the face of the sheet of clay at all thicknesses. The clearance under the machine (unless you buy the optional elevator accessory) is tight enough that the nuts of the blade assembly scrape against the sheet as you remove it from underneath the rollers.

This shows the wide ripples that I get with the Dream Machine on the #7 setting and thinner.
This shows the wide ripples that I get with the Dream Machine on the #7 setting and thinner. It also shows the scraping. This is black Kato polyclay.
This shows the scraping that happens when a sheet of polymer clay comes through the Dream Machine. This happens on all settings.
This shows the scraping that happens when a sheet of polymer clay comes through the Dream Machine. This happens on all settings.

You can make sheets of polymer clay up to 9 1/2″ (241 mm) wide, and the Dream Machine is strong enough to handle that much clay. The thickest setting is #1 at 0.109″ (2.8 mm) and the thinnest is #10 at .032″ (0.81 mm).  This is roughly equivalent to settings #0 to #5 on an Atlas Wellness. This means that it’s not possible to make sheets with the Dream Machine as thin as you can with the Atlas.

Perhaps because the rollers are so wide, polymer clay sheets are not uniform in thickness from left to right. The gap between the rollers on the left side is about 0.3mm thicker than on the right side.

Ease of Use

This is a solid, heavy, tough machine. It can handle as much polymer clay as you throw at it, and it shows no signs of twisting, torquing, or distorting from using stiff clay. Just as with pasta machines, there is no gear advantage, so cranking through stiff clay will give your arm a workout.

I find the thickness dial to be uncomfortable to turn. It has a sharp edge on the machine side and it is somehow awkward to pull out and turn. The indicator mark is on the side of the machine and can’t be seen from the front of the machine. (Try putting a mark on the top of the machine to help you choose a thickness.)

The width limiters are really nice. They’re really great for keeping a skinner blend narrow. Since the Dream Machine is so wide, some people use these width limiters as markers to separate the rollers into three areas. This allows you to use one for black, one for white, and one for colors (or translucent).

Problems with the Dream Machine

When I first received my Dream Machine, it was defective. There were pits in the rollers, the crank handle was so tight that it I could drag the table around by cranking the handle of the empty machine, the adjustment knob was very difficult to turn, and there was the poor sheeting discussed above. At Rob’s request, I sent the machine back to Albion for assessment. After a couple of weeks, I received a replacement machine from Rob. While the stiff cranking and adjustment knob was resolved (more on that in a minute), the poor sheeting remained.

In the meantime, clayers around the world had heard that my machine had issues and they contacted me asking for information. There were many phone conversations with Rob and even with Ken Becker from Albion as I tried to help them get to the bottom of the problem with these machines. Eventually, I received a third machine. I am still unhappy with it but after discussion with other Dream Machine owners, the poor rolling appears to be normal behavior and not a defect.

Solving the Problems

As it turned out, there was a problem with the third production run and many of the machines were made with the back tie rod too short. This caused the roller mechanism to bind causing the cranking to be quite difficult. You can see the solution clearly in pictures, shared by Bettina Welker, where a washer is added to the back tie rod to add space. Polymer Clay Express and Albion learned of the solution, and began retro-fitting the machines as they were sent out. You can tell if your machine has the fix by whether or not there is a washer on the right side of the back tie rod.

dream machine with and without the fix
Did you receive your Dream Machine in early 2015? Here’s how to know if your machine was repaired or not. (see the text for an explanation)

Customer Service

When writing a review it is customary to mention something about the customer service. I have to be frank and say that my experience was terrible, and left a lot to be desired – both in the ordering and fulfillment process. When I and others encountered problems with our machines it became apparent when we exchanged details of our experiences online that we were each being given a different story as to what the problems were.

The experience left a bad taste in my mouth and it’s taken me nearly a year and a half to write about this machine without using expletives. Retailers need to remember that how they treat their customers is central to the customer’s experience, and therefore to repeat sales.

If you are unhappy with your Dream Machine, the company does offer a three year warranty. Rob and Wilma assure me that you can have your machine repaired or replaced for free, with free return shipping.

My Recommendation

A lot of polymer clayers have the Dream Machine and love it. Please don’t be offended by my unhappy experiences if you love your Dream Machine! I wish I could join you in loving mine. It could be that the early machines are different from the machine I have. Also, your satisfaction with this machine will vary based on what you need it to do.

