EVE Online Science and Industry Guide

       SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY GUIDE FOR EVE ONLINE

By: GC13
E-mail: Grand_Commander13hotmailcom

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION
     1. To get things started...
     2. Version history
     3. Terminology
     4. The anatomy of a blueprint
     5. Obtaining a blueprint
     6. Using your blueprints

II. NAVIGATING THE INTERFACE
     1. Jobs
     2. Blueprints
     3. Corp Blueprints
     4. Installations

III. RESEARCH
     1. Introduction to research
     2. Vital skills
     3. Material Research
     4. Time Efficiency Research
     5. Copying

IV. MANUFACTURING
     1. Introduction to manufacturing
     2. Vital skills
     3. Getting started in manufacturing

I. INTRODUCTION

1. To get things started...

Just to make it very clear from the beginning: this guide does not cover R&D
agents in any way, shape, or form.

This guide was written by GC13.  Do not try to steal it and post it as
your own.  If you want to post this guide on your site, then feel free to.
However, e-mail GC13 to tell him you’re doing it (make sure to include
“Science and Industry Guide” in the subject).  Not only can he then verify
that you are giving him credit for his work, but he can also e-mail you every
time the guide is updated (nothing annoys GC13 more than out of date copies of
guides floating around the internet).

If you have any questions, corrections, then e-mail GC13 (again, make sure to
include “Science and Industry Guide” in the subject).  All ISK donations can
be sent to the character GC13 (he’ll jump up and down with joy if he gets
anything worthwhile) in-game.

2. Version history

04-23-2006: v0.93. Added note about blueprints with different Base Time
Wasteage Factors.  Reflected fact that it is now possible to cancel jobs.
Covered roles needed to perform research/manufacturing jobs for your
corporation.

02-23-2006: v0.92. Added the first data about Tech 2 research and production.
Various clarifications.

02-03-2006: v0.91. Added information on obtaining blueprints, and a general
section on using them. Added Deliver to the list of terminology.

01-25-2006: v0.9.  Guide is put up, basically complete but lacking information
about Tech2 production.

3. Terminology

First off, some simple terminology that will be used throughout the guide:

BPO: Blueprint original.  Can be improved with research, and never runs out
of licensed production runs.

BPC: Blueprint copy.  Cannot be improved with research, and has a limited
number of production runs.

Licensed production runs: How many more times a blueprint can be used to
produce an item.

Lab slot: Any assembly line used for Material Research, Time Efficiency
Research, or Copying.

Factory slot: An assembly line used for Manufacturing.

ML: Material Level.  Increased by performing Material Research.

PL: Productivity Level.  Increased by performing Time Efficiency Research.

Run: A single usage of a blueprint, be it increasing the ML or PL by 1,
copying it once, or making one run’s worth of items (usually one, but can be
one hundred for ammunition) with it.

Job: What gets submitted to the assembly lines.  Consists of a certain number
of runs, ranging from one and going to as many runs as you can complete in
thirty days (the time limit for a job).  A job can be canceled once you
accept the quote the installation gives you.  However, this results in you
losing everything except for the blueprint (no partial progress is given to
research or construction, and minerals spent on construction are lost), so be
very careful.

Deliver: Finishing a job. When a job is finished, the blueprint and finished
goods are still nowhere to be found until you go to the Jobs tab of the
Science and Industry interface, find the “Ready” job, and deliver it.  This
will place the blueprint and the goods in your hangar at the station you
installed the job at (or, in the case of a job using your corporation’s
blueprint, will put the blueprint back where it started and will place the
goods where you told it to put them).


4. The anatomy of a blueprint

Attributes:

Manufacturing Time: The amount of time it would take somebody with level 0 in
the Industry skill to build one run with this blueprint.

Manufacturing Time (You): How long it would take you, with your current
Industry skill level and all the Time Efficiency Research already done on the
blueprint, to build one run with this blueprint.

Material Level: How many levels of Material Research that have been done on
this blueprint.

Wastage Factor: The extra minerals it takes to make items with this blueprint,
expressed as a proportion of what a perfect build would require.

Research Material Time: How long it would take someone with level 0 in the
Metallurgy skill to perform one level of Material Research on this blueprint.

Research Material Time (You): How long it would take you, with your current
Metallurgy skill level, to perform one level of Material Research on this
blueprint.

Research Copy Time: How long it would take someone with level 0 in the Science
skill to make a blueprint copy from this blueprint with the maximum number of
allowed licensed production runs.

