My First ever science factory

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Zhab
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My First ever science factory

Post by Zhab » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:08 am

Hi everyone. I'm brand new to this game and new to this forum as well. I created my first game just to mess around with features and experiment before creating a serious game with a specific goal. However, I quickly became impatient when I was waiting for techs to research so I could try them out. It wasn't to long before I decided that my first real project would be to design a very fast, efficient and compact science factory. A big part of the fun of this game comes from using your head and finding clever solution to your problems by yourself. Which is why I did not search online for the ultimate layout that someone somewhere surely created long ago. I did watch some youtubers before buying this game. So I was not completely unspoiled, but since these youtubers did not went out of there way to make things perfect. So the damage to my "noob-ness" was relatively minor.

And so I went to work with the following criteria in mind: The factory must be able to produce 20+ of any science packs in 30 seconds or less. The goal being to be able to use 20 labs constantly to research techs with 30 seconds steps. Techs with 60 seconds steps are use to catch your breath or to stockpile science packs to research techs with 15 seconds steps without slow downs. This is what I came up with.

Image
(Click image for full size)

Now that I toke the time to design my own science factory, I don't mind being spoiled about it anymore. So go ahead and teach to this noob the proper way to build this :lol:. But seriously thou, I'd appreciate any feedback.

Design notes
The factory was designed in such a way that you can build the red pack first and use only that. Then tack on the greens... and so on. A partial build is fully operational (20+ packs in 30 seconds or less). In fact more than half of the whole thing is there just to make blue packs.

The reason I loop the science packs belts is to make sure that all stockpiled packs remain available to all science labs. With a dead end, only a portion of your science labs can benefit from your stockpile.

Inputting steel on the right side would have been much easier. But I really wanted all inputs on the same side and relatively close to each other.
I know about robots and there awesomeness. I will definitively design stuff with them in the future. But I would like to master belt based factories first.

The purple pack assembly in the middle can easily be removed in favor of a robot port if needed. The purple assembly can be relocated on the left of the bottom one.

The solar panels and accumulators are only to make empty space useful. I figure it is better than nothing.

I really did not want a "line factory" (very long and thin). I much prefer a "box factory".
Last edited by Zhab on Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tallinu
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Re: My First ever science factory

Post by Tallinu » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:29 pm

The random solar panels and accumulators amuse me. :D

This is a really nice looking setup. I really like how you've included the plastic and battery production on-site, and the use of belts going underneath assemblers reminds me of some of my own "make-more-things-fit" shenanigans.

You have more copper wire than you need for six advanced circuits - one will support eight - and I have a feeling your green circuit production may be greater than required, but I'm not certain by what margin. Of course, assemblers don't come in fractions... ;)

What about bringing the steel from the left, but running it along the outside edge of the bottom row of labs instead of into the center and then looping around - or between the battery plants and the battery / advanced circuit belt, by interlacing it with the output inserters? It could then run upward instead of downward. Relocating one solar panel and Shifting the advanced circuits to the left after removing the extra wire assembler would provide room for the fast inserter belt to come down to join up with the steel belt at the lowest blue science assembler, instead of taking them both all the way to the top and then doubling back.

Oh, and for 0.12, of course, the dead-end belts require extension - but that would be tricky on the fast inserter's iron input. To work around that, you can place the belt so it forms a corner pointing upward toward the inserter, rather than going straight into the red splitter! :)

Zhab
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Re: My First ever science factory

Post by Zhab » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:29 am

First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to comment on my design. So many views and no comments whatsoever (good or bad). I had just about accepted the idea that I would be ignored by everyone viewing this thread. So I'm very happy to see your comment.

I need 3.5 electronic circuits assemblers. You cannot cut an assembler in half. But you can slow down the input of components a bit which in turns reduce the effectiveness of assembler. Which can lead to the equivalent of 3.5 assemblers even thou you use 4.

It take 3 copper cables assemblers to feed 2 electronic circuits assemblers at full speed. So 6 are needed to feed 4 circuits assemblers. Removing one of the top 3 cable assembler would have the two top circuit assemblers running at 2/3 speed. Which would give us 1.33333_ circuit assembler. Adding the bottom two would give us 3.33333_ assembler and we need 3.5.

