Looks pretty similar to last week, right? Here's what's changed:
- There are now terminals attached to the AE system. These provide access to stored materials and auto-crafting features.
- There's a drive array (hidden in the back) that holds most of my stuff.
- Two crafting CPUs (flanking the drive array) deal with auto-crafting requests.
- The crystal growth, charger and inscriber systems are now fully automated. I can request processors or crystals via the crafting terminal and they appear like magic in the AE system.
- A molecular assembler handles auto-crafting standard recipes.
- Interfaces connect the AE system to the ore-processing machines, so finished ingots are imported once they're made.
- The storage barrels in the floor are all attached to the AE system with storage interfaces. This gives me tons of storage for bulk materials without having to make a bunch of drives.
This is the crafting terminal. There's also a pattern terminal, which lets you create crafting patterns used by various AE interfaces and devices, and an interface terminal that lets you see all the patterns installed in devices on the network.
How does auto-crafting work? Basically, you create a pattern that defines what you want to make and the ingredients it requires, then you place that into an ME Interface attached to an appropriate device. As I mentioned, the Molecular Assembler handles standard crafting. It can make anything you can make in a basic crafting table. You can also attach ME Interfaces to other machines. For example, you could connect one to a furnace and create a pattern that turns raw pork into cooked pork chops.
Of course, things are never that simple. You need to ensure the furnace has fuel, and that the pork chop makes it back into the AE system. You also need to make sure all the AE system components have power and data channels. It's a bit complicated, but once things are up and running, it saves a huge amount of legwork. Right now all my terminals are tucked away in the main AE room, but I could easily run a cable down to the farm level, add a terminal and have full access to my materials and crafting capabilities down there.
So what's next? Well, the worst thing about having an AE system is you suddenly realize how poorly your base is laid out. I'm starting to regret building next to a river, since I need to work on animal farms for raw materials, and there's not a ton of space for that. It *may* be time for a move. We'll see.
Minor addendum: So I hopped on my world to do some exploration tonight. When I got back to the base, things were quiet. TOO quiet. Seems my new additions are overloading my power system, the power grid is drained dry. That means the AE system is down, which means all my stuff is unavailable! Fun times!
Guess I know what my next project is: power upgrades!