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I built a largish setup to create Science Pack 1's, then tried to add onto it to create Science Pack 2's, and realized that it would be difficult to squeeze everything in; so refactoring is probably the best idea.

If I tear down what I've built so far, will I lose any resources (besides time)? From what I've taken down so far, there doesn't appear to be any resource loss when mining equipment, but I want to make sure.

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No. You will not lose any resources that were used to construct the object you are tearing down. When you pick up an object off the ground, it returns to your inventory just like when you assembled it. Raw materials on transport belts, such as copper ore will also be placed into your inventory. In the case that your inventory is full, you will not be allowed to pick up anything until you make space.

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  • 8
    You will however lose fluids when picking up pipes or tanks. – TwoD Nov 29 '16 at 19:24
  • Actually the fluids of pipes try to flow out to an adjacent pipe and will be deleted if they cant. I believe that the input fluids of buildings will be deleted always, but sometimes i also had some strange flow out of bobs venting pump, which was not empty. This behavior could have been added in the meantime. – Philipp Michalski Nov 18 '17 at 12:54
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When you tear down structures you automatically pick up all items inside them. That means there are two things that can get lost:

  1. The fuel item that is currently in use (e.g. in a furnace). So if you put 10 pieces of wood to a furnace, two have been completely used up and you see the progress bar for the third one, you will get seven pieces of wood back. No matter how full the progress bar is. If you do not want to lose any fuel, take out all of it and provide raw ores until the furnace shows the "out of fuel" symbol.

  2. Liquids. All liquid ingredients and products are lost when a building is teared down. The same is true for pipes and storage tanks. It is hard to have no losses when refactoring this, but you can minimize them by using small pumps to at least empty pipes and tanks before removing them.

If you tear down an assembling machine / chemical plant you will also get back the ingredients for the item that is currently manufactured.

So in your case there should be no losses when refactoring.

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  • Another thing that is currently lost is any red or green wires you have placed down, removing them destroys them presently. Hopefully they will fix that in the future. – Useless Code Sep 5 '17 at 6:07
  • @UselessCode True, but the other side of this "bug" is that placing wires using a blueprint is for free. So with a reasonably repetitive layout you can cheat your wires back. – Tim Sep 5 '17 at 6:24
  • Yeah, once you have robots it can be worked around, but I thought I would mention it because in the early game it can be more of an annoyance to loose those relatively expensive materials. – Useless Code Sep 5 '17 at 6:29
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You may lose a handful of raw materials, depending on what structures you're taking down. For example, if a furnace has 1 coal and 1 iron ore inside of it, the coal will immediately be consumed and the iron ore will begin to smelt. If you retrieve the furnace while this is happening, you'll only get the ore back - the coal has already been "converted" and cannot be retrieved. However, any extra coal that hasn't been "converted" is still retrieved like any other raw materials. I believe it's similar for labs and other structures that use "fuel" types.

Other than this (very minor) loss, you should get all your materials back that are stored in whatever you are mining.

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