Research Copy Time (You Per Single Copy): How long it would take you, with
your current Science skill, to make a blueprint copy, per production run in
the job you have installed.

Produces: What you get when you perform a single run of this item in
Manufacturing.  Expressed as “Item name [number of items]”.  Most items only
give one item per run, but most ammunition give one hundred.

Copy: Whether or not this item is a blueprint copy.  Blueprint copies cannot
be used in lab slots.

Research Productivity Time: How long it would take someone with level 0 in the
Research skill to perform one level of Time Efficiency Research on this
blueprint.

Research Productivity Time (You): How long it would take you, with your
current Research skill level, to perform one level of Time Efficiency Research
on this blueprint.

Productivity Level: How many levels of Time Efficiency Research that have been
done on this blueprint.

Licensed Production Runs Remaining: How many more runs of Manufacturing this
blueprint can be used for.  Says “Infinite” for BPOs and a few very, very old
BPCs.

Bill of Materials:

Skills: Lists any skills you need to perform either manufacturing or research
(specific to the tab) on this blueprint.  Tech 1 stuff does not have any skill
requirements, while Tech 2 requires level 5 in the job-specific skill
(Research for Time Efficiency Research, for instance, or Industry for
Manufacturing) as well as certain skill levels in R&D skills applicable to
that blueprint.

Materials: Lists what it takes to perform one run of manufacturing or research
(again, specific to the tab) on this blueprint (note that only tech level 2
blueprints need any materials to be researched).  Unless you have Production
Efficiency 5, it will display two values: “You” and “Perfect” here.  The “You”
value shows what it would take you to make a single run with the blueprint,
while the “Perfect” value shows what somebody with Production Efficiency 5
needs.  Note that this value’s name refers to your skills, and not the
Material Level of the blueprint.

Tech 2 production will require R.Dbs for research and copying, R.A.M.s for
manufacturing, and various consumer goods for both. Various components are
used in constructing T2 ships, and Morphite and various reactions (produced at
starbases with moon materials) can also be used to manufacture any T2 stuff.

5. Obtaining a blueprint

The easiest and most common way to get a blueprint is to buy the un-researched
BPO off of the market.  You can easily get any tech level 1 blueprint this
way, and there is an unlimited stock of them.  Certain blueprints are not sold
by NPCs in certain regions, so the blueprint may be marked up by a player
reseller depending on where you are.  A good way to be safe is to buy the
blueprints for ships in a region belonging to that ship's race (buy Caldari
blueprints in Lonetrek or The Forge, for example).

You can get BPCs for special ships (such as the Worm or the Caldari Navy Raven
to name two) from agent offers (for the faction navy ships), or from doing
certain complexes (for the pirate faction ships like the Worm).

There is also the possibility of buying off of escrow.  Usually you'll just
find short-run BPCs for ships (and sometimes ammo), but it's worth a shot if
you want to make yourself or a friend a ship, but don't want to buy the BPO
for it.

Finally, there is a trading channel for blueprints.

In order to obtain a tech level 2 BPO, you need to participate in the BPO
lottery.  I won't go into any sort of detail here, as there is an excellent
guide to this (and the R&D agents which facilitate it) in the guides sticky
thread in the Missions forum.  Still, let it suffice to say that a very
limited quantity of tech level 2 BPOs are distributed via this lottery,
meaning they are very expensive to purchase (the only way to get them is in
the lottery, or to buy them from people who won the lottery).

6. Using your blueprints

As with most things in Eve, right-clicking on your blueprints opens many
doors.  Right-clicking on any blueprint gives you the option to initiate any
job with the blueprint.  Once you choose the kind of job you want to start, it
will then ask you to choose which assembly line you want to use.  If the
installation you want to use is at a station, you need to choose an
installation at the same station the blueprint is in.  If the installation is
at a starbase, you can choose any starbase in the same solar system as the
blueprint, so long as you are allowed to use that starbase.

It doesn't matter if you are using the blueprint while it's in your Items
window at a space station, in your Assets window, or in the Science and
Industry window: you need to right-click the blueprint to do anything with it.

It is also worth noting that after you submit a job, the server has marked
down when the job will finish, and improving your skills (such as Industry for
a manufacturing job) will not affect the time to finish that job.

II. NAVIGATING THE INTERFACE

The Science and Industry window has a lot of people confused, but at its heart
it is very simple and intuitive.  This interface is used to review what
research and manufacturing jobs you have done, are currently doing, or are
finished and waiting to be delivered.

