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Is there a way to transport items upwards from, say, a monster trap? Water flow works fine downwards.

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Great question! My solution would be to move the mobs upwards and then kill them, as to my knowledge you can't move items upwards. – Kevin Yap Mar 29 '11 at 18:04
I'm not sure, but I know boats move upwards when pushed against a water ladder, so if items experience the same behaviour, there might be some way to drive them towards a water ladder. You'd need some collection system at the top though. – Macha Mar 29 '11 at 18:08
Items (the kind you can collect by walking over them) sink in water so you can't move them up using water, but mobs can be transfered upwards in a water ladder. – Kevin Yap Mar 29 '11 at 18:10
This is a great question, but spawners will not actually spawn anything unless you are close to them that may be an issue if you want items flowing in always. – JB War Feb 19 at 0:09

12 Answers 12

up vote 42 down vote accepted

Edit: With the addition of pistons into Minecraft, YouTuber Basxt came up with a very clever way to make an "item elevator", using pistons. However, since pistons can only push 12 blocks at a time, you'd need to make many of these elevators that pass the items off to each other in order to transport items a large distance upwards.

Begin original answer:

There is no way to transfer items upwards. However, specific to your point about transporting items from a monster trap, you can instead move the mobs upwards and kill them above.

YouTuber EthosLab has a 4 part tutorial on how to make a mob trap. His system contains a tunnel that transports the mobs upwards, and the information he gives (audio) about it is very useful.

Part 1:

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Sometimes... people talk... slowly... and finish normal... sentences... like a question?... As you can see... this can be... annoying? – Stuart Pegg Mar 30 '11 at 16:40
@StuartPegg Uptalk in this video appears to be serving the "not finished yet" pragmatics function. – SevenSidedDie Oct 1 '13 at 23:09
@SevenSidedDie: Or instead is just a symptom of insecurity; not unexpected when recording a video for an unknown audience. That article made me laugh though: "moronic interrogative" pffft! – Stuart Pegg Oct 2 '13 at 7:37
Ethos has really improved since his early stuff O.o – Sadly Not Nov 1 '13 at 7:02

A horizontally "crushing" block powered by a piston would pop all items in its spot up one. You could theoretically use a "zipper" type piston shaft to pop the items upward. The only catch is that the items need to have nowhere else to go but up.

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There is a conveyor belt mod for 1.8.1 that can be used to craft conveyor belts and item-detecting conveyor belts. These can be used to transport items horizontally, and with redstone and pistons, to transport items up a slope.

Its easy - just have a look at the "How to make Conveyor Belt" section here.

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Welcome to Gaming.SE Marko. Here, and on most other StackExchange websites, we frown on people simply dumping a link with no explanation. First, it requires that the user visit it to gain any useful information, and second, and more critically, external links frequently die. If the link rots, your post becomes meaningless and might frustrate a user trying to find an answer. – user7220 Nov 1 '11 at 19:50
Er...okay usually i frown on people downvoting "just link" posts, but I agree on this one. The link doesn't even go to the correct page. – Joe the Person Nov 1 '11 at 22:49
Marko, I've edited this to explain what you're linking to and point to the correct section of the page. Your posts are much more likely to get a good response if you can include an explanation like this, rather than just a link. – sjohnston Nov 2 '11 at 2:07

In the 1.5 update, Minecraft now includes Droppers, which can face upwards. By chaining them together with a bit of redstone you can easily move items up any vertical distance:

It's essentially just a repeating pattern like this:

enter image description here

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At least two of the snapshots killed this particular elevator design... – Unionhawk Mar 15 '13 at 16:51
@Unionhawk I'll have to do more research later... – fredley Mar 15 '13 at 16:55
Comparators no longer cause updates continuously and droppers/dispensers no longer shoot when updated. You can simply use a redstone clock instead to fix this setup. – Alvin Wong Mar 25 '13 at 12:46

Another solution is to go down yourself with a cart or a boat, you can drive past the pick-up point.

Then use a booster or a water boat elevator to go back up quickly, some players use this in a horizontal way if your base is far away from your collector. But it would work similar in the vertical way...

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It may not be efficient for materials, and it might be slow, but it certainly gets items moving upwards. The previously posted youtube video in this thread doesn't work in 1.2.3 because of a change in water physics at some point.

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Set up a loading hopper and a storage minecart at the bottom, and an unloading hopper at the top. Then you just have to do a spiral rail track; something like a 3x3 powered track where it's not a curve, around a redstone block.