If you condition large amounts of stiff clay at a time and need wide, thick sheets, then a Dream Machine is going to make you very happy and I do recommend it. If you need a machine that is easy to clean and can make smooth, thin sheets, then I don’t recommend this machine. The Dream Machine is an expensive steamroller, not a finely finessed all-purpose polymer clay machine. It is so close to being a great machine, and it does some things much better than other rollers on the market. But at the same time it lacks basic functionality that cheap pasta machines have at a fraction of the price.

Ordering a Dream Machine

The Dream Machine is not a stock item. When you place your pre-orders you pay 50% of the machine’s price. Once sufficient orders have been received it takes around four-five months for the machines to be built and delivered.

When they’re shipped to the customer, the outstanding 50% is charged. Polymer Clay Express usually orders a few extra, too, in addition to the ones that were pre-ordered. They are currently taking pre-orders for the fourth production run of the Dream Machine. You can learn more on their website.

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20 thoughts on “Dream Machine Polymer Clay Roller – A Review”

  1. Hi Ginger,

    Thank you so much for this review. I so wanted a machine that would provide a wider sheet of clay and was considering the DM. Since reading this review, I have decided to stick with my Atlas. I have some issues with my Atlas, but nothing like what you describe. I was also considering a motor, but I am very sensitive to loud noise. Nobody has mentioned how loud the DM motor is compared to others.

    Again, thank you so much for all the time and effort you put in to this honest assessment. You have saved me a lot of frustration. Until now, I have liked PCE, but I will need to rethink it now.

  2. I am sorry to hear there have been problems with the newer dream machines. I bought mine with the motor before 2013. And it is fabulous!!! I later added the elevator to raise it up. I sculpt very large projects and have never had a single problem. I put a deposit down on a second one sometime ago (just to have a spare) and am waiting for them to have enough orders to do another run. It may be taking awhile so they can work out the bugs on these newer ones. But now we have the Coronavirus in China (and all over the world for that matter). Hopefully we will all get though this and life will progress once again. Everyone stay safe, self shelter and continue being creative! Paula Slater

  3. I ordered a ‘Dream Machine’ in November of 2017. Still have not received after several conversations with PCE. At least I can see that some people have actually received a machine based on the reviews and conversations, but I had no idea it would take this long. I have been told early Spring, Late Spring early Summer, etc. – and I’m tired of waiting. I was charged the full amount up front – not a 50% deposit. I was assured ‘don’t worry – etc.etc.’. My last conversation on August 24th ended with a promise to call me back and let me know in 10 days because they are working with the engineers to fix some problems. I’m tired of excuses. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks

  4. [Edited for clarity and brevity] I used to order from Polymer clay express until now. I ordered over $772.00 dollars worth of clay converting it over to $1,000+ in the US. Keep that in mind, please. I thought I would give them a try, only to be let down and scammed. Normally, when I did order from them stuff was missing. I would message them and they would always brush it off. It wasn’t nothing too big until now. As I said I ordered a huge haul from Polymer Clay Express. I decided to support them as I had Comic-Con coming up, and tradeshows. I messaged them ahead of time and placed my order. Now, everything was fine… Normally they would ask you for “shipping price payment” the day after you’ve purchased your order. ( I never got it) He messaged me saying ” Hi’ I’m Rob, you have nothing to worry about I’ll take care of you” Since you’re ordering over $700 dollars worth of clay.. you’ll get extra blades and won’t have to worry about nothing” I did ask about the shipping he said he’ll take care of my order. He told me that my order would be 3 packages … he would put the value of each box $45.00 this way I wouldn’t have to pay for shipping cost/ import fees and I will have a detailed summary of my order.

    The first package came ” It was a little light” He could of putting a lot more product into the first package…. I was still missing a lot of clay, but again it was the first package. Each item I got was checked off.

    Second package: 2- 3 weeks went on…Finally got my 2oz blocks. The kicker was, I was honest I called up and explained that I had ” the wrong color of blocks” That was mistake from a different color. He says ” Oh” Sorry must have been mistaken for another color. Don’t worry. I said I would ship them back if needed.( Keep this in mind this was over the phone, most of our chats were over the phone and Hotmail. He again said ” I’ll take care of you” I believed him” I told him I wanna make sure my clay got her in time for ” Comic-Con,” He said it will” Now, this is where the fraud begins…

    the 3rd package … I ordered this clay in June- Jul … I told him my order hasn’t been shipped out and its been MONTHS. I’ve been messaging and calling and yet kept getting the roundabout…[Details removed, essentially she never received the package and PCE refused to supply tracking numbers] I wouldn’t recommend working with polymer clay express at all. Never again, nothing but a fraud business… I just want my product THAT I ORDERED AND PAID FOR.

