You thought you’d get out of January 2021 without another one of these, did you? Well, surprise!

I’ve been in Tier 5 & 6 content in Satisfactory for a little while now, and the bulk of my time at this stage of the game so far has been spent getting to the point of making my first petroleum-based products (Plastic and Rubber) as well as generating power from Oil. Unlocking some of the really fun stuff, however, required fully (if modestly) automating production of a couple of key components: Heavy Modular Frames, and Computers.

Here’s a bit of how I got those production lines up & running.

When last we caught up here, I showed off the Fuel (Oil) Generator site. It took a couple of tries before I got it running properly & reliably due to not realizing I needed a pump down at ground level to help get the oil up to the platform and due to forgetting to power the waste product sink (thus backing up & halting fuel production). Whoops!

With that all settled, I hunkered down to figure out how best to accomplish my next goal. For various reasons, in the last few weeks I set up delivery & storage of steel-based products near my Hub site, which turned out to be vital for the Heavy Modular Frame production. I realized, however, that I needed to completely redo the Ironworks building.

Again.

It just keeps getting taller and crammed full of more stuff. Barely visible on the far left of this image is the bundle of equipment where the Heavy Modular Frame building sits now.

It took a couple of tries to find a good enough balance of production (Screws versus Iron Rods to get Rotors and Modular Frames), and at one point I realized that I didn’t actually need to craft Iron Plates in that building at all since the dedicated Reinforced Iron Plate site could meet the (meager) requirements for non-reinforced Iron Plate quite easily. (Please note that the RIP site is heavily modified from the version you see in that earlier post. For one thing, I have the alternate recipe which allows me to craft Screws directly from Iron Ingots, thus streamlining the process considerably.)

I got it all done, though. Then it was a matter of tearing down the temporary Manufacturer assembly line next to my Hub and building a proper, um, building to handle the Heavy Modular Frame production job.

Post-demolition of the temporary, open-air, Manufacturer assembly line. I’m not sure what that shadow of foundation-looking material is that seems to have been left behind. When I moved closer to find out, it wasn’t visible anymore.

Actually, it was time to redo the Motorworks building, which for some reason started life as a secondary Iron Smelter site. Then I could start on the Heavy Modular Frame building. Nothing’s ever simple, is it? After rerouting materials and clearing out the lower part of the building, I set up Stator production below and Motor production up top, and now the building’s doing what I originally meant it to do.

I can’t help it, I just love placing these gigantic useless support pillars under my physically-impossible buildings. The resulting aesthetic in this case works surprisingly well!

Then I threw together the simpler of the two Manufacturer-based projects, the Heavy Modular Frame building. “Simpler” is most definitely a relative term here since a Manufacturer requires four belt-fed inputs. I chose to just make one machine’s worth of output for now and will probably knock down the far wall to cram another one in there later. (Or go vertical and stack them. Probably that, actually.)

The problem with color-coding your buildings with the paint dispenser is that you run out of paint much, much faster than you expect. And right now, the only way I can make more paint is to buy it with tickets or harvest flowers off the ground. Sigh.

Having spent a bunch of game sessions just tackling the easier of the two tasks, I wandered around for a bit while trying to figure out how and where to make Computers. My options boiled down to:

  1. Send Plastic to the Hub site and build something in the rapidly-decreasing free space there. (I began my game in a starting-material-rich location but it’s surrounded by rocks and cliffs and whatnot. At some point I’ll need to either move my main production center out into the open desert or way up onto the high plateau.) Technically I’m already shipping Plastic over to the Space Elevator site so part of this job is done. The problem? Computers require a lot of Screws (an iron product) and Cables (a secondary copper product) and Circuit Boards (made with Copper Sheets and Plastic) as well as Plastic itself. Diverting iron production at the Hub site to make enough Screws for Computer Production as well as retooling the Copperworks to accommodate the new requirements seemed like a losing proposition.
  2. Send Screws, Copper Sheets, and Cables over to the “Bubblin’ Crude” (oil, that is) (Texas tea) location and build Computers there. This option’s only main benefit would be that Plastic wouldn’t need to be shipped over to the Space Elevator and/or Hub, but since the conveyor belt for Plastic is already in place & running, it seemed silly to run one or more belts going the other direction, only to then need yet another belt back again to ship the finished product where I needed it to go. Way, way too complicated, and this option still had all of the production-line drawbacks of Option 1. Nope!
  3. Find a new source of iron and/or copper and build there. Hopefully I could find one not too far from either the oilfields or the Space Elevator, as both of those locations have ready access to a supply of Plastic.

On a whim, I stood near the Space Elevator and used the resource locator device to find out if there was nearby unused iron I could tap into. Sure enough, a couple of “pings” returned from due west of my position. At least that would take care of the Screws problem. What about copper?

Multiple “pings” for copper nodes returned… right next to the iron nodes I’d just located. Well then! Option 3 was off and running. I started laying foundation tiles toward my new promised land, and after subduing some of the hostile wildlife (mostly via thrown exploding snowballs from the safety of my elevated platform) I built a simple and modest production facility for Screws…

One Miner, two Smelters, four Constructors, and a big storage bin as the buffer. I can always ramp this up later as needed, especially since I haven’t even tapped into the other nearby iron node yet.

…and another for the two copper-based products.

Yes, I know: I need to finish walling up that building and get a set of foundation pillars under there. I assure you, the lack of those things IS bothering me.

With all of the building blocks in production, I started my “compuworx” building. (Ironworks, Steelworks, Motorworks, Copperworks… etc.) And then built a Hyper Tube back over to the Space Elevator site because hoofing it back and forth and back and forth and back and forth for required materials gets really old, really fast.

In case you’re wondering: Going through the Hyper Tube transport system has yet to get old.

The main floor of the Computer assembly building contains the Plastic and Copper Sheet input buffer storage bins and the machinery for making Circuit Boards therefrom.

Three Assemblers’ worth of Circuit Boards isn’t actually enough to keep the Manufacturers fed constantly. I’ll worry about optimization later, though. Job One is just getting Computers made AT ALL.

Those get sent up to the second floor, where through a Lovecraftian array of conveyor belts they end up in a pair of Manufacturers where the final stage of the process takes place.

It only took three tries to come up with a working system for this. And yes, to have done this PROPERLY I’d have used an intermediate floor in the building so I could feed the Manufacturers from below. I know. I KNOW.

It’s kind of a mess, but it works. I now generate Computers! Which is good, because for weeks now my goal has been one particular technology unlock:

I’m amused that they haven’t patched out the clearly-FICSMAS-event themed launch button for milestone deliveries yet.

MONORAIL.

(Monorail. Monorail. Monorail.)

It’s been a fun week or so of game time, and I look forward to tackling the next set of challenges. (These challenges will probably involve trains, let’s be clear.)

It’s about time to relocate the Hub off of the bare ground, isn’t it? Two months it’s done its job, right where I first dumped it.