Connectors are a major part of creating automated resource collection in Craftopia. Since various structures are used to generate different items, chaining them together can allow you to create a fully automated assembly line to produce a refined resource without having to do any work.
You can find many examples of automated farms and resource gathering in the Craftopia automation wiki here.
The sections below will outline the main methods that are used for connecting structures and storage together to create a single automated method of producing and gathering resources.
Droppers & Absorbers
Droppers and absorbers are complex in how they might actually work but are quite simple in how they can be used. A dropper is a method of taking an item out of a structure after it has been crafted and an absorber is a way of sucking items into a structure.
Droppers are often used in structures like smelting furnaces, aging facilities and cooking pots. When these structures create an item the dropper will cause the item to be spit out onto the ground outside. This allows you to pick it up or will allow you to chain the automation further.
Absorbers are used to suck items into a structure. These are most often used on chests. When you use a dropper on a structure, you need a way to capture the item when it gets spit out. Attaching an absorber to a chest will allow you to suck in the item that has been produced and automatically place it inside a chest where there is no risk of it expiring before you can manually collect it.
Craft connectors are a newer item that works a bit like a dropper and absorber combined into one very tidy item. Currently, craft connectors will only work when you attach them to a chest and link them to a structure that produces items. A common use would be to attach a craft connector to a chest that contains ore and linking it to a smelting furnace. This will automatically link the two structures so that the furnace can smelt the iron ore in the chest.
There are some bugs with this at the moment that prevent it from working with certain chest/structure combinations but they should be fixed in future.
Can You Use Multiple Craft Connectors On One Chest
If you have one chest that is regularly filled with a lot of a certain resource and you want to produce the refined resource as quickly as possible, there are a few options. The most efficient solution is to connect more than one craft connector to a single chest.
This is currently possible and works quite well. It can be a little difficult to align the lasers correctly so that there is enough room to place both structures far apart when you need to chain them together to build an automated assembly line.
Craft Connector From Building To Chest
There is a hope that the craft connector will allow you could put a craft connector on a structure like a smelting furnace and link it to a chest so the bars of metal can be inserted directly into the chest without needing droppers and absorbers.
For the vast majority of automated farms in Craftopia, conveyor belts will not be something you need. Most automated farms can be implemented by making use of droppers and absorbers. When you want to take things to the next level with a more extreme scale, you will need to start building some more conveyor belts.
A good example would be when you have a dozen sources for resources that are producing a lot of a single resource. Using absorbers would work but it might be hard to get all of these structures to push items into one chest at the same time. To make life easier, use a conveyor belt and this will let you use a large area to produce some resources without having to deal with any space complications or items being dropped outside of the range of the absorber.