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3D Printer vs. Ship-Mounted Building Tools

Discussion in 'Survival' started by trust42, Apr 30, 2014.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. trust42 Trainee Engineer

    After reading through the AMA, I found myself slightly disappointed to find out that, for large construction projects in Survival mode, KSH is planning on implementing a "3D Printer", where drones will construct your designs for you. While that does sound cool, and also more "futuristic" and "techy", I feel it kind of takes away the personal touch to building a large project. With Ship-Mounted building tools, you still have to go in and construct all the blocks, even though it would much faster and easier than the handheld tools. It seems that the difference is, with 3D printing you say "Look what I designed", while with ship-mounted tools, it's "Look what I designed and built." Just my thoughts on something I was discouraged about, but it's in no way a "deal breaker" for me. I still love the game and will keep playing. Keep up the good work, KSH.
  2. Ash87 Senior Engineer

    Well, it comes down to HOW they implement the 3-D printer.

    I've discussed this extensively with a few people and here is the thing, If this works, will depend on:

    • How you get the ship design into the 3-D printer: Do you build the ship once yourself and then put it into the printer for scanning, do you build it in a seperate screen (Kind of like a creative mode screen), do you accrue blueprints as you build anywhere and have them saved locally so they can be accessed at any time? I personally would prefer options 1 or 3 of those.
    • How much time does it save: likely what we are talking about, is a system that has multiple welding arms. I have always said that the arms need to weld at the same speed as the current tech, but it's a matter of having multiple arms that don't need to take pee breaks, that makes it "Faster"
    • How much power does it require
    • Are there limits on size? Will the whole thing be scaleable, so you can build a 40x40x40 printer and print out military transports, or will it be such that you plop down one 3x3 object and it'll build whatever you want? I'd say it needs to be scalable, so that not only do you need larger sizes to build larger ships, but also if you to consider that if something is Too big, and constructing something vastly smaller, that it could take more time to build (The arms are too big and unwieldy so they have to travel further to get the work done, and that sort of thing).
    I actually look forward to the first model so I can see these questions answered.
  3. Dasorine Trainee Engineer

    My issue with ship mounted construction tools is how would you get the finesse you'd really need for proper construction.

    Tbh not so keen on the 3d printer stuff either but im betting thats at least going to end up being limited in someway such as power usage, size limitations or material cost to build the thing.

    I definitely prefer the feel of floating around upside down to weld those blocks in hard to reach places and such.
  4. trust42 Trainee Engineer

    The "finesse" from ship-mounted tools would come from your ability to design ships. You could try building a larger ship that could house all of the tools, or you could have much smaller ships only equipped with one tool. I have a survival-mode mining ship (the "Mark I" variant, first one at the beginning of the world) that has only a handful of armor plates, and the rest is just the base-essentials (thrusters, gyro, reactor, etc.). It's not pretty, and not fast, but I could definitely see it being used to fly around a project, welding.

    The two main concerns for it firstly, thruster damage. However, that can easily be avoided by remaining cautious while flying and by using smart ship designs. The second concern is much greater, though, and that would be how to do interiors (tight hallways, small rooms, reactor rooms, and other areas with minimal space for maneuvering). A resolution for that (that doesn't involve major game changes) eludes me, so I will admit that, for interiors, 3D Printing would be far superior.
  5. Beanie Apprentice Engineer

    Well, one way to avoid worker ships being too large for interiors is to build inside out. Or, just do the interiors by hand.

    I'm hoping for tools to be implemented for small ships, mainly because it adds another type of worker ship which will add so much in terms of designing utility ships. Also of course it'll be faster to build large structures.

    It gets monotonous time consuming welding a station together. Likewise, grinding ships down for salvage.

    As far as the 3D printer idea goes, I like it. If you don't like it, don't use it. No doubt in survival building a 3D printer will take a lot of resources. So if you don't like the idea of "taking short cuts" then save your resources for something else.

    The devs know what they're doing. They've earned my trust. As far as implementing new things, thus far they've exceeded my expectations already. And that's what's kept me interested in the game.
  6. Vermillion Senior Engineer

