Pipes are one of the first features of BuildCraft that you are likely to encounter. They are incredibly useful for automating the more mundane tasks in Minecraft. Below, you will learn how to put them to use in automating your smelting, mining, and more!
First you will need a wooden pipe in order to extract items from a chest. To do this, the pipe must be placed next to a chest, then powered by an engine. The redstone engine is ideal for this job, because it works completely autonomously as long as it has a redstone signal. Next, you'll need some cobblestone pipes to carry the items to a furnace in order to fill it. In this way, items are automatically withdrawn from the chest and placed into the input slot of the furnace, and you don't need to lift a finger!
Special PipesEditIf you want to speed up the transport of your items you can add a golden pipe, which accelerates the items as they pass through (only when powered by redstone prior to version 3.2). Of course, your furnace is bound to run out of fuel and surely you have no intention of placing coal into your furnace manually, so you can automate this process as well. Simply attach a pipe to the bottom side of your furnace. Because you have only one chest and don't want to separate the coal by hand, there's another pipe for this job, the diamond pipe. It sorts the items for you. Right click the diamond pipe and create your first filter by putting a piece of coal into the slot corresponding to the pipe attached to the bottom of the furnace.
Try creating more filters so that only the items that you really want to smelt get into the furnace - The other items can be transported into another chest. If you attach a wooden pipe and redstone engine to the back of the furnace and run it to that same chest, you'll soon find that everything is waiting for you there, with all the smeltable items already processed.
Of course you don't have to spend time with the boring mining. Let the machines do it for you. Just craft a quarry and place it near your chest. Add some cobblestone pipes to transport the mined stuff into your chest. Like any machine the quarry needs energy to work, so you have to build some engines and connect them to the quarry. Combustion engines are recommended as they are the most efficient, but they can explode violently if allowed to overheat. Let's craft one of them and fill it with oil, lava or fuel and water by placing buckets in its GUI slots. To transport the power from the engines to the quarry use conductive pipes. There are three types of conductive pipes:
- Wooden conductive pipes: They extract energy of an engine, they don't have to be powered by a redstone engine like the wooden pipe.
- Stone conductive pipes: They are the normal energy transportation pipes - Don't use them over long distances because they lose 1% of the energy per pipe. For this case use:
- Golden conductive pipes: If you have to conduct your energy over long distances use these pipes, because they lose only 0.01% of the energy per block.
So place a wooden conductive pipe onto your combustion engine and continue the pipeline using stone conductive pipes to your quarry. Now you can power your filled combustion engine with a redstone torch and watch your quarry mining.
Extending the Power ProductionEditAs mentioned, if the engine overheats it will explode, so let's add an automatic cooling system. For that we'll need a new type of pipe, the waterproof pipe. Collect some cacti and smelt them in the furnace to get cactus green. Put the cactus green into your crafting table and you'll get some pipe waterproof. Place the pipe waterproof above some cobblestone pipes in the crafting table to get waterproof cobblestone pipes. They can be used to transport water to the lonely combustion engine, but first you'll need a pump. When you've crafted the pump and three redstone engines, place the pump over an endless water source (3x3x1) near the combustion engine (in the same chunk is preferable) and power it using the engines. Attach the new waterproof cobblestone pipes to the pump and connect it to the combustion engine. The combustion engine will now be cooled automatically. If you decided to use a steam engine, you have to feed it with some coal or wood first and make absolutely certain it doesn't run out of fuel before your combustion engine does.
It's also nicer to have an automatic refueling system than having to keep bucketing stuff in to your combustion engine. For that you should build a tank first. They can be crafted like chests, you only have to replace the wood with glass. Attach a wooden waterproof pipe to the tank to extract the fluid. Like wooden pipes, waterproof wooden pipes have to be powered by an engine too, a redstone engine suffices. After that, connect the cooling pipe to your combustion engine and fill the tank with fuel, oil or lava. Now you have the infrastructure needed to extend your power plant by a few more combustion engine, just don't forget to connect them to your cooling and refueling system. If they connect to each other instead of connecting to the wooden conductive pipes, rightclick them with a wrench.
Now you have enough power, you may refine your oil to get fuel. When burning fuel, the combustion engines produce 5 times or 2.5 times as much power as when they burn lava or oil respectively, and are considerably more efficent as one bucket of fuel last far longer and provides far more energy than oil or lava. Oil can be refined into fuel using a refinery. Replace the waterproof cobblestone pipe adjacent to the wooden waterproof pipe with the refinery and add a wooden waterproof pipe powered by a redstone engine to the refinery. Now the oil will flow into the refinery and the refined fuel will be extracted, but the refinery won't start refining the oil if it's not powered. Because it needs a lot of power attach it to your power grid using stone conductive pipes. The combustion engines will now deliver energy for the refinery and it will start refining the oil, though the engines won't use the fuel until all oil in their internal storage has been used.
Now you should know enough to extend your facility with more diamond pipes to sort the items or to build a pipeline to transport the oil from a repository into your oiltank.