  5. I have had a VERY hard time with a clay machine. I do have a pasta machine but was wanting a larger one. I ordered a DREAM machine Feb 2016. I was told it would be 6 months. Every time I contacted them and it was “just 2 more months” I finally told them I wanted my money back. I got one check in and it was just for the machine. I had to keep on and keep on and finally received the check for the motor !!!!
    DONT ever try to buy one.

  6. Great review, Ginger. I’m very happy with my little Makin conditioner for the time being. I’m so sorry for all the issues everyone has with the DM. Just wow. Horrific. For me to pay that price for any machine it would have to work like nobody’s business or it would ruin me.
    I mean absolutely no offense to anyone who has this machine, good experience or bad, but I have to wonder, why those who have had issues from day 1 didn’t ask for a refund and just stock up on their cheaper, most trustworthy and reliable conditioners, whichever they may be?

    I do want the NeverKnead…and am willing to put out that cost soon.
    Clay Happy.

  7. I have one of the second batch of the Dream Machines. I had a lot of problems and Rob had me send it back for replacement. The second one had an issue with the gears; it clicked as you turned the rollers at every setting. Rob was disgusted having to deal with my issues by then and said to send it to the manufacturer. He sent a third machine, I still have it.

    I have a very small variance in the distance between the rollers, but I live with it. The rollers have gotten scratched–entirely my fault, but I really like my machine. If I need a really thin sheet of clay, I still have to use my Atlas.

    I ran clay through the Atlas and through the Dream Machine, making samples of each and marking the settings and the machine on each. After they were cured, I used a dial caliper to measure each one. I wrote the measurement on each piece. That way I can compare each piece to get the right setting. On my Dream Machine #3 is very close to #1 on my Atlas.

    I have one of the original motors, it was very expensive, but it is a workhorse. I have used it off and on hours at a time conditioning Kato clay and it doesn’t get warm!

    I just received the new risers that, when installed, lift the bottom of the rollers 6″ above the base. This solves several issues with the machine like the clay hitting the scrapers, getting marks in the clay.

    I don’t clean the blades the complicated way suggested. I keep a socket wrench with the correct socket to fit the nuts. I loosen and remove each nut while the machine is upright. I move the scraper blade and it’s holder back to get the bolts out of the holes, then drop it down and remove the two pieces of the scraper assembly. After I clean the blade, I put it back on the holder, put it up behind the frame and move the assembly until the welded bolts go back into the three holes, then I replace the nuts. I don’t mess at all with the stuff at the side of the machine. Now that there is so much more room, this procedure will will be even easier. I turn the machine around to get at the back blade.

    I don’t know how farming the manufacture of the machine to Asia has effected the quality of workmanship. I wish it was still made by the US manufacturer. I have reservations about the new motor for the same reason. If you get a new machine and have problems, be persistent until you get a good working machine.

    When you have a machine that works well, it’s really great. I’d say, go ahead and get one if you are looking at it; just be ready to be tenacious if you need to get it replaced. I think the problems now lie with the foreign manufacturer.

  8. Hi Ginger – great review, and congratulations on your honesty.

    I have a 2015 DM and I was initially very disappointed for all the reasons you mention – there’s no way of making a really thin sheet, and 8/9/10 settings all produce rippled sheets. It wasn’t faulty, but it was stiff and clunky and quite ‘agricultural’. It did come with a clamp included.

    It has, I have to say, grown on me since then. I took it pretty much to bits and lubricated everything, which made about 20% difference to the ‘hard to crank’ issue. I don’t know why but mine is the 2015 model, doesn’t have the washer ‘fix’ but also doesn’t seem to need it. Weird huh?

    It does collect clay under the blades (and has an annoying habit of dumping a crinkled pat of collected ‘mud’ onto the passing clay just at the wrong moment…) but I’ve had the same experience with all my pasta machines. At least this one is easy to clean. As someone else has said I don’t use a wrench at all on the bolts – just finger tight – and I don’t have to turn it over to clean it – I leave it in position, loosen the ‘bars’, take the blades off, wipe them clean, and reattach. Takes about 5 minutes and needs doing once every few days.