    I vote a working version of this:
    Each arm is a mobile AI-controlled Entity that works in the same way that a turret targets decoys, the arms target incompleted/damaged blocks within their range. If a designated object is not within their reach, they'll circle their "Ring" to check from all angles and change targets if the object is out of reach.
    Each arm can build up to it's fully extended length, meaning that each ship commissioned must be of a relative size to the Constructor. Any ship too big and the arms will impact it where it comes too close to the frame. Too small and the arms won't be able to reach. A useful way to prevent people from using your constructor to build their ships while you're logged off and prevent large-scale mass-production of different ships.
    Each arm welds at 25% the player's speed. Thus, the larger the ship the more arms can work on it and by extension the ship on a whole is built faster.
    Each arm can hold 750L of components and will resupply from hatches located on either side of their respective ring.
    Upon selecting a Blueprint on the Constructor's Terminal and arranging the orientation inside the Constructor Bay, the center-most block of the design will be the starting point with the corresponding arm(s) placing the frames outward from that point. When a placed frame enters another arm's reach, it will begin adding frames as well. Upon completion of the frames, the Constructor will weld any and all visible incompleted blocks within reach of the arms in a random order.
    Effectively, the Constructor assembles the frame and welds the outside, but leaves the inside for the player to do. Why? So that it doesn't come down to "whoever has the most shipyards wins".
  7. bobhendly Apprentice Engineer

    ...Why. Not both? We could easily have a nice end game resource hogging 3D printer that can print small ships out, and have small ship construction tools for the large heavy armor behemoths!
  8. meadman1 Apprentice Engineer

    Vermillion I back your proposed shipyard 100%. It would be expensive and very productive, making it a key endgame construction project. Assuming the rings could be put on ships in stead of just stations you could easily have mobile factories/ construction ships. A factory such as that would be a valuable resource and a key item for capture. Especially since the ships made would have no interior/faction identity until they were finished. Well planned attacks could involve taking the ships before it is finished and using it in the attack. I very much like every aspect.
  9. Rity Apprentice Engineer

    I'm not sure why people want to sit there and waste time doing the least fun part of the game. I know there needs to be work to appreciate what you have done, etc. But seriously it's horrendous, especially when trying to design in survival. Blueprints NEED to be a thing asap, and something to use them for like a shipyard is needed. If anyone has ever wanted to actually use anything but a ship made of solid guns and or armor shipyards need to happen, because otherwise I dont see anyone, me included, ever wanting to spend a huge amount of time designing a ship just to have it lost in 3 seconds. I really like have both form AND function .I wouldnt mind the resource loss, but I couldn't do with 20 hours of work and inspiration to have it lost to some gun cube in 2 mins.
    On a less ranty note, I LOVE everything you have there Vermillion, that's pretty much what I pictured. I don't agree with the last part though. I think it should just overall be very slow and high power consumption, something only a faction could support. Also maybe just build top to bottom, block by block. Because as much as I loved what you said, I can't see it being worth the suck on server power. Or at least if the devs want to do this early have it like my way first, get more stuff out of the way and upgrade it in beta.
    Also I would actually like to see both, but if not I'd rather have shipyards. But I think you should be able to spawn blueprint frame-ships, taking the resources maybe out of a special crate? but either way so you can make more clear and planned ships in creative and still build them fair in servers/survival.
  10. Rity Apprentice Engineer

    I definitely think this should be a station only. While it may be cool to have a mobile shipyard (GO HIGARIANS) for balancing and fairness reasons it should be a key target that needs to be defended.
    I would be OKAY with small shipyards, or both small and large mobile repair ships, but not large mobile shipyards.
  11. Vermillion Senior Engineer

    There's a problem with having a mobile shipyard: That being that there's nothing holding the incomplete ship in place, so that if the shipyard moves the ship will either just fall right out or slam into the sides and take all the Work Arms with it.
    A Small Ship Constructor could possibly be mobile, using a docking arm that automatically holds the small ship to the bay. But the size and construction time of most small ships kinda renders a small ship constructor rather unneccesary. A decent high-speed fighter can be built in less than 20 minutes and stored on board a carrier in bulk.
  12. Nimis Trainee Engineer

    3d Printer all the way. Welding is a diffucult task witch u cannot do in ships thats how i see it.

    But if they do add ship tools i like to see a limit on it 1 tool per ship. Like i said its a difficult task 1 person cannot look after lets say 20 welders welding
  13. Mac D Junior Engineer

    I am hoping for larger/faster welding/grinding tools for small ships, basically like the difference between hand drill and the small ship drill. This is the priority for me, and don't have time to build very large structures in survival mode without something like this added.

    A large ship construction/salvage tool could be sort like the turrets and/or what Vermillion suggested.

    As for 3D printing, give us these blocks and some more automation functions and we will construct our own 3D printers of various sizes and capabilities.

    I expect blueprints to pasted in as ghostly blue outlines of blocks in survival mode that turn into actual blocks under construction when the basic parts are added to them by player on ship tools.

    I am already using a purpose built small ship for survival mode construction and salvage (basically to greatly extend my inventory and energy supplies by keeping it close to the manual worksite, just need a few tools to add to the front.)