TAB 1: Jobs

Here you have a few filtering options.  The default should be on the “show
less options” choice, which allows you to sort by the kind of Activity the job
is, the State the job is in, and the Owner of the job.  Selecting “show more
options” opens up the ability to sort by the Creator, the Range, and the
From/To dates.

These options give you great power in sifting through your past and current
projects.

Activity allows you to choose whether you want to search for projects in
Manufacturing, Material Research, Time Efficiency Research, Copying, or All
activities.

State allows you to choose between Pending, In Progress, Ready, Delivered, or
Any Active state.  Pending projects are still in the queue, and work has not
started on them yet.  Projects that are In Progress are just what they say
they are.  Projects that are Ready are finished, and waiting for you to
Deliver the blueprint and/or product.  The Delivered option will show all
projects that you have completed, and serves as a useful history tool.

Owner allows you to sort between jobs that are being done by you for you
(“Me”), and by you for your corporation (“My Corporation”).  Any job you start
using a blueprint you use that is being stored at one of your corporation’s
hangars will end up here.

Range allows you to choose whether you want to see jobs from the current
station, solar system, constellation, or region.

From Date and To Date don’t seem to work at the moment.

Once you find a job, clicking on it will display at the bottom of the screen
the Activity, State, Time Till Completion (to the second), Output Location
(where you installed the job), and Output Type (what you get when it is done,
such as "1 unit of Rifter").  For research jobs, it will show at the righty
the starting and ending ML (listed as ME) or PL, or how many copies with how
many runs you are making.

TAB 2: Blueprints

For those with the Scientific Networking and Supply Chain Management skills,
this is where the investment in those skills pays off.  When you first open up
the Blueprints tab, you are greeted with a list of the stations in the region
that you have blueprints at.  The bar for each station shows the usual
information about a station (system, planet, moon, name) along with how many
blueprints you have there and how many jumps away it is.

Expand a station to be greeted by a full list of all of your blueprints there.
It shows their picture, gives the item name, tells what group (Frigate
Blueprint, Missile Blueprint, etc...) the blueprint is in, whether or not the
blueprint is a copy, its Material Level and Productivity Level (ML and PL),
and (if the blueprint is a copy) how many runs are remaining on the copy.

The bottom of the screen tells you how many manufacturing and research jobs
you can have active at any given time, as well as the range on your remote
manufacturing and researching (“limited to stations” or “limited to 5 jumps”
for instance).

You can start any job on any blueprint here by right-clicking on it just as
you would at a station and choosing the kind of job you want to start.  From
there, it will prompt you to pick an installation (more information on that at
the Installations tab), how many runs you want the job to go for, and allow
you to change the input and output hangars.

Note that any blueprint that has not been used (copying, research, or
manufacturing) cannot be “seen” by this tab, so they cannot be used remotely
until you have been at the same station as the blueprint, right-clicked on it
and chosen an activity to use it for, and gotten the game to try to send you
to the quote screen.  Note that this means it works just fine even if you
choose an installation in a different system (which will make the blueprint
viewable by this tab, but cannot start a job); all that matters is that it try
to generate a quote.

Also note that you can do the same thing by locating your blueprint via the
assets window, and right-clicking on it from there.

TAB 3: Corp Blueprints

This tab functions exactly like tab 2, except it shows blueprints in hangars
rented by your corporation.  Any jobs you start up from this tab (or, to be
more precise, any jobs started up when the blueprint is in a corporate hangar)
will show up under “My Corporation” for the “Owner” sorting option.

In order to start jobs for your corporation, you need the "Rent Factory Slot"
role for Manufacturing jobs, or the "Rent Research Slot" role for any of the
research jobs.

TAB 4: Installations

When you want to use a blueprint, you will inevitably be sent here to select
the assembly line you want to use for the job you have chosen to perform.

Here you will find two of the same options that you also found on Tab 1, and
some new ones.  The Activity and Range options are the same as they were
before.  You can use the Location option to indicate whether you only want
assembly lines located in stations, in assembly arrays, or either.  You can
select whether you want the assembly line to be Public, Personal, or belonging
to your corporation.  Finally, you can choose what Production Category and
Production Group you want to be able to build.  A Production Category is
something broad, like Ships, while a Production Group is more specific, like
Cruisers.  All stations can Manufacture almost everything you could want, so
simply selecting “All” will suffice for now (they can’t produce everything,
however; you need special facilities to manufacture things such as Titans, for
instance).

