Manufacturing 102 – Research

Research is an important aspect of industry in EVE online, though it’s one that, initially, all you have to pay attention to is the output, rather than how to do it yourself. This is because there are plenty of people out there who are more than willing to sell you the fruits of their labours, saving you time and ISK when you’re just getting started.

All forms of research take up a slot. You can increase the number of slots you can use with the Skills Laboratory Operations and Advanced Laboratory Operations

The Forms of Research

There are three basic forms of research which you can perform. Copying, Material Efficiency research and Production Level research. The latter is also called Production Efficiency research, just to confuse matters; it has nothing to do with the skill. For now, we are totally ignoring Invention and Reverse Engineering. I’ll return to Invention in a later post. Reverse Engineering, well, I’ve not touched it yet.

These activities can only be performed on a Blueprint Original (BPO). Once you have a Blueprint Copy (BPC) the only thing you can do is manufacture from it.

The maximum time a job can run for is 30 days (Unless a single run would take more than that.)


This is as simple as it sounds. Install the job, get back the BPO and a number of copies with the same ME and PL.

  • Put a Blueprint Original in your hangar (or a corp hangar)
  • Right click on it, and select copy.
  • Select an installation to put it in
  • Pick the number of runs you want on each copy
  • Pick the number of copies you want.
  • get a quote
  • Install the job.

Blueprint copies are of severely limited utility. Most of the time, you’ll just manufacture directly from a BPO. You’ll use BPCs for invention (so many BPCs. So very many), where you want to give other people the ability to use your BPOs, without handing them over. When you want to sell them to people who are just starting out, and who don’t have the funds for buying a researched BPO.

Material Efficiency

  • Put a Blueprint Original in your hangar (or a corp hangar)
  • Right click on it, and select Material Research.
  • Select an installation to put it in
  • Enter the number of levels you wish to increase the ME by
  • get a quote
  • Install the job.

Material Efficiency research is important. Most blueprints have between 5 and 10% waste what’s controlled by this figure. However, ‘as high as possible’ isn’t the way to look at this. A general rule of thumb is: Each time you double the ME level, you halve the waste. It’s not quite true (The waste is multiplied by \frac{1}{1+me} ) but it’s close enough. This only applies to the ‘Base’ materials for a blueprint, not the ‘Extra’ materials. Research blueprints to the point there you’re not losing a lot of isk with every run. Don’t chase perfect, because it’s not worth it. You may find high ME levels sell better, even when they’re massively above the perfect value (Rigs are easy to get perfect. I’ve seen people selling them at 10 times the perfect level)

The biggest problem with ME research, is finding somewhere to do it. Most High-sec slots are booked solid a month in advance. Your options are: Wait (High opportunity cost) Put up a POS to do it (Expensive, and requires standings) Hire someone to do it (Check the sell orders forum) and finally, nip into lowsec and install the job there (Riskier. You could get exploded and lose the blueprint)

Consider the last one seriously. Low-sec isn’t to be feared. Taken with caution, sure, but not feared.

Finally: This adds to the ME level.

Productivity Level

  • Put a Blueprint Original in your hangar (or a corp hangar)
  • Right click on it, and select Time Efficiency Research.
  • Select an installation to put it in
  • Enter the number of levels you wish to increase the PL by
  • get a quote
  • Install the job.

Productivity research cuts down on the time wastage when you’re making something. It saves you a little ISK, by reducing the rental fees, but otherwise, there’s no direct boost to your profit. What you get is a better isk/hr, by producing more in the same time.

As with ME research, we’re talking diminishing returns. I’d suggest taking the vast majority of blueprints past PE 5 or 10 is a mistake.

As with ME research, this adds to the PL level, rather than setting it.

PE research facilities are generally fairly empty across Highsec, so finding somewhere to install the job is simple.


In general, T1 blueprints have no material requirements for these kinds of research. Just to make life difficult, there are a few exceptions, such as the Prototype Cloaking Device. When you’re doing the research on one of these blueprints, just ensure you have the appropriate materials, found by doing a show info on the blueprint, in the hangar where the research is taking place.

If you want to know where the profit balance points are for a blueprint, take a look at the blueprint in the calculator under tools on this site. I wrote it to make my life easier, so you may as well use it too.


There are a few skills which it’s useful to have when you’re doing research. Levels are less important than for Manufacturing. Train as desired. Science 4 is required to unlock Metallurgy.

  • Science: 5% reduction in blueprint copying time, per level.
  • Laboratory Operation: 1 additional Job per level.
  • Advanced Laboratory Operations: 1 additional Job per level (needs Lab Ops 5)
  • Metallurgy: 5% reduction to ME research time, per level.
  • Research: 5% reduction in PL research time, per level.