Factory Reset

Strap your hard hat on and check out this build!

The other day, I was just walking through town when I heard a loud crash. I thought maybe something had exploded, but I was wrong – it was a house being demolished! So, being the kind of person who loves seeing things get knocked down, I decided to sit down and watch. It was extremely cool: hearing the wood splinter and the windows crack and smash was a sensation not unlike biting into a delicious, juicy burger. Except it was a burger for my eyes and ears. 

My point is, machinery is extremely cool. There's a reason kids all love diggers and trucks, and adults love watching How It's Made, right? It's because we all love to see big machines doing big jobs that humans can't do.

Builder and fellow lover of big machines, Hytherdel, has created a fantastic and incredibly detailed industrial factory in Minecraft, designed to convert coal into electricity. With its maze of pipes and chimneys, the build looks scarily complicated at first, but zoom into that orange-and-grey mass and you'll be able to pick out some amazing details, like the big red valves here and there, or the yellow DANGER! triangles on some of the machines.

"There are a lot of hidden interior spaces," says Hytherdel, "especially under the boiler." Although that sounds like something someone would say if they were trying to lure you into a death-by-melting trap, we have been assured that it's not actually a functioning boiler. Perfectly safe, then. There's even a small shop built into the side of the mountain, for all your factory souvenir requirements!

Hytherdel did a lot of research in building the Steam Engine Factory before even laying the first block, to ensure that it wasn't just a bunch of meaningless pipes 'n' stuff. First, he divided the map into sections, making sure that each one was part of the process of turning coal into electricity. It starts with the excavator, which digs out the coal, transporting it via conveyor belt over to the powderiser – that thing with four big arms that crush the coal into dust.

"Making the powderiser arms alone required close attention to the reference images," says Hytherdel, "but it was worth it in the end, because it made the machine look so much more unique!" 

Once the coal is dustified, it makes it over to the boiler, which, uh, boils things (I'm a writer, not an engineer) and, finally, the heat from the coal will turn the turbines, which generate electricity, which presumably provides heat and light to all the Minecraft homes in the area. Move over, redstone – there's a new energy source in town!

Surprisingly, this is the first time Hytherdel has built in this industrial style, and the whole project came from him messing around with shapes! "I made a cylinder-shaped asset that I thought looked beautiful," he says, "and it ended up progressing from there." Three months and tons of cyan stained clay later, and the cylinder was a factory. "I hope people can see the hard work I put into it," says Hytherdel. "I hope they get inspired in some way."

I know I'm inspired. Maybe next time I'm walking through town and I see a building being knocked down, I'll ask if I can have a go in the digger. Wish me luck!

Kate Gray
Written By
Kate Gray