Manual crafting, also called "hand crafting", is the process of manually making machines from resources, without the use of assembling machines.
Many items can be created manually by hand. Manual crafting is mainly required in the beginning of a game and is somewhat useful to create small amounts of items later on. As the game progresses, the amount of manual crafting the player has to do should decrease.
Manual crafting has the advantage that all needed ingredients are created automatically as long as the required resources are in the inventory. The player will automatically also queue up subcomponents when an item is queued up to be crafted. So, to create an Assembling machine 1 manually, it will stay queued until the required iron gear wheels and electronic circuits are crafted automatically, and then the assembling machine gets crafted.
The disadvantage of manual crafting is that all needed resources need to be in the inventory at once, and it takes a long time to craft lots of items. (The crafting speed of the player is 1, compared to multiple assemblers being able to surpass that.) Therefore it is advised to automate as much as possible by using assembling machines.
Some items can't be manually crafted, like iron plates, steel plates and engine units. Items that require smelting, or are marked to be assembly only can only be crafted in an assembling machine. The player is also unable to carry any liquids, so any recipes with liquid will be unavailable. This affects all recipes in the chemical plants and some others like express transport belts.
The following achievements are related to manual crafting:
| Lazy bastard|
Win the game by crafting no more than 111 items manually.