After you have queried the database for a list of installations meeting your
specification, you can select a station with the assembly lines on them in the
top table, and a list of the assembly lines at that installation will appear
in the table in the lower portion of the window.  You can sort the assembly
lines by time until the slot’s queue is empty (basically, this is how long it
would take a job installed in that slot to even get started), install cost
(the base fee you pay regardless of how long you are using the slot for),
hourly rate, time multiplier, and material multiplier.  At any given
installation, the fees and multipliers should all be the same.  Also, all
stations should have a 1.0 time and material multiplier.  Starbase structures
have bonuses here, and will show up as a number below 1.0.  A 0.9 time
multiplier, for instance, means it only takes 90% as long to do the same job.

The three research options only require that the slot be able to make
Blueprints, so you can filter out all the Manufacturing lines but show all
three kinds of Research assembly lines by choosing “All activities” along with
the “Manufacture and Research” Production category and the “Blueprints”
production group.

You can only use a blueprint in an installation on the same space station the
blueprint is located at (or, in the case of a starbase installation, at a
starbase in the same system that the blueprint is located in a space station).


III. RESEARCH

1. Introduction to research

What is research, exactly?  It does not really produce anything itself, yet is
very valuable for those who do the production.  Research is the fine, fine art
of making it quicker, cheaper, and easier to manufacture the goods that the
manufacturers (of which you may be one) build.  Every blueprint benefits from
being researched, and important blueprints can be heavily researched, then
copied and distributed to corporation members and allies.  All you need for
this is one skill (Science), and an assembly line of the appropriate type.
Are you interested?  Then read on.

There are three ways you can use a lab slot on a blueprint: Material Research,
Time Efficiency Research, and Copying.  The first two improve a blueprint,
while the last duplicates it.

     *Material Research
          Improves the Material Level of a blueprint, making it cost fewer
          minerals to build with.

     *Time Efficiency Research
          Improves the Productivity Level of a blueprint, decreasing the
          amount of time it takes to make an item.

     *Copying
          Duplicates a blueprint, leaving you with the original you copied,
          and a copy with a limited number of runs, and a Material Level and a
          Productivity Level equal to those of the original.


2. Vital skills

While you only need a single skill at level one (the generic “Science” skill)
to operate a lab slot, there is a variety of skills that makes your research
faster and easier, or lets you use more lab slots simultaneously.

     Science (Rank 1)
          5% reduction in time it takes to copy a blueprint per level.

          *No prerequisites.

          You need Science at level 1 to use any lab slots at all, though it
          does not give any bonus to maximum research jobs after that.  Any
          dedicated researcher will want to raise it to level 4, as that is a
          prerequisite for Metallurgy.

     Metallurgy (Rank 3)
          5% reduction in time needed to conduct Material Research per level.

          Requires Science to be at level 4.

          A very important skill considering the importance of Material
          Research.  It is highly recommended to take this skill to level 4 or
          5.

     Research (Rank 1)
          5% reduction in time it takes to conduct Time Efficiency Research
          per level.

          Requires Science to be at level 3.

          Not as important as Metallurgy, given the lower level of importance
          placed on Time Efficiency Research.  Still, if a researcher plans on
          performing Time Efficiency Research, then taking Research to at
          least level 3 is recommended.

     Laboratory Operation (Rank 1) and Advanced Laboratory Operation (Rank 8)
          Both allow the operation of one extra lab slot per level.

          Laboratory Operation requires Science to be at level 3.
          Advanced Laboratory Operation requires Science to be at level 3 and
          Laboratory Operation to be at level 5.

          Very important for a researcher.  Laboratory Operation at level 4
          should be enough for the needs of most researchers, but busy ones
          always have the option to advance it to level 5 and take a few
          levels of Advanced Laboratory Operation.

     Scientific Networking (Rank 3)
          Allows the operation of lab slots from ranges greater than just the
          station you are currently in.  At level 1, the range is any lab in
          the same solar system as you.  At level 2, the range changes to any
          lab within five jumps of your present location.  After that, the
          range continues to double until at level 5 you can operate any lab
          in the region.

          Science needs to be at level 3 and Laboratory Operation needs to be
          at level 4.

          This is a skill with a non-essential function, and a hefty 6.75
          million ISK price tag.  Still, it can be very convenient, as it
          allows you to locate all of your blueprints at a station in
          low-security space (with lower lab fees and shorter queues), where
          you can research them remotely and then make copies to take from the
          station if you need to manufacture with the blueprint.

