Early Building Store

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Dry Hairy Tree
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Early Building Store

Post by Dry Hairy Tree » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:32 pm

I like the main bus concept but find that belts full of all manner of items, while relatively simple, are rather wasteful of both space and resources.

For early game I've devised a system that puts (almost) all your building requirements in one easy to get at place. First get your red/green science going. Then... ignore the initial resource line till it's time for blue science. Make ANOTHER line of copper and iron plate like so.

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You make a fresh line as you need lots of resources to pull this next machine off without damping either research or building.

Now make a circuit factory off to one side of your plates like so.

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This can be compacted a bit more but I like it as is. It is a beast at knocking out circuits, I box excess almost straight away to help when red circuits kick in. Note the smart inserters for loading iron to the underground belts - other inserters may pick iron and gum up the works.

Now you just need to add a line of cogs and you're good to get on with it. Throw everything for fast building in boxes all in one row. All inserters, blue buildings, mining drills, lights, belts, underground belts, splitters and of course circuits...

Image

It is assumed you've thrown some steel smelting and brick making together for upgrading furnaces as you move past the circuit machine to the Building Store proper - you will need the resources. If you have, provided you don't forget about your power, you can start ramping things up fast.
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searker
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Re: Early Building Store

Post by searker » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:51 pm

That is indeed a good idea.
I have never thought about mixing copper and iron on (yellow) belts because of throughput issues, but it could provide quite useful when starting and just needing a few of each item.
In addition, one could mix the circuits and gears so you could use 2 blue inserters on both sides of the assemblers to keep them stocked.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by brunzenstein » Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:42 pm

Very nice indeed

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Dry Hairy Tree » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:25 pm

Thank you I'm glad my creativity is appreciated. I did consider mixing a gear/circuit belt it would further compact the design but.... When I swing by and pick up a bunch of gear heavy stuff (buildings and mass inserters) it takes too long for the gears (iron) to recover compared to the rest. This build gives it a wee iron buffer.

I have most chests set to receive only one stack except belts and plain inserters.

I never mass produce power till solar is up and running then they're automated as part of whatever blueprint I concoct for solar that run.

I had the prettiest wee compact destroyer factory.... where'd I leave that file...
Last edited by Dry Hairy Tree on Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by sparr » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:56 pm

It blows my mind that you're automating all those things in the early game.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Dry Hairy Tree » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:04 am

I've had a lot of early game practice cos I get to the middle and screw it up completely :D I've gone through a few iterations of automating 'the stuff on my toolbelt' to make the game flow easier.

One problem I kept encountering was blackouts. They sneak up on you when you're busy creating, especially with a readily refillable tool belt... I'm sure most everyone else has suffered from blackouts too so 'my solution' pictured below has probably been done... :?

The Burner-Inserter Blackout Buffer.

With 6.4K of coal boxed right up front by the boilers (4 x iron boxes) the moment a gap in the coal belt occurs the burner inserters begin filling the gaps. This results in slowly losing power rather than a rolling blackout. Scales up easily. Of course, remember to have enough mining drills on coal to support your power in good times, and let the burner inserters give you some leeway when your building has got ahead of your infrastructure. :shock:
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Re: Early Building Store

Post by TheDestroyer19 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:29 pm

It seems a bit wasteful to have the copper go past the circuits as the only early game items which use copper are the circuits, red science, and power poles.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Dry Hairy Tree » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:30 pm

Yes you're right. But when I swing back by for another run at the area there is still some jobs for copper. On the return run (pictured) the circuits were feeling redundant for a long time....

I put the gears/circuits in a single line and then added a line with steel/stone ore. Some bricks are coming up the steel line removed by a smart inserter - note! This will glue it up if the brick chest gets full, otherwise it all takes care of itself. It was a lazy move to save trips to get bricks.

The green circuits hooked up with red circuit/blue science production really easily and moving from the initial line to the building store left space and resources where I needed them - so blue sci was relatively easy.

So now the building store has more provisions on tap, and is gearing up for the future.

Inserters, long inserters, fast inserters, smart inserters, belts, underground belts, splitters, lights, mining drills, assemblers, underground pipe, straight rail, curved rail, signals, engines, ammo, laser turrets, solar panels,accumulators and flying robot frames. Plus some brick and circuits.... Yeah!

My first railway station drops me at the door. 8-)

There's some redundancy etc but the concept is sound. So long as I build manually this is more building materials than I can keep up with typically using.
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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Blurb » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:09 pm

That smelter setup is giving me an aneurysm, and tauting it as good is downright insulting.
Firstly, the throughput of ore is too large for the capacity of one output belt.
Secondly, stone furnaces only need very little coal, so little that they can smelt more than 12 pieces of ore each piece of coal.
The smelting setup used in the campaign (don't remember which specific level) is far better:

A central coal belt, from which both furnace rows draw from with long inserters.
Adjacent to the coal belt, there are two ore belts.

