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Thread: Resource Sorting

  1. #1
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    Resource Sorting

    This might be a tough one, but one I think would be both extremely useful and interesting.
    Conveyors are great for filling up storage boxes with all the raw materials we need.
    Having a way to sort those materials, preferably automatically would be golden.

    Some manner of small device, with a single "input" connector, and a number of "output" connectors that can be assigned a Material would be fantastic.

    This could then be inserted into a Conveyor line, and sift the items coming in to different containers going out - allowing us to designate separate containers for different materials.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    There's been quite a few different takes on that type of sorting. One of my favorites was a suggestion to add filters to the containers, letting us choose what can be stored and just ignoring the rest as it moves on to a different location.

    However, that kind of thing can cause a problem (and filtering in general, to be honest)... What if every container or connector or whatever method is used is set, so that when you drop some specific material into the conveyor network there is no place that particular item can settle? What happens? Does it disappear? Does it just spit out somewhere on the ground? I get headaches thinking about the silly little details sometimes. heh

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrmithrax View Post
    There's been quite a few different takes on that type of sorting. One of my favorites was a suggestion to add filters to the containers, letting us choose what can be stored and just ignoring the rest as it moves on to a different location.

    However, that kind of thing can cause a problem (and filtering in general, to be honest)... What if every container or connector or whatever method is used is set, so that when you drop some specific material into the conveyor network there is no place that particular item can settle? What happens? Does it disappear? Does it just spit out somewhere on the ground? I get headaches thinking about the silly little details sometimes. heh
    Let's look at this in some depth.

    I've got a number of mining rigs, a couple of water pumps, and a couple 3d printers all plumbed together. Their output is then fed into the input of a Sorter.
    That sorter has, let's say, 8 outputs on it. Each of these outputs in plumbed to a large container.

    Each Output has a setting on it that allows me to decide what should come out of that Output.

    I set the Outputs as follows:

    1. Iron
    2. Carbon
    3. Basic Frames
    4. Basic Plates
    5. Dirty Water
    6. Composite Components
    7. Electronic Components
    8. Mechanical Components

    What happens when I produce Glass?
    It doesn't have anywhere to be sorted, so it piles up in the 3d Printer.
    What happens if my Mining Rig digs up some Silver?
    Again, it doesn't have an Output, so it stays in the mining rig.
    What happens if the mining rig is full of Iron and Carbon and Silver?
    I counter with What Happens already with a Mining Rig if it can no longer output to a Container? It becomes Inactive and waits until there is somewhere to output new materials.

    Not really all that hard to figure out.

    Now, it's entirely possible to have more containers than just 8 and more materials flowing through Conveyors as well. How to handle that?

    Back to the Sorter settings:

    1. Iron
    2. Carbon
    3. Silicon
    4. Aluminum
    5. Cobalt
    6. Silver
    7. Gold
    8. Unsorted

    What's Unsorted? That's anything that isn't 1-7. So now, I output 1-7 into their own containers, and 8 I pipe into the input of another Sorter, configured:

    1. Titanium
    2. Uranium
    3. Xaenite
    4. Basic Plates
    5. Basic Frames
    6. Electronic Components
    7. Mechanical Components
    8. Unsorted

    and I can rinse and repeat, until everything has a place, or places to go.

    Let's What If.. again. This time, let's say I have Iron set as #1 on my first Sorter, and again as #1 on my second Sorter, and I put a T-Conveyor between the Container I am trying to fill with Iron, Sorter #1 and Sorter #2's input. If Iron Container #1 has space, Iron is routed to there. If it has no space, then it's routed to Sorter #2, and out the Iron output of Sorter #2.

    If it has nowhere to go, then it gets routed nowhere and the mining rig producing Iron responds as if it has nowhere else to output, and shuts down.

    I didn't suggest this would be a simple thing to tackle - programmatically I'm sure it would be quite a challenge - but from what I've seen so far, we've got a pretty darn good team, so if anyone can figure it out, I bet they can.

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