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Hi Tommy, welcome to Arqade! I'm unsure how this answer will help raise dropped items to the surface. Can you please elaborate? – Robotnik Mar 25 '13 at 6:03
@Robotnik I edited with what I think tommy was going for. Is better? – SevenSidedDie Apr 17 '13 at 15:34
@SevenSidedDie - Ah, that makes more sense. +1 – Robotnik Apr 17 '13 at 23:55

I would use a mob elevator using ladders and water, then kill them at a higher point and use water to push you items were they need to go.

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Hi, Bob, and welcome to Arqade! Could you add a picture describing what you mean? Some people might not be familiar with this method. – MBraedley Nov 11 '12 at 22:21

I recently remembered a YouTube video from a well-known Minecraft YouTuber (who I have currently forgotton the name of) who realised items, when squished into blocks, would rise upwards. I came up with this simple video to demonstrate (I initially thought this question mentioned moving resources upwards, hence the auto-smelter).

In the video, the minecart is filled with ores that gets parked over a hopper. The hopper empties into a furnace and the furnace is supplied with a chest+hopper full of coal. The smelted gold is then dropped into a dropper which then drops the smelted ore into a water channel (this is where the output from your mob trap would flow into) which then flows into a 3x3 pool. When you decide enough items are in, you flick a switch to send a 3x3x1 grid of blocks upward which forces the items/mob drops into a 3x3xX colum of glass blocks (I've just used glass to demonstrate, any block will work here. Once the items have reached the top, they are carried away in a water flow into a series of hoppers and into a chest.

I could have made this higer but I chose the wrong preset for the world which meant I was at the height limit.

Or you could use Minecarts with Hoppers on an automatic circuit to move them up, but, y'know, why make things easy? Would also likely be more expensive, using iron and gold to build the rails.

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Suffocating items

This only works in Minecraft 1.8 and some snapshots

If you suffocate a item, it will move upward in 1.8. There are different designs for this, but the most commonly used one uses a fence. It is build like this with water in front of the dispenser: enter image description here

Then on top of the fences, blocks are placed in a 3 by 3 pattern, expanding upwards, trapping the items as they glitch into fence and move upward:

enter image description here

Dropper based

There have been a large number of dropper based designs:

The torch based tower design

These towers are designed with a stack of torches next to hoppers, duo to the speed of which torches can propagate a signal, and the fact that only 1 clock edge is useful, it usually means that these kind of systems can only move 1 item every 2 seconds, half the speed of a hopper chain. This can be migrated using a item divider that divides item fairly between set hopper routes.

A simple torch based design looks like:

enter image description here

Independent dropper system

In this kind of design, every dropper is independent from the whole story, meaning that every dropper has its own comparator, and its own driving circuit. The downside of the method is that it uses a lot of quartz in its design, but comes with the advantage of driving the droppers at the speed of hoppers, while handling stalls in the output correctly. A simple design that cooperates this technique is:

enter image description here

This design has 2 droppers placed above each other, and the left circuit processes the upper hopper, while the right circuit controls the lowest hopper, this circuit is also flat, so it can be stacked seamlessly up itself to reach higher places.

Redstone beam dropper design

While torches work, using a row of redstone blocks with pistons to trigger the droppers yields higher transfer rates, because every update of the chain triggers the droppers and moves an item. This system requires a move complex driving circuit because the redstone blocks need to be moved up and down.

Slime block based elevators

Slime blocks have the ability to launch entity upward, by combining this with suspended water blocks above signs, you can move the items to the next piston with slime for even increased height. A simple shaft (without control circuity) for this looks like:

enter image description here

Minecart based systems

You can also use chest/hopper minecarts to move items up and down, this is as simple as building an item loader at the bottom, and an item unloader at the top.

Command blocks

Even though command blocks are cheating, this is useful in adventure maps. By placing a command block on a loop and executing the command /tp @a[r=5,type=Item] ~ ~10 ~, you can move items up if they come in a radius of 5 blocks of the command block.

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You could use mods, Buildcraft, Redpower, and Thaumcraft have very well fleshed out item transfer mechanics. (pipes for the first 2, magical means for thaumcraft)

If you absolutely must do it the vanilla way, pistons and/or droppers are your best bet for upwards item transfer.

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You could use pistons to extend upwards every time a item drops onto a presureplate

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but...the item is on a pressure plate... – fredley Feb 15 '12 at 15:16

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