Posted: Dec 1, 2023 in Minecraft
By Kevin Lott
Ever since modded Minecraft began, there seems to have been this odd infatuation with the idea of automatic crafting. There is something cathartic about automating one of the most manual processes in the game through the use of machinery and electronics. It has gotten to the point where most of the popular modpacks if not all of them have some form of automatic crafting in one way or another. In any case, Mojang has taken note, and they’ve decided to implement their own iteration of automatic crafting into the base game. Today, we’ll be going over 1.21’s most interesting block, the Crafter!
The Crafter is a low-capacity storage block used for automatic crafting. The inventory acts as a crafting table but only crafts when powered, ejecting the crafted item(s) from its “face” as a dropped item, or into a container it is facing. Its inventory slots can be individually locked to prevent hoppers, droppers, etc. from filling them; crafting recipes treat locked slots as empty slots or slots that don’t have any items in them.
The crafter has nine slots of inventory space arranged in a 3-by-3 grid like a crafting table. Its GUI can be accessed by using it like a normal crafting table. A slot can be enabled or disabled, which is toggleable by clicking on it when empty. Disabled slots prevent items from being placed in them. Hoppers, droppers, and other crafters interact with crafters by inserting items into their inventory; hoppers can remove crafting ingredients as well. The added items are placed in the crafter from the top left to the bottom right of the enabled slots, assuming there is an empty slot. The crafter will have all item slots filled, and then items are added to the lowest count item stack of the same type. Hoppers and droppers interact with all sides of the crafter and prioritize filling empty spaces, followed by the smallest stack of the item.
The crafter is obviously extremely complex in nature, and so it is fittingly very compatible with Redstone. The crafter can receive redstone signals, which trigger one item to be crafted using the ingredients from the nine inventory slots. The crafted items are subsequently dispensed out the primary face of the crafter. If the front of a crafter is facing a container, even if said container is another crafter, the crafted items are transferred into the container. If the container that is being faced is full, or the item cannot be inserted into the container, the crafter spits out the item instead. Crafters interact with containers similar to droppers. If a recipe has byproducts, for example, empty bottles for honey blocks or empty buckets for cake, those will be dispensed out after the crafted item.
For specific shaped recipes, the position of the items in the inventory matters. Just as if you were crafting the item for real, the crafter needs the orientation to match the recipe.
A hopper placed below the crafter collects the ingredients from the crafting grid, not the crafted item. In Java Edition, unlike dispensers and droppers, crafters aren’t affected by quasi-connectivity. Quasi Connectivity is a property of dispensers, droppers, and pistons that allows them to be activated by anything that would activate the space above them, no matter what is actually in that space. Seemingly a bug, this is used in a lot of different Redstone circuitry, so it’s important to understand this does not affect crafters.
Comparators can emit a redstone signal when reading from a crafter. The signal strength is equal to the number of crafting slots that are either disabled or occupied by an item. An empty crafter with no disabled slots doesn’t output any signal through a comparator. A crafter with every slot either disabled or containing at least a single item outputs a signal strength of nine through a comparator. This is all super interesting, as I’m curious as to what people will do with comparators and crafters.
That’s all! The crafter is sure to be one of the most interesting blocks in all of Minecraft history! I never thought I’d see the day that automatic crafting was added to the game as an official feature, but here we are! As time passes, mods and vanilla meld together into a beautiful symphony of game development! Anyway, I hope you’ve learned something new about Minecraft’s newest block, and have a wonderful day!