    Still will need to manually complete and repair many ship interiors depending on how well you plan things.
  14. Pyrocantaes Trainee Engineer

    Mac D pretty much its the nail on the head here..

    If you want to buid a large project, like a space station in survival mode, inevitably you're not going to have all the resources, or all the detailed plans laid out before you start, especially if you want to build into caverns carved from a asteroid.
    This means you place blocks as you go an then have to go through the tedium of grabbing a few items, weld a few blocks, recharge your suit, rince and repeat. This is also true if you're capturing and salvaging cargo ships for parts .. 4 trips just to dismantle a large reactor.
    Have ship tools equivalent to the grinder and welder would dispense with a lot of this tedium, especially if you can connect them to conveyors and a cargo hold.
    If someone would like to explain how you salvage with a 3D printer or and a new corridor section to an existing ship and/or station with one.. I'd be most interested..
  15. Leadfootslim Senior Engineer

    The obvious solution is to have welding arms for large ships/stations and have us build our own 3d-printers.
  16. Nickvr68 Junior Engineer

    I want the shipyard to be constructed by you, so you can make it as big or small as you want. Verm, I disagree with you, I think that all blocks should be able to be made by the arms with exception of a few (mass blocks, solar panels, ect). But what would be REALLY cool is if the arms could retract to be leaning against the frame, so I can build a shipyard cube around my hanger in my mining hauler so I can repair all of my fighters while they are parked. And that is the thing, sure a late game goal like a super-shipyard like Verm has may be a late game goal but a small fighter repair bay with one or two small arms would be fairly easy to make. Carrier hangers will have ceiling mounted arms to repair dents in fighters as they are parked, and large, mobile shipyards could be built on an asteroid, or maybe even inside the donut asteroid! :idea: I think that the possibilities are endless, and it would be awesome to have a system like this in game. If you build and design the shipyard yourself, imagine all the ingenious designs that will show up, like a stationary repair arm on a small ship designed to fly up to damaged ships and repair them! Or in a carrier, to have a ceiling mounted rail system to repair system for fighters! I don't think that we will only see Vemillion's design, but a mass of creative new ones that make this game all the better.
  17. Aurenian Apprentice Engineer

    I'd prefer to have small and large ship welders/grinders. With all the piston gadgets floating around the workshop there are plenty of folks that can make their own 3D printers if you give them the tools to do so.

    For the rest of us a couple of tools to just speed up the process of welding and grinding would be a great improvement. To balance them you just make the tool really unwieldy for small jobs. If the small ship welder was as big as the small ship drill, it would be useless for small ships and tight spaces.
  18. Ash87 Senior Engineer

    I mean, lets say we go with a system where you get a number of blocks, like maybe a working arm, rails, and we'll say another thing or two, and you have to Build the 3-D printer. This opens up a lot of possibilities:

    Those working arms could be equipped with all manner of tools, even drills or maybe collectors, so they could drill or suck up materials. With the working arms, you could tie them to Rails so they travel up and down lane adjusting to where they need to be. You could even place a computer core block or something at the center to be the interface that interacts with the arms to make it a construction/repair bay.

    Another idea, with what was mentioned about only repairing exteriors: you could, instead of making it working arms, make it drones that fly in and repair/build the ship. Same basic function as those working arms.
  19. GroeneAppel Trainee Engineer

    What we need is progression.
    A 3D printer (which is in reality a giant automated shipyard) would be a great endgame project to work on.
    That doesn't mean that ship mounted welders wont have a use. My vision, would be for an astronaut to first weld by hand, then move over to small ship welding, then to large ship welders and then to finnaly construct an automated shipyard.
  20. EightyEighty Trainee Engineer

    I second this. I could continue to furnish most of the interior stuff (doors, lights, cockpit chairs) with my own personal tools. But laying out great big slabs of large ship armor really does ask for a good ship-sized construction component.

    I could spend more time designing and laying out the project, and less time tediously welding 150 metal plates together, while still building everything basically from scratch. It would also add a layer or two to the progression of a survival game.
  21. extraammo Senior Engineer

    I'm pretty sure that they are going to have it so that you build the 3D printer with rails and such. And so the printing head will be the equivalent of a large ship welder and you would be able to use it as such. Just as you could now make a 3D "destroyer" with the grinder or you can just slap it on a ship. I would be surprised if the printing head doesn't end up being the large ship welder.
  22. Uhm Apprentice Engineer

    Thats pretty much what is gonna happen
    And the big difference between players and the 3D printer, is there will probably be some sort of time between movements, in order not to create a situation where there are physics collisions and broken printers.
    I.E. After welding head finishes one block, it takes a series of unidirectional movements to get to the next block (3D coordinates), stops over the next block, pauses for a sec to deposit materials, and then begins welding.
    Then repeats
  23. Aurenian Apprentice Engineer

    If they implement programming like they've been talking about then you could write a program to govern the sets of rails, welders, etc that you've set up as a 3D printer.

