Don't you feel to lost time crafting again and again the same copper cable, thousands of copper cables?
The new improvement in technology is the automatic crafting table: Configure your recipe, input resources and energy and let it be!.
Resources can already be extracted, refined and sorted automatically. There are a few recipes (like creating blocks out of ingots) that can be build automatically. But, a general crafting mechanism is missing.
This is thus the missing steps to an automated industry.
Suggestion of technical properties:
- Energy and resources cost similar to basic machines: compressor, furnace, metal former, etc.
- upgrades allowed to overclock, tier upgrade, ejector, etc..
- The interface would have a 3x3 square, in which the user set which component in which position. Those same squares could act as buffer, showing with a little number stacked components (by default 0).
- Component arriving to the machine will distribute in a equal way: e.g. for a basic machine case, if 8 iron plates arrive, they distribute 1 per square so the recipe can start to build.
- The energy need to be equal or slightly higher than the compressor, to avoid this item to replace and reduce usability of the compressor.
Attached, some preliminary design to give an idea.