Given how much ore you can smelt off one piece of coal, it is advisable to only use one lane for coal.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Dry Hairy Tree » Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:38 pm

The throughput of ore is one mining drill to one smelter - this is double what it needs till I upgrade smelters then it works just fine. As for being insulted, you can be insulted if you want.

This is the first attempt at the concept and it works great, I've since improved it a fair bit but I'm still running ore on single lines and when I want more I'll add it. When I empty all the boxes yes, the iron is low for a while, but I just scored 50 buildings, 200 inserters bla bla - I don't need it to be instant. Sheesh.

EVERY build I make differs, so if you got some perfect recipe you follow - completely sad - to have a creative game and then force yourself to a regimen. Come on, tell me more how I should play the game. :D

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Qon » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:44 pm

Hey this is actually really good for getting up and running quickly. I'll use this as inspiration for my next restart. So simple and easy to set up and gives you everything immediatly. I would have iron on it's own belt and maybe have gears+circuits on another. Copper is not really used by anything except a few things like electric poles so it might not have to go past the circuit production or just a little bit.
Blurb wrote:That smelter setup is giving me an aneurysm, and tauting it as good is downright insulting.
It's not good, but it gives you automation so that you can build something good quickly.
A big main bus takes a lot of initial setup, resources and crafting to set up. This idea is as easy to implement as a starting "logistics bot style factory" where you are the logistics bot, but input is handled by bels with all necessary resources. But I would probably also change it since copper is not in high demand in early game.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Dry Hairy Tree » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:33 pm

Yes I've been mucking round with it a bit. The concept is sound my design has plenty of room for improvement though. I'm smelting split lines recently they work well but again there's a limit to throughput.

The copper is interesting, I may have to rethink it. Gears and circuits are what really makes this work well - their resources make their respective belts hold 2x and 2.5x what a belt with just plates could. So the belts have decent reserves on them. I guess the trick is to use a building store for what you put on your toolbelt - and for many players this may differ. Belts and inserters - definitely. I really like having assemblers automated too, I was always waiting for them.

I used this original store to load up 4 train wagons then went 1000 straight rails north and set up a new robot/solar/rail base in the middle of nowhere. Every time I go home every box (slot open) is full except solar and accumulators on full boxes are typically half full. I had to tweak the oil once as plastic stopped but yeah I go home and load up everytime. It's changed my gameplay significantly for the better which is why I shared it.

Blurb - if you have suggestions then by all means post a picture how you do it. But to come in and just find something to fault - you're simply not welcome in that context.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Qon » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:59 pm

Good to know: what is copper used for? https://wiki.factorio.com/index.php?title=Copper_Plate
(The wiki useful for checking recipe requirements and what each thing is used as ingredient as)
Many of those thinghs also require steel. Half a belt of steel is also fairly useful. Half a belt of pipe is also worth considering since some machines require those. So if you have half belt copper and half steel in the beginning of the line (leave some space for the things you can't produce yet) and then don't let the copper go past the first 5 machines and let the copper+steel belt continue on with pipes+steel instead it could work nicely.

Red science, solar panels, piercing ammo and batteries are things that you will want to mass produce and so need their own dedicated factories. Anything you want to produce at later stages of the game or want several assemblers of to keep up with demand will not be made in this assembler line except for maybe making the first small batch.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Breith » Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:39 am

I like your design, but when I first saw it I had the impression that it was really wrong. So, instead of critics without suggesting any improvement, I spend the last 2 hours to try to figure out what is wrong with it. I finally found the biggest issue: the iron plate supply. First of all, I worked on that design in my advanced game: iron ore supply is not monitored in my tests. It comes from several electric mining drills and red belts. I downgraded the belt to yellow just before the smelting area.

I don't now how you can use the design you presented in the first post in an actual game. The idea is definitively right : small smelting area, iron + copper on the same line, every low research items constructed at the same place, so you have easily access to everything you need before starting big bus / oil / more advanced factory and it is relatively compact and thus easy to defend from early bitters attacks. Definitely, it's a good idea. But after a few time, I realized that only the first items are assembled and really slowly due to a lack of gears, green circuits or iron plates. And basically all the problems can be reduced to a lack of iron plate supply. The iron output from your smelting area is awfully low.