    I think ultimately it’s what you use it for – I process large amounts of clay (which it’s great for) and do a lot of canework so a rippled sheet is rarely an issue for me. If I was making anything really delicate I would switch to my 180 Atlas.

    Although it was a big investment at the time, I spend so many hours claying that I am contemplating replacing it with the Lucy Mammoth – please get one ASAP and write a review! I have heard less than positive things about LUCY customer service, too – but I have their Slicer and love it. Their extruder I’m less delighted with… but that’s a different story.

    Anyway well done on a thorough review – I hope Artway takes note, and does things a bit differently next time.


  9. This was a very well done review. You covered everything someone would need to know about the features that distinguish this from pasta machines. I ordered my machine from the same batch you did. While mine didn’t have the “can’t turn the handle” problem, it does cause an unacceptable amount of scraping. I also wasn’t happy that I can’t get as thin a sheet as I can with my much less expensive Makins. I used it a few times, which was enough to determine it wasn’t my dream machine after all. I use veneers a fair amount so I need a machine that can reliably deliver a thin, smooth, scrape-free sheet. This is not that machine.

  10. Great review. I have one of those glitchy 2015 machines and it is a huge disappointment. You are spot on that it is difficult to clean, ripples terribly, doesn’t sheet as thin as an Atlas, and is difficult to crank. I do use it as my go-to machine, but constantly think that I really should go back to my old Atlas 180.

  11. Ginger,

    My wife does a lot of Poly Clay work and has 3 traditional different pasta machines to condition her clay – each a different brand. They all work about the same. However, she also has an attachment for our KitchenAid Stand Mixer for making pasta and she uses it A LOT! It has all sorts of advantages over the other machines – for one, it’s extremely stable and second, she doesn’t need to crank anything. The speed is adjustable, the thickness is adjustable, and it sits plenty high off the work surface that she has lots of room to maneuver the clay and her hands. It is a bit narrower than some, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue – and when it is – she uses a traditional, manual pasta machine. And it’s reasonable – IF a person already has the Mixer. If they don’t have the mixer it’s much pricier than a basic pasta machine – but not as high as the Dream Machine. The attachment is only around $70 on Amazon. She loves it. If you have time you might consider doing an evaluation on it – I think you be favorably impressed.

  12. Really good review of this Dream Machine. I guess I am one of the fortunate ones as I won my machine from PC Express about 5 years ago for Mothers Day. If I had not won the machine, I probably would have become an Atlas 150 or 180 owner. I have never had any of those issues with mine and last year I finally ordered a motor for it. I thought the price of the motor was a little over the top but Rob and Wilma worked with me to pay it off over a period of time with no accrued interest which I thought was exceptional service. I have found in the past that products That get manufacturered on the first and 2nd runs are generally pretty good but after that some seem to go downhill and a raft of problems developed that somehow don’t seem to get resolved unless a new manufacturer is contracted. I know personally that items manufactured in Tawain, China and parts of Asia are absolutely horrible. Their machine tooling is cheap and there is no inspection process. I am going to be very interested in your review on the LC Clay Machines. I have both their Extruder and their Slicer and am very happy with the quality and use of both of these. Thanks Ginger!

  13. Thank you for an honest and thorough review. I appreciate reading about your experiences. Maybe it will result in improvements.

  14. I practically jumped out my skin as I read your article first thing this morning … with an outburst of ‘YES’ when you mentioned your #8 was Atlas #3 (my #8-9-10 is my Atlas #6). For the benefit of your readers, I will post my little rant that I only put online yesterday because of the answers I’ve received from Rob …
    “For those of you who own the Dream Machine, even if you love the width and robustness of it, I’d be interested in hearing if you are happy with the sheeting settings. I’ve had mine for just over 1-1/2 years, have always had the problem that the last 3 settings (8-10) are exactly the same sheet thickness as the Atlas #6. I became complacent and continued to use it because of the initial cost (U.S. $) and it would be a hassle to try to get it fixed. But I’ve started caning again. I knew I wasn’t getting a continual decline of thinness at each step so made a sample of each step, cured and measured them with a micrometer. I was sent the estimated settings from Polymer Clay Express and was surprised to see that my #6 is the same as their #3. And surprisingly, on their sheet, their 4 & 5 (1/16), 6 & 7 (3/64), 8 & 9 (1/32) are the same, so you may think you’re getting 10 settings, but you’re actually only getting 7. I certainly can’t use this for my caning – since I can’t make a sheet any thinner than #6. I have since changed over to my old Atlas for my caning. I’ve been told by Rob “the settings are what they are”. No help on that front.
    So, for those loyal followers – glad to hear it. For those thinking of purchasing, do research, ask questions, and decide why you’re needing the larger machine. Mammoth is certainly looking good right now (except for the cost!)”
    What good are the settings if they don’t mean anything. Possibly the first run of machines was superb – with no complaints. Are people not complaining because of the dollars spent and it’s embarrassing to say anything because “everybody was loving their’s, I must be the only one having problems” … as I said, I became complacent and put up with it. Where were the original ones built? Were they shipped offshore afterwards to cut down on costs? Definitely looking forward to your continued reviews!

