The basics of manufacturing in EVE are pretty simple at their core: Get a blueprint, get some minerals/components, put in a manufacturing job, deliver it when it completes.
But as with most things in EVE, there are little twiddly bits to take into account, various bits of maths it’s helpful to know.
This post is for T1 manufacturing. Later posts will cover the T2 process.
What this post isn’t going to cover is identifying what to make. That’s a whole post all to itself. short version: Make what people will use. Sell it close to where they’ll use it. Make sure it’s profitable before you start.
Run the numbers before you buy anything. Blueprints, materials, whatever. Make sure it’s actually profitable to make, before you go and buy the blueprint. Don’t assume that Drakes are worth making (they aren’t, and haven’t been for a fairly long time) just because a lot of people fly them. For running the numbers, a blueprint calculator is your friend. But double check the numbers, just to be safe.
T1 manufacturing is fairly light on required skills:
- Production Efficiency
This skill is used to reduce the waste of materials when you make things. Without it, you’re going to be needing around about 20% more materials than someone with it at 5. So as you can see, it can have a fairly major effect on your profitability. I’d recommend getting it to at least 4 before starting, with getting it to 5 in the near future. You can make ISK without it at 5, but you’ll be losing profit. A serious manufacturer will have it at 5. The only reason not to, is because you’re busy skilling up more slots, and can make more profit getting another slot, than reducing your waste. Go for 5 before Mass production 5, certainly.
Time is money. Reducing the time taken to make something, as long as it’s already profitable, increases your profit over a given time frame. Industry cuts down on the time it takes to make things. You’ll need it at at least 3 to get Production Efficiency and Mass production. 5 is good to get, but it’s not immediately vital.
- Mass Production
You won’t get rich making one thing at a time. Mass production adds extra lines for manufacturing, which increases your potential profits. 5 is good.
- Advanced Mass Production
As above, adding more lines. You’ll need Mass production 5 to get this. Taking it to 4 is generally as far as most people take it, before training alts.
For basic T1 Manufacturing, that’s about it. You might want to consider Supply Chain Management, so you don’t need to visit the station you’re actually manufacturing at (as long as the minerals and blueprints are there), but it’s far from needed.
The minerals you mine are not free. If you can only make a profit manufacturing something, by using the minerals you mine, you’re subsidising someone else with your minerals. You could have just sold them, and made more money.
Acquiring materials is simple. You go to the market and you buy them, before shipping them (either yourself or by a freight company like Red Frog Freight. When working out if something is worth making, always look at the sell cost of your materials. Use buy orders to get them, if you want to, but price everything as if you were buying from buy orders. (Assuming that the prices are reasonable. Some materials aren’t sold for reasonable prices. But for T1 manufacturing, this can be ignored)
If you can’t make a profit on something using this guideline, look at making something else. There are many items in EVE, so don’t get too tied up in the “I make X” mindset.
Blueprints come in 2 types. Blueprint Originals (BPO) and Blueprint Copies (BPC). They’re pretty much the same except for the following differences:
- Only BPOs can be researched. This includes making BPC from them.
- BPCs have a limited number of production runs on them.
- BPOs are bought from NPCs on the Market, or from PCs via contract.
- BPCs are only available from contracts, or being found on NPC wrecks.
BPOs have two attributes which can be changed. BPCs have the same attributes, but they can’t be changed.
- Material Efficiency (ME)
This governs how much inherent waste the BPO/C has. For most, this starts at 10%, and is multiplied by 1/1+ME, So ME 1 halves the waste. ME 3 takes it to a quarter, and so on. Some blueprints have a ‘Perfect ME’ which is meaningful (no waste) and achievable in a reasonable time. Many don’t, with their ‘perfect’ value taking years to attain, and saving a single Tritanium. 5 is reasonable. Use a blueprint calculator to see where it is worth taking it. A blueprint that is used for thousands of runs is worth researching more (or buying pre-researched).
- Production Level (PL. Also known as PE, just to confuse matters)
This governs the time waste a BPO/C. Again, the time waste is divided, leading to diminishing returns. 5 is good target.
You want a researched Blueprint, at least on ME. Unfortunately, most slots for that research are backed up for weeks in highsec. when you’re starting out, sometimes buying researched BPC isn’t a bad idea, as long as you take them into account with your calculations, as they’re used up. BPOs, on the other hand, are assets, which don’t detract from your net worth, so can be mostly ignored in the manufacturing calculations.
Finding somewhere to make things
On the industry window, in the installations tab, you’ll find lists of places with manufacturing slots. If you can’t find any which are available, try changing region. The Forge, for example, generally doesn’t have many empty slots, and the ones it does have tend to be more expensive. Move to a different region, and you’ll find it far easier to get started.
Actually making something
- Get all the materials you need together with a blueprint, in your hangar (not a container in your hangar, not your ship), in a station with a free slot available.
- right click the blueprint, and select ‘manufacture’
- click the ‘choose installation’ button.
- Choose a slot on an installation. Pick one that’s free, as it will not auto shuffle you to an available one. You can pick one that’s in use, but your job will be delayed in starting. Hit Ok.
- Fill in the number of runs you want to manufacture.
- Hit OK.
- You’ll be presented with a manufacturing quote. have a quick look over it to make sure everything looks right.
- Hit ok.
- Go do something fun for the duration of the job, then return to that station.
- Bring up the science and industry window (alt+s if you’re not remapped it. or from the neocom). hit ‘get jobs’. Select your job. hit the ‘deliver job’ button that’s shown up in the bottom right of the window.
- The results of your job will now be in your hangar.
Until it’s sold, there’s no profit. Pick an appropriate market for your goods.This may be Jita. It may be a mission runner’s hub. Jita generally has smaller margins, and needs more baby sitting of orders; but it has high market velocity. Other places can take a lot longer to sell things, but for higher prices. People are lazy. They’ll pay a bit more if they can get everything they want in one place.
Production Efficiency only affects materials in a blueprint’s Basic materials, and extra materials which are also in the basic materials. ME waste only affects basic materials.