3. Material Research

Most of the research performed on blueprints is Material Research (which is
why almost all Material Research assembly lines, even those in the depths of
low-security space, have a queue at all times).  Quite simply, Material
Research makes a blueprint cheaper to build with.  Every blueprint has a
“wastage factor” which increases the mineral cost to manufacture items with it
beyond the mineral cost listed on the eve-online.com item database (which
lists the perfect mineral requirements).  For almost all blueprints, the base
wastage factor is equal to 0.1, meaning that it takes 10% extra minerals to
manufacture the item (note that some blueprints have a base wastage factor of
0.05).

Material Research decreases the wastage factor.  The formula for the reduction
means that your returns decline quickly.  First, the formula for determining
the blueprint’s wastage factor:

Wastage factor = Base Wastage Factor / (1 + ML)

This means at a Material Level of one, you’ve already cut the wastage factor
in half.  By the time you are up to 4 ML, your wastage factor is only 0.02.
Once you get up to 9, it’s only 0.01.  Note that in order to halve the wastage
factor again, you need to double the current ML and add one.

For instance at a ML of 9, you are only wasting 1% of the perfect mineral
requirements.  To only be wasting 0.5% of the perfect mineral requirements,
you need to add another 9+1 to the ML, for a final ML of 19.  The math here
holds true, since 10% / (19+1) = 0.5%.

Note that those first nine levels of Material Research saved you an average of
9% / 9 levels = 1% per level.  Those next ten levels (on their own) only saved
you another 0.5%, divided by ten, for a total of 0.05% per level (or: 1% of
what your first level of Material Research saved).  These declining returns
mean that after researching the first few levels on a blueprint and
drastically lowering your mineral costs, you are left researching several
levels (very easily twenty or more) to make one run of the blueprint cost one
less unit of tritanium to build.  Just be aware of this when deciding how long
to research your blueprints.

In addition to the rapidly declining gains, there is a very finite amount of
good that any amount of research you can do.  Why research the ML to 100 when
the blueprint is perfect (no more minerals can be saved) at a ML of 21?

To find the ML of a blueprint past which there is no gain to be had from doing
Material Research, go to the Item Database on the official web site and look
at the mineral requirements.  These are the amount of minerals it takes to
make an item with Production Efficiency 5, and a blueprint with a perfect ML.
Take that number, divide by 5, and round down.  That is the highest level that
Material Research can have any effect on the blueprint’s waste material usage.

Max ML = (Highest required mineral at perfect build) / 5 (round down)

For instance, to make one run of Small Lead Charge S takes 106 tritanium, 1
mexallon, and 2 isogen.  106 / 5 = 21.2.  Rounded down, that equals 21: that
blueprint’s perfect level of material efficiency.

4. Time Efficiency Research

Time Efficiency Research is often neglected.  For instance, many of the
blueprint copies you find on escrow have a ML above 20, yet their PL is still
zero.  It is also very easy to find an open assembly line for Time Efficiency
Research (though in high-security space it will still be expensive, since the
costs for all lab slots are the same) at any time and any place you choose.
This is a bonus you should take advantage of: Time Efficiency Research works
exactly like Material Research, except it reduces the time to manufacture
(though its level for “perfection” would be different).  Also, the “base time
wastage factor” for most blueprints is 0.25, meaning each blueprint takes 125%
as long to manufacture with as it theoretically should.

Time Wastage Factor = Base Time Wasteage Factor / (1 + PL)

Since the Productivity Level formula is the same as the Material Level formula
(except with a different Base Wastage Factor), the declining returns are
exactly the same: in order to halve the time wastage factor again, you need to
double the current PL and add one.

For tech 2 missiles, the base time wasteage factor is equal to 1/249, meaning
there is almost nothing to be gained by performing Time Efficiency Research on
them.  Components required for tech 2 production use 1/14, and there are a few
other blueprints that use different numbers.  Still, most blueprints use 1/4
(or 0.25).

5. Copying

When you copy a blueprint, you choose how many copies you want to make, and
how many licensed runs you want to make.  The end result when you deliver the
job will of course be equal to the number you put into the “copies” box, and
each of them will show as having a number of “licensed production runs
remaining” equal to the number you put in the “licensed runs” box.

Unlike a blueprint original, which can be used any amount of times (they
always show “Infinite” for “licensed production runs remaining”), a blueprint
copy becomes useless when it has no production runs left.  Also, a blueprint
copy cannot be put into a lab slot, so you can neither improve its ML and PL,
nor can you copy it.