So, I tried to improve that and this is what have now (more detailed screenshot can be done on request). To summarize: 4 smelting columns of 9 stone furnaces (1 copper, 3 iron). 1 iron column dedicated all factories excepted gears and green circuit. These two use 1 dedicated line from the 2 other sources of iron plate. I also changed green circuit layout to something more efficient. It's definitively better: almost all my assembly machines are working and I start to stack almost every component I need for later.
However the iron plate supply is still too low to really have a 100% efficiency. I still lack of green circuit because the iron it taken after the gears production and if I reduce the number of assembling machine assembling gears, then instead of being low on green circuit I'll be low on gears. The only possibility to fix the issue is to add another column of stone furnaces to smelt more iron plate and thus supply more iron on the gears / circuit line. I started to add it before I realized something important: should I really do that? If I do that, I'll oversupply this line. Of course, it's not really an issue, I could easily merge the two lines after the circuit area, but this is not the core of my thoughts.

No. The issue is that I spent 2 hours to do that. I messed up in the middle, so let's say that I spent 1h. At that point I'm probably close to unlock the steel furnace. I probably will have to assemble the green science myself since I do not really have the layout to assemble it automatically, and this layout do not permit that easily, but whatever: all the component of the green science is produced and I'll probably have a few dozen of them.
So... Should I really add another column? Isn't more efficient to just convert all my current line to steel furnaces? Of course I'll have to produce Steel, but this can be easily done either by converting some of the furnaces in the smelting area, or by supply iron plate to a couple of furnaces yourself. Moreover, I do not want to have to many furnace columns. The idea behind this layout is to be temporary, why should I have a huge smelting area for something I'm going to remove within the next 2 hours? I also want to reduce at the maximum the ressources and the time spent in the layout for the same reason.

Now, another issue: you produce component that you do not really need that much and you completely forget some other really important one. Why do you need smart inserters when pipes are probably more useful at the early stage? Why this design do not let you store any iron/copper plates for your own usage? Do you have an additional smelting area for that (e.g. an additional area with the red science)? But if you have another area to do so... why should you really need a coupled iron/copper line here? You could simply use a single copper line for the green circuit + gears and a full iron line for the rest of the factory (e.g. see next paragraph), it's way more efficient. If you want to include a small research area, you can do something like that. It's probably not optimized at all, but at least you have another useful use of your coupled iron/copper line.

To go further, I tried something else (do not pay attention to robots. I was just lazy). Same design, same input, just an inversion between lines and the inclusion of red science (after all it was the point of this new design). The coupled iron/copper line holds almost perfectly the iron supply from the 2 furnace columns. Of course, all gears are vampirized by the red science, but when the red science line will be full (quickly) the issue will be fixed (and whatever, Science always comes first). The iron supply on both lines is way better, I'm now able to steal some of it from my own usage (same goes for copper).
I'm producing way too many green circuit, meaning that one of them could be removed to increase the slightly too low gears production (again, too lazy to find the perfect ratio).

There is probably more things to improve. My last version uses probably way to many belts and I think that using smart inserters to catch iron for the green science is a mistake: you normally don't have it so early in the game and if you need to rush this research this area cannot be done quickly enough to really be useful. I tried to catch the iron from the other full iron belt instead, and I'm pretty sure this is a good way do deal with the issue. underground belt + long arm inserters should be used for that, but not today (you can add another hour of play since I started the redaction of this post...). So for now, let the reflection where it is. I'll come back on that on the 0.13 version of the game.

PS. I know that the 9 stone furnaces per column is probably not a good ratio. I didn't want to check exactly what the perfect ratio is. It wasn't really the point of my tests and I use a different layout for my definitive smelting area anyway.
PPS. I added a munition assembling machine at the end of the assembling line. Just to use the extra iron plates that might by miracle make their way to the end of the line.
PPPS. Graa. Not allowed to post urls on my first post.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Dry Hairy Tree » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:04 pm

Looking forward to images when you can post them. i was allowed to upload images on first post, just not url's.

Yes the iron is definately an issue. The gears help condense it a bit, but if there's a shortfall early game, it is always iron. You did notice I ran a new smelting line in the original post. I knew there wasn't enough left after science to pull this off. It actually does work, as the time you spend away building, the box (slots) refill. Yes, pipes got added pretty fast.

I don't have the level of OCD necessary for crunching the numbers in a game, in real life I'm scrolling big data every day - this is relaxation... I'll check craft times etc when i'm trying to get a little more out of a thing...

I tried a doubled up mining effort it just wound up being a standard big smelting start. This thing is different. It will bleed most of what you got early - to me that's really good, spend it as you get it.

Assemblers are the real iron eaters, everything else recovers easily. I only ever grab half a stack (25) assemblers from this setup, unless I'm working at distance.