    Those of use who aren't programmers can either watch people's videos to learn how, or download someone else's prototype from the steam workshop.
  24. ReynoldsXD Trainee Engineer


    Someone doe not understand either 3d printing or modern ship building.
    Modern shios are build in modules and the welded together. In fact you could say its like sliced bread.

    You dont build the outer shell and then fill the insides. . .

    A 3d printer builds in LAYERS. that means it creates the object layer for layer. It does not build the outer shell and leaves the inside hollow. . . unless its tasked with creating a hollow shell. . .
    Any buildable object in space enginers can be constructed layer per layer. Thats the very nature of a block based build system . . .

    And why arms. . . have drones do it. you cangive every enginner a backback with superpowers but not make a simple.worker drones? huh?

    IF you have to have "arms" then make it so that they are mounted all at the "top" of the buildng area. They reach down and build layer for layer, from bottom layer to top layer. for speeds sake you coul have arms on all sides ane divide the build job into quadrants. . .
  25. Vermillion Senior Engineer

    Someone jumps to the wrong conclusion because someone said "3D printer".
    If we were printing in plastic, sure, we'd it'd build in layers. But we're not. We're printing in steel, alloys, mechanical components and electronics.
    Because THAT sounds like a 3D printer. No, it sound like an Assembly Line. It doesn't print anything, you feed it resources (Plates, bolts, pipes, etc) and it places and welds them for you. We already have a material producer, it's called the Assembler.

    So... Not only did you act like an ass, disagree with everyone, have no clue what "balance" is and have no idea what you're talking about, you added nothing to the conversation. Way to go.

    We were NEVER going to get anything like an actual 3D-Printer in the first place. A metal-printing 3D printer uses multiple fine metallic dusts, binding resin distribution, a high-temperature metal furnace and requires constant human interaction between each of the stages of production to produce a single metal object (not in layers). And that's just for metal printing and last I checked, things like windows and mechanical blocks used silicon and various other materials in complex arrangements and alloys.
    In either case, we don't need a way to print whole blocks for both efficiency, speed and material cost. Never mind the fact that modern 3D printing is impossible in a non-gravitated environment.
  26. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

    This has the official "Happy Pangolin" stamp of approval. This would be the perfect form of automated building mechanic for this game. The only potential issue I could see with the system is if it frames but doesn't weld blocks that cannot be accessed without removing other frames to get to them; you could get around that easily by, well, removing those frames and doing it manually, but the OCD part of me would fret that I'd put things back wrong. Might want to consider adding a check to see if a block would be "buried" in frames, and make it weld it if so before moving on ... or, just force the player not to cluster things too tightly in their ship. Regardless, this would be a dream element of the game. I particularly like the fact that the advantage granted by the automation would be balanced by the slower welding speed compared to a player.

    And on the other subject that seems to have crept into the topic, I always figured that when they said they were considering something "similar to 3D printers," they just meant that it built something for you.

    In 3D.

    The notion that they would try to make constructors function after the manner of actual 3D printers is ... let's just say "interesting," and leave it at that.
  27. ReynoldsXD Trainee Engineer

    and again you widely miss the point i made:

    From a game design perspective, an assembly line would be hell and nigh impossible to program. And if you tried it it would turn out like this:
    Blocks from the blueprint, which i assume is a complete object build in a sort of creative mode "build planning" space and then saved, will be selected and build. Let's call the selected blocks "layer". For logics sake the most bottom layer was selected. The assembly line/shipyard/printer/whatever the fck term you want to hang your absurd argument on will then recreate the object block by block, layer by layer.
    You just like a 3d printer puts on layer after layer of materials...

    As for your other arguments: The assembler can ad hoc create widely different parts just from raw materials. Do you need me to tell you that its impossible to build all these parts in the same tiny assembling apparatus unless its some form ofhyper advanced 3d printing thing or outrigh magic fueled nano tech sci fi stuff?

    And you come raging about how an apparatus that assembles a ship for me automatically from keel to antenna on top with all gadgets inside is IMPOSSIBLE?

    Dude, all the sci fi magic tools are already in the game. You have been using them.
    You are a astronaut equipped with a magic backpack that takes care of all your bodily needs. You are equipped with magic tools that weld anything, can cut anything and mine asteroids.
    Despite all those tasks requiring a slew of different tools even for the same task.

