Hello everybody. This time we’ll have a look at crucible automation, highly specialized supporting machinery and few things that are essential for making late-game experience bearable. First up, crucible automation.
- Crucible automation
Anyone can build a simple crucible setup, consisting of HU/t procucing unit (e.g. burning box), a Smelting Crucible on top of that and some Molds next to it. This thing is used throughout the game, with minor changes to it (burning box upgraded to stronger one, crucible and molds changed to different materials). After getting used to “insert materials - heat up - watch the temperature - cast - repeat” loop the crucible handling becomes a simple task. But at some point, it comes clear that the process itself is not the problem - the time-consumption is. To avoid spending half of the gametime next to a boiling kettle, automation to the rescue.
1.1 Stainless steel
I am convinced that stainless steel automation is the most important task of any non-cheating playthrough of GT6. SS is needed EVERYWHERE: multiblocks, normal machines, tool parts, screws, pipes, drums and more. More importantly, the required quantity of SS is likely counted in tens- even hundreds of thousands of units. Better get those crucibles running quickly.
Stainless steel setup
Recipe itself is clear: 1 Manganese, 1 Chromium, 4 Iron and 3 Invar are stored into hoppers with correct “Emit exact stacksize” setting. These 4 hoppers are being “locked” from inserting their contents into pipes below (leading to final hopper above the crucible) by constant redstone signal.
As a startup procedure, “lock” of hoppers can be temporarily disabled by flicking the switch next to crucible. This causes 9 units of ingredients to be inserted into the crucible. If the energy line is connected, crucible will start heating through Electric heater. Ingredients are combined in the crucible and turned into SS at 1943 K. I’ve set up a “thermometer sensor” on the side that outputs redstone when the heat reaches over 2100 K. This disables the electric heater below the crucible (via “Redstone machine switch” cover) for a moment. Same signal is used to activate each of the 9 molds, and SS is casted into molds. At the same time, another sensor (“Light weight-o-meter”) registers that the contents of crucible are now empty, and outputs a signal. This signal is transferred to “Pulse former” (blue power mod) and reaches few redstone repeaters. Signal for the repeater is used to disable the constant redstone signal to hoppers for 4 ticks, allowing hoppers to repeat the process of inserting ingredients.
I was too lazy to automate the power input based on crucible/hopper status so I left it as a manual task. This setup as a whole has been very stable and long-lasting, with only minor improvements needed (chests above hoppers for mass-production was used before). It is a good feeling to leave with the team to empty out a tungsten vein, and come back to tens of stacks of shining stainless steel. Highly recommended.
1.2 Annealed copper
This setup has been repurposed at least twice already, earlier it was used to turn iron into wrought iron. Wrought iron and annealed copper work the same, you heat up the base material into certain level and you are able to cast the “improved” version of it directly. No other input is required.
Processing logic is identical to stainless steel setup mentioned before. Materials differ, as 2500 K clay crucible and molds are no longer able to handle 2800 K annealed copper. Our Thaumcraft wizard pulled some “thaumium” out of his pocket, and it happened to handle the heat nicely. Molds were later changed to tantalum hafnium carbide, as thaumium was being re-used elsewhere.
Ah yes, steel. One of few materials to require true planning to make. Real problem lies with the process: Crucible must be inputted with KU/t energy (from engines, e.g. Electric engine) to turn 2046 K iron into steel. To accommodate with that, we constructed the following monstrosity.
Steel setup - do not replicate, for your own sake
Let’s say this was an experimentation project that failed successfully. Whole Repeater hell on the left is used simply to lengthen the time before signal reaches the molds. During this time, redstone signal activates shutter cover allowing energy into Electric engine. This then turns all 4 units of iron into steel before they are casted and collected by hoppers.
This must be the worst designed machine in the whole base, as it takes a lot of space, sometimes outputs 3 steel and 1 wrought iron (lack of KU/t input?) and is ugly as sin. Please, if you have more sane procedure to produce steel post it below.
- Simplified alloy production
Speaking of sane production methods, smelting materials and combining them in a mixer is a massive quality-of-life improvement in the late game. After reaching technology level to create your “Smelters”, these can be used to smelt materials and input them into drums. All of the related processes happen inside our main “Miscellaneous machinery” hall, usually called “that place with a lot of machines”.
This hall includes basically every GT6 machine you can think of: from simple Press and Buzzsaw to more complex Laser engraver and Extruders, ending with Crystallization crucibles and a pristine Nanoscale fabricator. At first the hall was divided between LV and MV era machines, but later we decided expand it to include “Dense fluidized bed burning box”-using machinery, e.g. Tungsten carbide Extruder and Smelter. It was good to have all of the regularly-used machines within hand’s reach. This was also true for alloy production from molten materials, described below.
