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A short and simple guide to designing your bus the right way, the first time!
Dyson Sphere Program Main Bus Design
Distance Between Belts
I recommend putting your belts on every 4th line. This is enough room for running belts between splitters, which may be necessary under cramped circumstances.
You could try getting away with every 3rd line, though. If you plan to always have all your factories on one side of the bus, and don’t foresee having to randomly belt materials down the length of the bus, then it could certainly work.
I really don’t recommend trying every other line. This is too close for splitters to be placed next to each other.
You want to use the odd numbered heights for your bus belts. This is because the 4-way splitters (default type) only connect at those heights. Use the even numbered heights for inputting/outputting resources using the other types of splitters!
Make sure to run the belt along the equator! Not north-south! Because of the grid lines, and also because you want the maximum distance for the bus to travel.
You’ll know you’re on the equator because it’ll be a thick green line.
Don’t overlook the different splitter types, like I did initially! Press Tab while placing to change to a couple different types. One of them in particular is very useful for inputting and outputting resources from the line, as demonstrated in the screenshots below.
Here’s an example of how to merge from the 3rd to 1st level. Credit to __shiva_c for the idea.
Very simple actually, you just vertically split the belt and it passes through on the level above. Since we’re only using the odd levels for our belts, this frees up the even levels for such purposes.
Alright, here you can see where I’m going with my bus. I started the first line directly on the equator. Every additional line will be added above that one, and all my factories will be below the equator.
I wouldn’t consider trying to use them in the actual bus line, for a few reasons.
Containers don’t have priority settings like splitters do. You will also be limiting the throughput of your line to your sorter speed. And you can’t stack containers on splitters or vice versa.
They can be used to cleanly change elevations.
Here you can see an example of using containers to pull resources off a higher level of the bus. If you wanted to do it this way, this could potentially save you from having to push your factory line further away from the bus (because you wouldn’t need to use the distance to drop the belt height).
However, I don’t recommend doing it this way, explained below.
Good bus design means that one belt is your primary belt for each resource. In Factorio, it was usually the right-most belt. Here, it’ll be the ground level belt. So you always want to pull resources OFF from the ground level. You will want to put resources ON the bus at the ground level where possible, but you will eventually exceed the capacity of the belt and be forced to use a different belt. At some point though, you want to merge the upper belt back down to the ground level, to keep the ground belt full.
For example, if your bus is handling too many iron ingots for one belt, you’ll have to use a 2nd belt. And let’s say you are pulling iron ingots from the bus to make gears in one factory, and steel in another, in that order. So after your ingots pass the gear factory (reducing the fullness of the belt), merge the upper belt down to fill it up again.