How to build an article classifier

How to build an article classifier
Written by ga_dahmani
How to build an article classifier

One of the coolest things to do in Minecraft is automate. Players who are loaded with resources and well established in their survival worlds will often build complex contraptions for automated farming, experience, or whatever else they can think of, to ease the grind. From auto farms come a plethora of unique items that can be tedious to sort through and organize. Fortunately, that too can be automated.

This item sorter design uses clever hopper mechanics to effortlessly sort items into different chests. The only downside is that this will work exclusively for stackable items, so any armor or weapons that drop from enemies will unfortunately be unrankable. This layout is infinitely tileable, meaning it’s only one block wide and can be built next to itself indefinitely, without Redstone interfering with each other. This allows players to create infinitely expandable, yet densely packed storage systems.


How to Build an Item Sorter in Minecraft

For each item players wish to order, they will need all of the following:

  • a chest
  • two hoppers
  • Five opaque building blocks
  • Two red stone powders
  • A Redstone Comparator
  • A redstone repeater
  • A redstone torch

Players will also need water which will be added once the storage system is complete. The amount of water will depend on the size of the player’s storage. Also, Lichen Glow may also be required, for players intending to classify more than eight types of items.

To get started, players need to determine where they want their chests to be. Players will likely want the chests at ground level, but they should be aware that the item sorting mechanism will extend two blocks below the chest, as well as two blocks above. For the sake of guidance, the entire system will be built on the ground, so that everything can be seen clearly.

To get started, place a hopper behind the chest, leading into it, and a second hopper on top. The hopper at the top can be funneled in any direction except down (in this case, it goes to the left). This causes the bottom hopper to actually pick up the items of the top hopper, like it would if placed under a chest, as opposed to the top hopper which funnels them right into it.

Players must then build the Redstone Circuit at the back of the hoppers. There should be a comparator sticking out of the top hopper, towards two pieces of Redstone dust coming down. Beneath the dust is a repeater facing the chest, on a block with a Redstone torch on the opposite side. This torch will feed the bottom hopper, preventing it from taking items from the top. When the torch receives an input, it will reverse and temporarily allow items to pass through the chest.

Now it’s time to choose which item to order. For this example we are using chorus fruit, but any stackable element will work. Exactly 22 of the item will be needed, and players must ensure that each hopper slot is full. The 22 elements can be divided however the player wants, but it is imperative that there are exactly that many. If it’s an item that only stacks to 16 (like ender pearls), players should have exactly five in the hopper; one per slot.

The reason these exact numbers are required is because these are the maximum amounts that will cause the comparators to output a Redstone signal strength of one. When one more item is added, the force will increase to two, powering the repeater and thus temporarily letting items through. When an item 23 is added, the bottom hopper will steal an item from the top and keep it. When it is turned on the next time, that item will go into the chest, as it is being replaced by another item.

That’s really all there is to the article classifier design. Now, players just need to tile it to fit their storage system needs. The layout can be placed side by side, as seen below, and even though the redstone dust is connected through the classifiers, the entire system will still function as intended. Inside each top hopper will be 22 (or five) of the item players want to sort through. Don’t forget to make sure the top hoppers don’t funnel down.

Once enough classifiers are made, it’s time to add the water stream. This will flow over the top of the hoppers, dragging any dropped items onto them. Players can have the mob/farming systems drop their items into the water stream, or players can set the stream as a dump point for their inventories after an expedition into a deep, dark cave.

Water can only flow in eight blocks, so players looking to sort more than eight items will have to use a nifty trick involving the Glow Lichen. By placing some Glow Lichen at the end of a water spout, players can place another water spout immediately after and the water will not back up. Items will slide over this waterless block into the next stream, allowing an infinite stream of water to carry items.

This water system must be enclosed to prevent water from destroying Redstone, but can be cleverly hidden in the ceiling of the player’s storage area if necessary. The stream of water can also turn around corners, allowing players to tailor their item sorting system to the shape of any room. If players need more storage space, the chests can be replaced with double chests on the side, or additional hoppers can be placed under them that lead to more chests.

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