    1. I ordered my Dream Machine from the very first production run and waited months and months for it to come. It arrived defective. Got a second machine and it was defective in a different way. It was supposedly fixed but it wasn’t. Sent it back again for “repairs”. Finally it was workable, but after a lot of expense shipping it back and forth.

      I made samples at each thickness, baked them and measured them and found there is almost no difference at all between the first four settings. I go from #1 straight to #4. I have problems with the rippling when I go to thinner settings. I use it mostly for conditioning clay and use my Atlas when I need a nice, smooth sheet.

      One hint. Finger tighten the nuts only. Do not use a wrench. The little bolts on the scrapers are very short and you can strip the grooves if you tighten the nuts too much. I had to have my scrapers replaced because of this.

      1. I cut the original bolts out. Now i have nice stainless books, that i can easily replace…that was my only issue with the DM..the bolts stripped way too easily

  15. I bought a dream machine some years ago and I never had any of the problems you mentioned in your revue. I agree that the space underneat is a bit ‘small’. I did cover the tray with a silicon baking sheet, in order to make it non-stick, works nice! I move for 3 months a year to South Africa and over there I have an atlas to work with, I have to say that I have to get used to the atlas and long for my dream machine! Good is never good enough…, I ordered the LC mammoth and still waiting for ‘him’ to be delivered. I’m a full time clayer, 7 days a week. I wonder how the mammoth will work, I’m kind of afraid that you have to stand-up when using him, due to the big size. We’ll see!

  16. Great informative article. After saving up a long time and then waiting three months for the next run to arrive, I was totally disillusioned with my Dream Machine. Three hundred forty five converted into Canadian dollars, shipping, duties and taxes ended up over five hundred dollars and Bad Dreams about my new machine. I have gone through two Atlas, one Imperial and now my disappointing Dream Machine, which I only use now for conditioning. My go to machine is my Italian made Marcado 180 mm Deluxe. A lesson learned the expensive way. Next time I will wait to read the reviews from the experts like you.
    Thanks for keeping us informed

    1. I’m another Canadian – Exactly my experience … I jumped on the bandwagon because of all the hype and I wanted a new ‘toy’. It’s expensive, people like it, it must be great! Hmmm…nope! (see my rant below!) Funny, I had just posted this yesterday on Facebook and then Ginger’s post comes out that night … perfect timing!

  17. Hi, Ginger, I must say that I am somewhat distressed with your review of the Dream Machine. I have one of the very originals. I love it. I had a problem with it once – a bent blade that was not my fault. I sent it back to PCE and they fixed and and sent it back to me (or a new one) in just a couple of weeks.

    I really have no problem with it. I was delighted that I could role sheets out to #10 easily – on my old Atlas, I couldn’t do the thinnest even if I put the clay between paper. I do have that problem with scraping but it is very minor and not really a problem. I rarely have a problem with rippling. I have very rarely had to take it apart to clean the blades. I can slip a slicing blade between the DM blade and the rollers to remove clay without scratching anything (I’m sure you don’t recommend this).

    I think there are a few extra sizes on the DM. Size 2 is so close to size 1 that I usually skip it and also sometimes size 4.

    I got a white marker and marked the size numbers on the size wheel – since I try to sit down when I roll, I couldn’t see the number I was on either. Hated when I put clay in on size 7 but meant size 1 because I was careless. Now I always know.

    I sent an email to PCE asking if the new elevator attachment will work with my model. I sure hope so – it would be nice to have more room under the rollers.

    I’m sorry you aren’t as happy with yours as I am with mine. I know it’s a big chunk of money to put out (I don’t have the motor) but it was worth it for me.

    Great review as usual, Thanks, Robin

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