Blueprints are items that contain building layouts. Blueprints are used to 'copy & paste' parts of a factory. Built areas can be selected for inclusion in a blueprint. When a blueprint is placed, a ghost of the layout appears on the ground. This can be used as a guide for manually placing factory pieces, or, more commonly, handed over to construction robots for automated completion.
Construct 100 machines using robots.
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Construct more machines using robots than manually.
Blank blueprints can be crafted by clicking the 'new blueprint' button in the blueprints dialog. This dialog is opened by pressing B or clicking the blueprint icon above the mini-map.
The blank blueprint can now be used to 'copy' a set of buildings.
For example, copying this small laser defense setup:
Create a blueprint
To create a blueprint select the blueprint item out of the toolbar or the inventory. With the blueprint icon shown next to the mouse cursor, click and hold the left mouse button and drag a box as large as needed. All buildings which will be included in the blueprint will be highlighted with a green square. Once everything to 'copy' is inside the drag box, release the mouse button, and the 'Blueprint icon setup' menu will open.
Blueprint icon setup
On the top left of the 'Blueprint icon setup" menu there are four icon slots. The game chooses automatically the number of icons and which are pre-selected depending on the number of buildings that are included. This can be changed by simply clicking on the icons to choose the desired ones.
On the top right there are two icons to 'create blueprint' and 'cancel blueprint'. The 'create blueprint' icon will also show a preview of how the blueprint icon will look after creation. The 'Blueprint preview' just shows the preview of the blueprint.
On the bottom the 'Total' number of buildings included in the blueprint is shown.
Finally, create the blueprint if everything is fine or cancel it. Canceling does not consume the blueprint item. The created blueprint will be in the tool belt or the inventory (or dropped to the ground if no tool belt/inventory slot is available).
Placing the blueprint
To use/place the created blueprint select it from the tool belt or inventory. The whole building setup of the blueprint will be shown at your mouse cursor. In this case the Blueprint was renamed to "Example blueprint". It is possible to place it rotated, press the default key r to rotate. The blueprint can be placed anywhere inside the green (or orange) 110x110 tiles area of a Roboport, or within range of a personal roboport installed in modular armor.
After the blueprint gets placed somewhere, the buildings are placed as ghost buildings. Construction robots will now start to pick up the needed items from the construction network/the player inventory (if using a personal roboport) and place them at the ghost buildings. The required items need to be in the network in an Active provider chest, a Passive provider chest or a Storage chest.
Viewing and clearing a blueprint
Right clicking on a blueprint allows you to can view, edit and clear it. By clearing it, it will become blank so it can be set again.
It is possible to export blueprints as a text string and import said text string to create a new blueprint. This makes sharing blueprints between players very easy. The text string itself is a base64 encoded, compressed JSON string which contains all the information of the blueprint. It is therefore possible to decode/decompress the text string, change attributes of the blueprint in the JSON text and finally re-encode/compress it back to the known text string format. This basically allows blueprint editing outside of the game itself.
A complete explanation of the blueprint JSON can be found on the Blueprint string format page.
- Once a blueprint is created it can be used unlimited times.
- To place a blueprint that is blocked by existing buildings you can hold shift to place the things that aren't blocked.
- The above trick will also mark rocks and trees for deconstruction.
- Buildings marked for destruction will not block placing a blueprint. The blueprinted building cannot be placed if there are any buildings in the way. This can cause an item outside the construction zone to block construction of a 2x2 building on the edge of the zone.
- The size limit of blueprints is 10k by 10k tiles.
- Blueprints can be stored in a Blueprint book. This can store an unlimted amount of blueprints while taking only one inventory spot.
- Blueprint library: Allows for keeping players blueprints between individual game saves and allows sharing blueprints in multiplayer games.
- The build rotation of each blueprint is remembered independently of the general item build rotation.
- Alternative select with blueprints (shift + select) skips the blueprint setup GUI.
- Added ability to export and import blueprints, blueprint books, and deconstruction planners as strings.
- Blueprints, blueprint books and deconstruction planners are obtainable from the library GUI with no crafting cost.
- Changed the clear blueprint icon to the trashcan icon and moved it to the left of the cancel button, to make it less confusing for users.
- Added entity prototype flags not-blueprintable and not-deconstructable, so these can be controlled by mod makers.
- Rocks can be mined while holding blueprints.
- Blueprints with labels will now show the label when holding them in the active hand.
- Enabled swapping held blueprints with other blueprints directly.
- Force building blueprints will mark colliding trees for deconstruction.
- Enabled mining trees/ghosts while holding blueprints to be built.
- Building blueprints over existing ghosts restores the ghost's life time.
- Proper blueprint centering.
- Blueprints can be built over things marked for deconstruction.
- Blueprints can be force built by shift clicking.
- The rotation of turrets in blueprints no longer matters when testing for entity collision.
- Limit the size of the blueprint preview, so it is usable for very large blueprints.