A Manufacturing Schematic is the set of instructions needed by a factory to create a run of identical items. It contains the specific list of named resources and components that went into creating the prototype item.
Creating the schematicEdit
You must first craft the prototype item that will be used as the base to manufacture the other items; the exact steps you went through to make the prototype are recorded in the Manufacturing Schematic. You must use a specialized crafting tool and be near the appropriate crafting station to get the option to make a schematic.
Assemble the item like normal, experiment if needed, and then click on Create Manufacturing Schematic. The crafting tool will ask you how many items to produce; this number can be from 1-1000. Once that number of items have been made, the factory will stop and the schematic will be destroyed. Click Create Object, and you will have a schematic under the "Data" tab of your datapad.
Using the SchematicEdit
Each ingredient used in the manufacturing schmeatic must be the same for the factory run, meaning the exact resource name (spawn) must be the same, and any components must have the same serial number. Put these identical ingredients into the Input Hopper, insert the schematic, and activate the factory. All of these options are available in "4)Other" from the factory's radial menu.
Factories require power and maintenance in order to function, just like harvesters. While they will not use power when not manufacturing items, they will need hourly maintenance like any other structure. If a factory runs out of power or credits, it will stop manufacturing items.
If any of the ingredients runs out, the factory will stop and will email you to let you know it ran out of ingredients. If the schematic runs out, the factory will stop and will email you as well. The only time the factory doesn't email you is if it runs out of power or credits. Like other structures, however, you will get an email to say that maintenance was auto-paid if the factory goes unmaintained long enough. This will not start the factory again.
While a factory is running, you may see its progress simply by examining it. You will see how many seconds it takes for each item, and how many have been crafted since the factory was started. To examine the output hopper, simply click on "Options." You can even pick up items that have been finished without having to stop production.
Both the input hopper and output hopper have a capacity of 100 items. Be sure that you have room in your output hopper for your production line, though, or the factory will stop once it reaches capacity. Some players use factories for a fast and easily-placed storage structure. While it has the same maintance as a large house, each factory takes up only 1 lot.