While this limits BPCs, it also makes them very valuable.  You can copy
blueprints and give the BPCs to lower-level members of your corporation so
that they can build with them, and you do not need to worry about them running
off with a valuable BPO.  Also, copying and selling ship blueprints on escrow
is very popular (as escrow is flooded with these at any given time).


IV. MANUFACTURING

1. Introduction to Manufacturing

Manufacturing itself is rather straight-forward.  You acquire a blueprint,
whether it be a copy or an original, get the minerals needed to make the items
you want to build, and then get a manufacturing assembly line to make the
stuff with.

A problem that a lot of people new to manufacturing seem to have is a very bad
one for their finances: they are under the illusion that any minerals they
mine themselves rather than buy off of the market are free.  This is not the
case, however; those minerals “cost” you what you could have sold them on the
market for.  Whether you’re making the items for your own use, for a friend or
a corporation member, or to sell, this doesn’t change at all.  When
manufacturing, always check the prices in the region to see if it is cheaper
for you to buy from someone else (and if they are close enough to you to be
convenient, given the price gap).

2. Vital Skills

Like Research, only a single skill is needed to use a factory slot (the
Industry skill).  Still, there are other skills that make an manufacturer’s
life easier, most important among them being Production Efficiency.

     Production Efficiency (Rank 3)
          4% reduction per level for material costs for manufacturing.

          Requires Industry to be at level 3.

          No matter how hard you look, you cannot find a more important skill
          for manufacturing to get to level 5 than Production Efficiency.
          Taking this from level 0 to level 5 means you can make 125% the
          product with the same amount of materials as you made before, and
          makes manufacturing much more profitable.  Try to have this at level
          4 at the very least before you do any major manufacturing.

     Industry (Rank 1)
          4% reduction in manufacturing time per level.

          *No skill requirements

          You need Industry at level one to be able to use a factory slot,
          though advancing it beyond one does not give any further bonus to
          the amount of factory slots you can operate at once.  Aside from
          using it as a prerequisite for more important skills, there are no
          pressing reasons to raise Industry.  Still, the time saved by
          increasing Industry can be helpful, and it’s only a rank 1 skill.

     Mass Production (Rank 2) and Advanced Mass Production (Rank 8)
          Both allow the operation of one extra factory slot per level.

          Mass Production requires Industry to be at level 3.
          Advanced Mass Production requires Industry to be at level 3 and Mass
          Production to be at level 5.

          Like Laboratory Operation is for a researcher, Mass Production is
          important for the manufacturer.  It is up to the individual
          manufacturer to decide how many factory slots they need to be able
          to use at once.


     Supply Chain Management (Rank 3)
          Allows the operation of factory slots from ranges greater than just
          the station you are currently in.  At level 1, the range is any
          factory in the same solar system as you.  At level 2, the range
          changes to any factory within five jumps of your present location.
          After that, the range continues to double until at level 5 you can
          operate any factory in the region.

          Industry needs to be at level 3 and Mass Production needs to be at
          level 4.

          Just like Scientific Networking, this skill is an expensive
          convenience.  While it is not a requirement, it can save a
          manufacturer from having to do a lot of flying if their main
          manufacturing area is not close to their main area of operations.

3. Getting started in manufacturing

Though the rest of this guide covers the information about the actual workings
of Science and Industry in Eve, many budding industrialists are still at a
loss for how they should actually step into the wide world of manufacturing.
This question is usually asking “what should I start by building?”

The first thing to cross most people’s minds when wondering what to build is
most likely going to be ships.  Any of the main combat frigates are certainly
popular ships, and can sell well if put up for sale in a well-populated area.
Still, ships tend to have very poor margins of profit (with Production
Efficiency at 5, and with a well-researched BPO with a ML of 20) of about
20-25% in “best case” (the best you are likely to find) scenarios.

A much better idea is to search the market, making extensive use of the
“Market History” tab for a given item, and finding items with a good volume
number (which tells you how much they are traded) and with prices you can
effectively compete with.  It can be a lot easier to view the Market History
as a table, but the default is as a graph (there is a button in the window to
change it).

During your searching, you will likely find that many items are being
frequently sold at a value near or even below the value of the minerals that
make up the item.  This is because people receive these items as loot from
killing NPCs, and you will not make a profit from manufacturing them.  Other
items, however, will have a high volume and will have very good prices.  These
are the items you want to build.

     
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