The real gist of the concept is running gears and circuits along an assembly line. More condensed production as less buildings required on the line. Makes it easy to start assembling lots of things. The throughput is a side issue, the tweaking of the concept.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Breith » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:32 pm

The images are added as links in my previous post. Click on yellow links.

I think that the iron supply issue might be solved just by managing the order of construction. I didn't try that in my tests because I did it on an advanced game, but I expect that if you stay focus on only what you really need in early game: red science, gears, green circuit, inserters (1st level) and yellow belt you can fix most of the supply issue and save some iron for your own usage to make what else you need on demand. It does not produce an totally automatic early factory, but at least you have most of what you need early on. You just have to keep some space to construct whatever you'll need later on.

By doing that, you're giving yourself enough time to research the steel furnace that will definitively solve all the iron supply issues (steel furnace = twice as fast than stone furnace). Of course you'll have to deal with the iron ore input, but in my experience it's never an issue in the early game. You always have enough iron ore nearby.

Moreover, you do not really need to have underground belts, spliters or fast inserters to start the construction of your main bus / main smelting area. You completely can work on that only with the regular yellow belt, if the production is high enough (which should be, even without steel furnace). This means that you'll probably need to upgrade/modify your main bus/smelting area within a short time period, but whatever. Removing belts is definitively not that much time consuming. You also can feel free to redirect punctually some of the production from the new smelting area to this small factory if you need to (at one point, I did that: I had an additional splitter between the two eastern iron smelting area and I was redirecting some of this inflow to the 2 iron line, just to be sure that it will be saturated ASAP. Then I removed the splitter). It is a little bit more of maintenance than you want, but it works.

By the way, I'm thinking about maybe a more advanced version of this layout that you'll be able to upgrade easily. The issue with my last design (the vertical one) is that it's annoying to add more furnaces. This can probably be fixed by putting the furnace line vertically west to the main north/south line. I have to try... and to evaluate the interest instead on moving on on the main design of the future factory :D .

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Dry Hairy Tree » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:16 am

Doh :D There the pictures are...

That third picture shows my folly with copper lol. It looks really good in so far as the concept goes, and the things you automate are all useful. I made a really sweet set up to show you how the concept creates a really compact red/green sci depot as well but I forgot to save....

I tried red/green sci on the same production line but it bogs down the store production a lot. It does bleed off some of that darn copper though ;)

No worries on the robots. I don't use them much as they are crap over distance but I do like unconnected networks of them for providing goods for sophisticated assembly. In my 1000 clicks north depot I made there are no belts except in mine/smelting areas. This is a fun concept to play with but the game is getting laggy already which is taking away from the sheer idiotic fun of pointlessly going 1000 rails north to build.

I tried another game with burner inserters only and coal powered everything I could. CHAOS! Pretty fun it was a logistical nightmare.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by sparr » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:40 am

Breith wrote:Moreover, you do not really need to have underground belts, spliters or fast inserters to start the construction of your main bus / main smelting area. You completely can work on that only with the regular yellow belt, if the production is high enough (which should be, even without steel furnace).
I can't even imagine what a main bus looks like with no splitters or underground belts. How do you get 2 resources out of the same side of the bus? Or one resource to the "wrong side" of the bus?

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Breith » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:13 am

Dry Hairy Tree wrote:I tried red/green sci on the same production line but it bogs down the store production a lot. It does bleed off some of that darn copper though ;)
Don't try that with that design. It is clearly not made to produce anything beyond green circuit. More classical smelting area + bus is way more efficient. If you want your design to be effective, you need to accept that it won't survive the 4th hour of game.
sparr wrote:I can't even imagine what a main bus looks like with no splitters or underground belts. How do you get 2 resources out of the same side of the bus? Or one resource to the "wrong side" of the bus?
This is not what I meant. I meant that you can do a bus with a minimum use of them. It will be ugly, of course, but again this is something that can be fixed as soon as you have a real iron output and/or a real factory embryo.
My point was: do not waste to much time on this design since it should not survive too long. It is probably way more efficient to use it to produce the minimum, assemble whatever you might also need yourself and move on something more complex and more suitable to a heavy factory.

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Re: Early Building Store

Post by Dry Hairy Tree » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:35 am

Agreed Breith. This set-up is transitional, trying to enlarge it as the game goes doesn't work it dilutes my efforts. But in early game it's a great thing to have and I only find it starting to crawl once I have red circuits to be built.

I tried a main bus with gears and circuit lines it was clunky.

As a scientist, what does my head in in this game the most is the formulas for science packs - so lame. The artifacts not so bad. I'd have them sampling ores, local plants, aliens, local water etc, samples from each land type, put some relics type stuff on the map...

It's not as ridiculous as Mark Watson farming 'potatoes' on Mars, but it is close. :twisted:

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