About advanced circuits... for whatever reason I calculated that I need 1.11 cables assemblers. However, I was wrong and actually only need 0.75... This change things tremendously ! Thank you for pointing this out. We all derp at times. I did test with one assembler and the belt was running out. But I realize now that that is because 1 fast inserter isn't fast enough to handle 4 items per seconds... Derp :? !

That being said, It should be possible to use only 5.975 copper cables assemblers to feed the entire factory. If I'm going to redesign for 7, I might as well do it for 6 instead.

As for the steel, I kinda wanted for everything except the labs to be contained within the science pack belt. That way the labs can actually be added or moved almost anywhere on the outside very quickly and easily. If I'm going to input steel from an other side then the left, I would rather be up front and direct about it and only disturb a small portion of the outer perimeter instead of running an intricate underground belt on an entire side.

That being said, it could indeed be done. But if I did, I see little difference in running smart inserters all the down instead of running steel all the way up. The smart thing to do would be to input steel from the top somewhere around the 2 to last labs and switch the belt position of inserters and steel on the track.

Doesn't sound like 0.12 is serious threat to this design. After all, all belts used to be longer and where shortened later on.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Very appreciated. Pointed out my derp and made me consider thing under a new angle.

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Re: My First ever science factory

Post by johanwanderer » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:42 am

That's a neat layout. Something to strive for the next time I build a new factory :) (I always seem to underestimate how much space I need, and end up having to move things around)

This is probably a personal preference, but I prefer to have the final beakers loops something like this (left side of the image)
20150720-02-science-loop.png
This way I have less belt storage of the precious beakers. I used to go as far as making sure that the red beakers are on the outer most lane :)

The setup is also extensible, allowing you to add a bunch more labs on a whim. Then again, maybe that means I haven't been planning it right in the first place.

Zhab
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Re: My First ever science factory

Post by Zhab » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:40 pm

Well, the idea behind my concept was running all 20 labs non-stop. However, being able to build a buffer on slow 60 seconds techs is essential to be able to handle 15 seconds techs or techs with double packs. A bunch of those in a row will definitively empty those belt no sweat. If a science pack get on that belt without being used later on, it is because you are done with research. At which point you should probably shut off resource input. One of the merit of this design is how much low tech it is and can therefore be built in full or partially early on and will not need to be changed later.

However, if you are that concerned with with the idea of having more than you need, you should not be using pure belts. You should be using robots or at least a system with smart inserters and chests. For example, say that you have 20 labs with 20 smart chests. Each of them is in it's own isolated red cable network and set to take in only 4 packs of each types (or some other number). Then you connect all chests to the packs assemblers with the green cable and tell those smart inserters to only pull out if there is less than 80 packs in the system (or slightly lower if your system is slow to respond).

Bingo, your belt will be almost empty no matter how big they are. The system will even auto balance. Making sure that the first lab do not steal all the packs and leave none for the last. If you idle, the last lab will not have all the stockpile to itself. It will be spread evenly among all labs. This system should be so good that it should completely removed the need for a loop.

That is if you do not feel lazy. Because otherwise just pop down robot ports all over the place with provider and requester chests and you are done. This option is very easy but power hungry. This comes much later in the tech tree, but late game techs are so freakishly expensive that they completely overwhelm the cost of early game techs in both time and packs. So it is worth doing. Especially since deconstructing and rebuilding a blue print is something quick and easy with robots.

Just my two cents. Thank you very much for your input.

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Re: My First ever science factory

Post by AshToDust » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:31 pm

Hi, I really like your setup but I do not get why you re making that much batteries and Advanced circuit. To run 8 blue pack factories, don't you need only 1 battery and 1 Advanced circuit factories?

I would like to see a version self sufficient on electricity :) As compact as you can of course :) As you already need coal and water, I guess I would go steam powered :)

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Re: My First ever science factory

Post by ctoptrophobe » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:54 am

This is just...beautiful... Keep up the good job!

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Re: My First ever science factory

Post by ssilk » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:57 am

Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
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