    You have a refinery that can purify any ore physics be damned and an asembler that magics up whatever you need. And yet here you are being an idiot again about me giving a quick rundown on an option to feasably include an automatic ship building apparatus within the already established mechanics of the game and game engine.

    Bravo. Were you not the same waldorfler that busted my thread once where i asked for better tools to get the boring work (welding and grinding)done easier? Yes you were.
    Oh look, big ship grinders. Making the task easier.

    Perhaps you should just stfu because everytime your fingers hit the keybord they only produce idiotic bs.

    It is a fact that the method you proposed in that post with the nice picture of a large hangar is retarded. Both in releation to the magic super tools already in use in the game and in terms of actual game mechanics and in terms of how this stuff is supposed to be implemented by the developer.

    I say: "layer by layer".

    You say "Yeah lets build te outer shell and have the player do the rest of the very work he was strivng to automate".

    I stand by my point: you are an idiot.
  28. Vermillion Senior Engineer

    Cool story bro.
    I can see all the people backing your thoughts. Yup, let's count them. 1... oh wait, never mind. There's no one.

    You aren't a game designer, you're a nobody. You've been here a week or two and will quit in another week or two like every other little kid, and you ARE a kid. No adult would devolve to name-calling so fast with no clue about well... anything you attempted to post.

    Well, let's take a look at those things:
    The backpack doesn't take care of bodily functions, the backpack is a backpack. You know, you put one on your back when your mother drops you off at school. The backpack holds things, amazing huh? You'll notice the engineer also has little pouches all over the suit for holding other things.
    Now as for bodily functions, for gameplay reasons, there aren't any. Though how long do you actually play for? 2-3 hours? I doubt a person will starve in that time. It's not like we don't have waste recycling systems on shuttles. An electrolyzer can easily seperate carbon from carbondioxide and can be made very compact. Ever heard of a rebreather? Yeah, well they work on the same principal.
    Magic tools huh?
    I was unaware you could weld rock and gravel with your weld-everything welder. Well you can't and you don't. You weld metals. As for magic, you might wanna go and check out Electron Beam Welding. They consume no fuel aside from electricity, designed to work in a vacuum and can weld any metal safely. They're used in space today and have been miniaturized to almost the size we have now, in 2014.
    I see that my cut-everything grinder can apparently cut through rock and ores in your mind. But alas, it doesn't do that either. It only grinds METAL, it's an Angle Grinder and the actual process of how the grinder and welder work realistically is in the Marek Rosa Development blog, you should probably check out at least SOMETHING to do with space engineers.
    And finally, we come to the mine-everything Drill. Does it mine Armor blocks? No, it dents them. As a real Masonry Drill would do. Although technically, the way it works is more like the jackhammer, but that's all semantics since the effect is the same. It hits the tensile-strengthless stone and chips it away in chunks that you can pick up. They don't magically go into your inventory.

    Oh look, not what you asked... actually, demanded. You wanted armies of automatic drones (How original...) that could be made in the assembler en-mass that would handle all your welding from the very beginning. When told to use the search function in future and that shipyards were coming, you said they were part of the Developer's "Moronic Game Design" and because you had to build them first, were stupid. Even in that thread, not a SINGLE person came to the defense of your idea and I prudently left it to die that way.
    And you think AI-controlled work arms would be a nightmare to code. Quit while you're behind.

    Although, once again you're standing on your soap box trying to show off how smart you are, bellowing out bogus "facts" about 3D printing (in plastic, not metal) and how the game is all sci-fi magic. You're basically telling the developers that their game is stupid with the majority of your post. Since they want realism.
    Up until you started squealing like a pig, this thread was all constructive, while none of your posts (either of them) has been insightful, accurate or relevant. You've also devolved to name-calling when no one supported you. You keep it up, you won't like how it ends.
  29. Conradian Moderator

    While I agree with most of what you're saying here, can you cite a rebreather that does this? I'm looking up how rebreathers work (To check my facts) and as far as I've seen they work by absorbing carbon dioxide to allow the reuse of the waste oxygen from your breath, supplemented with oxygen from a tank.
  30. Vermillion Senior Engineer

    I said they both work on the same principal, not that they're the same thing.
    Both use a scrubber to seperate carbon from carbon dioxide to maximise the efficiency of oxygen in a sealed system. A modern rebreather uses a filter that degrades over use, an electrolyzer uses electric current to seperate the carbon from the oxygen.
    The constraints with an electrolyzer now, is a matter of size and power consumption. But this is still a bodily function and irrelevant to the thread. The atmosphere thread is for that.
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