Space Engineers

Space Engineers

880 ratings
Automated Beam Drill
Type: Mod
Mod category: Block
File Size
15.978 MB
May 8, 2016 @ 10:45pm
Apr 23 @ 6:46pm
76 Change Notes ( view )

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Automated Beam Drill

PSA 17 Aug 2017
This mod isn't dead, I'm just taking a break. I'll keep this up to date, but I'm working on another project, then I'll be back to optimize this.
Yes, I know about the profiler now in the game as of 1.183. I will be profiling this mod and fixing any issues I can.

Phoenix Manufacturing has done it yet again!

In collaboration with Shaostoul and Megaddd, we present a fully automated beam mining drill.

Designs from an alternate universe were found, and used for inspiring and designing this drill.

Quick Start
  • Place the base Beam Drill block
  • Place the Beam Drill Turret (if desired), on top of the base placed above
  • Place ore detector if using automatic mining mode
  • Activate with the Beam Drill base block only, not the turret
  • Control from turret if desired

Performance Note
This mod uses a lot of RAM and CPU power. It uses one core per ore detector while mining, up to about 4 (limits dependant on game). Memory usage can also spike up to 1GB or more.

Programmable Block Support
Now the Ore Detectors support fetching ore deposit information via the PB with the new property: Phoenix.Ore.DetectedOre
See sample program here:
It returns a list in GPS format, with a trailing value indicating the deposit size (see screenshot). To parse this as regular GPS, just trim off everything after the last colon (:).

This mod has two blocks, and three modes of operation:
  • Static mode
  • User aimable with add-on turret
  • Fully automated with add-on turret and ore detector
The primary, and base required block, is the Beam Drill.
  • Static, immobile beam for mining.
  • Wider bore width and faster mining than the turret

There is also an add-on, the Beam Drill Turret. This must be placed directly over the static Beam Drill, over the black lens. This acts as a focusing module for the beam.

This adds two additional modes of operation:
  • User controlled mining The player can control it like a turret and drill where they want to, regardless of ship position. This also allows multiple players to collaborate and mine together.
  • Fully automated mining. In this mode, the turret will automatically mine rare ore in the asteroid, leaving the stone behind (unless it's in the way). This mode requires an active ore detector on the ship (it will not work over antennas).

What does this mean?
You can park a ship near an asteroid, leave it for a few hours, and when you come back it will be hollowed out of all rare ores.

Things to note:
  • Stone will still be collected if using the static or user controlled drill, and in automatic mode if it is blocking rare ore
  • Iron will be mined only after all other rare ore in range is mined.
  • Maximum range: 800m (automatic requires ore detector of that range, not over antennas)
  • Power: MW = distance ^ 1.27 (350MW for a 100m beam, 4.86GW at max range of 800m)
  • Bore width: Static, 10m; Turret, 3.6m
  • For performance, ore scanning only happens when the ship is stationary.

  • Ore priorities - Done 21 May 2016
  • Antenna support
  • Damage to grids
  • Integrated stone destroyer - Done 19 May 2016

Known Issues
  • Does not affect ships or players, only voxels
  • Automated mining doesn't start instantly. There is a delay due to ore scanning. Make sure to wait at least 5-10s before mining after activating an ore detector, or motion stops. This may be longer on dedicated servers and planets (up to 30s or more).
  • Automatic mining may stop on planets. Simply wait a few seconds and activate the drill again if you are sure there is still ore.
  • Inventory may not appear for clients on a DS. This is a game bug. Rejoining the server will make the inventory appear.
  • Drilling can be processor intensive. To keep it down, only have one ore detector per grid. Turn off any extras.
  • Mining may extend outside the selected radius.

Q: Are there small ship versions?
A: Small ships drills are planned, no ETA. Power requirements will remain high, but values are TBD.

Q: Power usage seems a bit high, can you lower it?
A: Keep in mind is is designed to be an expensive end-game part. High power usage is to counter how powerful this drill is. Balance may be adjusted depending on feedback. I'd rather start with high requirements and lower them, then start low and increase them.

Q: Does it work on planets?
A: Yes! Due to performance reasons, stone and ice are not detected by the ore detector, on purpose.

Q: It asks for ammo, but I can't find any, where is it?
A: The turret does not need ammo. If it asks for ammo, the mod is broken. If no one else has reported it, and the game hasn't updated recently, you either have a corrupt mod, or a conflict with another. Try a new world with no other mods installed.

Q: There's no On/Off button
A: That's either a mod confict, or more likely, a game bug. I can't reproduce it.

Recent Changes
See the Change Log

Please report all bugs in the appropriate steam discussion page. I will not respond to bug reports in the comment section.

This mod is work-in-progress, and may change!

This mod cannot be redistributed without explicit permission.
Code by Phoenix, static drill model and textures by Shaostoul, turret model by Megaddd.
This item is not authorized for posting on Steam, except under the Steam accounts named Phoenix, Shaostoul, or Megaddd.

Space Engineers, and by extension this mod, are always changing. There is always a possibility of game changing or game breaking alterations to this mod. If that is not acceptable, it would be best to wait until SE is out of Early Access before considering this, or any, mod.
There is no warranty, expressed or implied. Phoenix Manufacturing makes no guarantee about future compatibility or behavior.

Popular Discussions View All (21)
Jul 11 @ 2:20pm
PINNED: Post Bug Reports Here
Dec 21, 2017 @ 5:07pm
not working? possible bug!
Feb 22 @ 11:42pm
Small Ship Variant for Tunneling
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Stollie 12 hours ago 
Torch log says this froze my DS as well due to its ore detection method. Just FYI.
lblackthorne 15 hours ago 
Broken after the update. Loads, animates, doesn't mine anything.
Shaostoul  [author] Jul 15 @ 8:28pm 
It is love and life while it works well.
!Master_Conquest! Jul 15 @ 7:59pm 
lothos Jun 5 @ 12:05pm 
Siruis, are you trying to come up with a way to change what ore you're mining for via a console button linked back to a PB script, or is it more of a script to select what to mine based on current cargo quantity?
R_U_Sirius Jun 5 @ 12:01pm 
Quick question for the authors: Is it possible to select which ore(s) are or are not in the priority mining list with a PB script? And if so what calls do I need to make in my code to make that happen?
Locomotor79 Jun 5 @ 5:03am 
never put the or keep the slider on 800 meters go like 400 or a bit lower
Asama Tomo Jun 4 @ 12:57pm 
I think I see the problem. It seems when you turn the beam on, it automatically pulls whatever power is max. The max power should be set based on the power with another max equaling the max when the slider is set to full range.
c0de Jun 1 @ 9:16am 
alsp PS. im not complaining, i love this mod and its incredible how much it works and how little buggy it is. I am patiently waiting for the qwarks to iron out!
c0de Jun 1 @ 9:15am 
oh i have enough power! lol, its weird i will be in combat with the drill completely off and i get an error on the screen in txt saying beam drill error