Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode

This tutorial will guide you through the process of building the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) in survival mode. You will also find information how to safely operate the machine in both Survival and Creative modes.

Building Procedure

In order to build TBM in survival you should use the following blueprint:

Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode

TBM-50 – Survival

  1. Place a projector on the ground and project the blueprint. Make sure the drill faces in the direction you want. Make sure the drills are clipping through the ground a bit. It will be helpful later. Orange arrows should point downwards, if you want to place the miner horizontally.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. Weld the blueprint.
  2. Weld missing subgrids on both Piston Horizontal Top. One of them has a connector facing opozite direction to orange arrows.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. Set Hinge Lock for both hinges and turn them OFF.
  2. Select all grinders and save them as group “Grinders”.
  3. Select Merge Blocks on the Piston Horizontal Top subgrids and create group “Merge Blocks Top”
  4. Make sure Pistons Horizontal Top are connected to the bottom part of the drill. Use merge blocks to connect them if they are not.
  5. Weld missing subgrids on both Piston Horizontal Bottom. On one side there should be a connector facing the same direction as orange arrows.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. Select both connectors on subgrids and create a “Connectors Main” group.
  2. Select all Welders and save them as group “Welders”.
  3. Select Merge Blocks on the Piston Horizontal Bottom subgrids and create group “Merge Blocks Bottom”
  4. Place projectors on bottom subgrids. Select the following blueprint for them.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. This is part of TBM used for it’s self-projection.
    Set “Keep Projection” for them. Position projection for them as in below picture.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. The bottom welder should be between the connector and merge block. Welder tips should touch conveyor blocks.
  2. Place advanced rotor on Piston Vertical 3. Remove rotor part.
  3. Add the advanced rotor to the “Drills” group. Turn it OFF. Set Torque to 400kNm, breaking torque to 200 kNm, velocity -2.0 RPM
  4. Remove Orange Transport Blocks between Top Horizontal pistons and roof of the miner.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. Set max distance for the bottom “Piston Vertical 3” to 2.5 m.
  2. Press button 1 on Orange Controll Panel to turn on vertical pistons. Wait until Piston Vertical Bottom pushes against the drilling part, to secure the miner. The piston is very slow, so be patient. If your miner is placed horizontally, you might need to proivide additional support to prevent it from falling.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. Make sure, merge blocks on Horizontal Pistons are turned ON.
  2. Press button 2 to turn off the top orange merge block and turn on merge block on the frame. The miner will be relased, so make sure it won’t move.
  3. Press button 3 to turn on Horizontal Pistons. Top Horizontal Pistons should now approach to the main frame and merge with it. Clang may occur. Check if the Bottom Vertical Piston is not damaged.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. Lock Main Connectors group – one should be connected now.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. Remove the top orange Transport blocks above the roof.
  2. Grind the bottom orange transport blocks that are holding the drills. Make sure they won’t move.
  3. Attach the Drill part to the Advanced Rotor.
  4. Convert drills block to ship. If it’s not possible, turn the drills on to get rid of the ground clipping through them and then try again.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. Set max distance for the bottom “Piston Vertical 3” back to 10 m. Reverse it’s speed to -0.01 m/s.
  2. You should be all set. Remove all the remaining orange blocks.

Block Groups

After finishing the building procedure you should have the following block groups:

  • Automatic Move Off = Sensor 1 + Sensor 2;
  • Automatic Move ON = all pistons + welders + grinders + Connectors Main + projectors + Sensor 1;
  • Connectors Main = Connector Main 1 + Connector Main 2
  • Drills = all drills + Advanced Rotor
  • Grinders = all grinders
  • Merge Blocks Bottom = two merge blocks on both Piston Horizontal Bottom
  • Merge Blocks Top = two merge blocks on both Piston Horizontal Top
  • Merge Transport Top = all Merge Block Transport Top blocks
  • Pistons Horizontal = all horizontal pistons
  • Pistons Horizontal Bottom = two bottom horizontal pistons
  • Pistons Horizontal Top = two top horizontl pistons
  • Pistons Vertical = all 3 vertical pistons
  • Pistons Vertical Top = two top vertical pistons
  • Welders = all welders