Molten alloy processing
First, a smelter is used to turn material into liquid form. Setup shown below also allows for items to be inserted directly into Molds, but we don’t want it here. For an example, Zinc (1 units) and Copper (3 units) could be smelted here and outputted into two different barrels. Note: always check the heat capacity of the barrels you are using. Outputting 32 units worth of molten Tungsten into stainless steel drum will make you quit the game.
Both barrels are then moved next to mixer and placed next to the pipe on top of the mixer. By using a quadruple pipe and few “Compact electric pump”-covers attached to it you can insert multiple fluids into single machine input at the same time. This is very handy with recipes that require 3-4 fluids at the same time. In the Zinc and Copper example, molten metals are now inserted into mixer. Adding “Selector tag = 2” into mixer activates processing of both materials and outputs them as “Molten Brass”.
Now you have Molten brass to use as you see fit. But how do you get them out as solid materials? You could take the barrel, use a pipe and a mold to output liquid into mold. This nets you plates, ingots, rods and such. But what if you want to keep the items in a dust format, without need to re-shred the things you casted. Well, there is a way. It’s not going to be pretty, but this one works just fine. Behold, “Rivers of Babylon”.
This machine consists of two Canning machines: First one on the left accepts molten metals and inserts them into Glass tubes. These tubes are automatically send to next Canning machine, which accepts the Glass tubes and separates their contents into Glass tube and Tiny pile of Brass Dust. Hurray! Now your molten alloys are in dust form. After that, item pipe and item covers are used to filter the dusts and tubes. Tubes are send to buffer hopper, and dusts are send to chest after being combined with a Dust funnel. Buffer hopper is setup to output 63 items at a time, making sure that the loop is processed in batches (instead of 1-2 tubes at the time).
- Chlorine production
Chlorine is used in surprisingly many processes, including titanium processing, ore refining and battery production. Chlorine sources are scarce, but one of them is above others: sea water, as it is infinite.
After reaching MV era, we constructed following setup for continuously producing chlorine. It is solar-powered, requiring nearly zero attention. Automatically collect sea water via Drain cover and input it into the Electrolyzer. After few hours player can swoop in and collect few thousand litres of chlorine for later usage. Sodium Hydroxide side-product is also stored, we’ll find out soon that it has good uses too.
Solar panel setup is not strong enough to run Electrolyzer (HV) constantly, so some logic was required. We added battery box to gather solar power and “Energy sensor” attached to it. Sensor signal must reach 9 redstone blocks (battery box ~60% filled) before the Electrolyzer processing is activated via “Auto redstone machine switch”. Cover allows you to activate machines with one signal, and the machine will stop running after single processing operation if redstone is no longer applied. This allows the setup to run indefinitely, as the machine will not start at nights or at rainy days but runs automatically if power situation is OK.
Note: other two Electrolyzers are not connected to the solar power, but are powered via liquid fuels (backup method if you need a lot of chlorine in a short timescale).
- Refined Bauxite processing
Last one of our examples include processing of one of the side products in the Aluminium production. In the material processing post you could see thousands of refined Bauxite dusts just waiting in the barrels. What can they be used for? Directly, nothing. But when shredded into dusts, these materials can be re-processed in intriguing way to create good amounts of Titanium-bearing ores.
Refined Bauxite into Titanium-bearing ores
The setup is quite simple: Large autoclave (on the right) is inserted with Bauxite dust, Sodium Hydroxide dust and Steam. This processes them in a batch, and outputs Sodium Aluminate dust + Tiny refined Ilmenite ore + Tiny refined Rutile ore. Latter two are outputted to item barrels, and former is send to Large Batching Vat (on the left). There the Sodium Aluminate dust and water are automatically processed into Aluminium Hydroxide dust and Sodium Hydroxide dust. Aluminium one is stored, Sodium one is send back into the Autoclave (Sodium Hydroxide is not consumed, and single stack can be looped indefinitely).
Steam generation is handled with some logic, as the steam boiler is only activated if the pipe going to Autoclave is not full. This prevents excess steam production if machine setup is not being used.
Afterwards, refined ores can be shredded and used in Titanium production. This was a nice setup to make, as we were able to use those tens of thousands of bauxite ores we had been hoarding.
There you have it, few of the setups we have been working with. No teaser this time, I am not quite sure what to write about yet. Thanks for your time.