Rationale: As industry chugs forward, it becomes more and more efficient with new innovations. The difference between your first Machine Block and one made by a Macerator>Electric Furnacex2>AutoCrafter chain is a trade-off between increased efficiency (less time+materials) and initial investment. The Manufactorum is just that: at the cost of additional time, energy and resources, the crafting process makes another leap in efficiency.
The Manufactorum has the following recipe:
:Refined Iron: :Bronze Shovel: :Refined Iron:
:Rubber Trampoline: :Rubber Trampoline: :Rubber Trampoline:
:Electronic Circuit: :Advanced Machine: :Electronic Circuit:
Where :Bronze Shovel: is a piston and :Advanced Machine: is a Machine Block
The basic operation of the Manufactorum is as follows: for 10 seconds at 16eu/t (3200eu per operation), the Manufactorum will output one crafted good. The bad news is that the type of item to be produced requires a Template Chip (discussed below), and the Manufactorum can only handle a single Chip at a time. The good news is that the Manufactorum will craft the item with less materials.
The end result is that, for a modest investment of materials and energy, you can create an automated chain which (roughly) doubles your output. Pretty Hayoish if you ask me.
The Template Chip:
In order to produce the required good, Steve has to program in the right requirements. By simply crafting together the desired good and an electronic circuit, Steve will produce a Template Chip which uses up the circuit but leaves behind the item. If, for some reason, you don't want your Stick Template Chip anymore, simply place it in a crafting bench to wipe the memory and receive a regular circuit again.