Startup Procedure – Survival

Before you turn on the TBM, make sure everything is correct:

  1. All orange blocks are removed
  2. Pistons Vertical Top are connected to the main body and can lift it. (If you welded them from projector in survival, then probably they are separate and need to be connected)
  3. You have all block groups set correctly according to the above Block Groups section.
  4. Check timer blocks if they don’t have any empty greyed boxes. If they do, fix it.
  5. Vertical top pistons have velocity +0.02 m/s and are fully extended (10 m).
  6. Vertical bottom piston has velocity -0.01 m/s and is fully retracted (0 m).
  7. Horizontal top pistons should have negative velocity and their merge blocks are connected to the main frame.
  8. Horizontal bottom pistons should have a positive velocity, are turned OFF and be fully retracted (0 m).
  9. One side of the horizontal pistons have slightly higher velocity, to provide better stability while merging.
  10. Both Merge Blocks Bottom and Top should be turned ON

Once you checked above there are 2 optional steps to do:

  1. Change the nominal mining velocity
  2. If you have smaller drill head, you can set the diameter of the tunnel as described below.

Now just locate the yellow button pannel (above the advanced rotor). Press Button 3 to turn on drills and rotor. Now turn on Automatic Move (Button 2).

Startup Procedure – Creative

If you placed the creative mode version of miner, starting the machine is much easier:

  1. 1. Turn on Drills
  2. Convert the drill part on advanced rotor to ship.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. Make sure the drills can spin and make a full turn.
  2. Go to yellow button panel located near bottom vertical piston and press button 2: Automatic Move On
    The machine should work now.

How to stop drilling

In order to stop the drilling you should press button 1 on yellow controll panel. This will deactivate sensors, that starts each cicle. The machine won’t stop immediately though. It needs to finish the full cicle, so it can safely start again later. This may take up to 16 min before it fully stops.

You shouldn’t turn off drilling before all timers have finished blinking.

(Optional) How to change mining speed

It is not recommended to increase the nominal mining velocity (NMV) above 0.01 m/s for the TBM-50, although if you are using smaller drill heads, you can increase velocity a bit. To do so, you need to do as follows:

  1. Calculate and set the delafy for Timer Block 3 and 6 as follows:
    Delay [s] = 5/NMV
  2. set Piston Vertical Bottom velocity to the NMV of your choice. It should be negative before startup.
  3. set Pistons Vertical Top velocity to NMV multiplied by 2.

(Optional) How to change the diameter of the tunnel

  1. Grind one side of the frame slightly above the ground, and above the merge block.
  2. Place merge blocks under the wind turbines as shown in below picture. The two orange armor blocks are added to make sure, the drill will be centered.
Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode
  1. Reverse Pistons Horizontal Top until merge blocks connect. Reverse again afterwards.
  2. Connect the frame back. Connect it to the ground if you want.
  3. Remove the merge blocks under wind turbines.
  4. Make sure you have the right drill head or make it smaller, so it fits between conveyor blocks.
  5. Set Pistons Horizontal Top velocity back to negative before startup.
  6. Limit Pistons Horizontal max distance, so they won’t go too far. This will ensure, that miner will be centered between the frame conveyors. TBM-50 should have max distance set to 10 m, while TBM-30 should have 2.5 m max distance for horizontal pistons.
  7. Reduce the range of both sensors by the number of meters you reduced the radius of the tunnel. They must only see the merge blocks, not the armor blocks of main frame. TBM-50 should have sensor range of 20 m, while TBM-30 should have 12.5 m of sensor range.

This is it guys!! I am sure that you will love Space Engineers: How To Build Tunnel Boring Machine In Survival Mode that we have shared with you. We are always open to discussion and suggestions from you. Just let us what you thought about the guide in the comment section.

Also, we would like to thank Rezun. He is the one behind this wonderful guide.