PI for just assembling materials

Guys, in the context of a new experiement i’d like to do, i wanted to ask about something i read ages ago but that i am not sure about.

What kind of restrictions/constraints should i be very well aware if i’d purchase the mats to combine in P2 -> P3 -> P4 WITHOUT extracing them ?

Apart, of course, the profitability of the thing. PI is the only thing i never dealt with, and to my knowledge if you want to do it you have to double check system, mining pressure on the planet etc.

Thanks !

@Steve_Ronuken has a calculator https://www.fuzzwork.co.uk/pi/

In general, P4 is not profitable and P3 can be marginally profitable if you’re paying market price for the inputs. If you can get the inputs inexpensively using buy orders, it may be worth doing. You also need to factor import/export taxes and trading frictions into your analysis. Last but not least you’ll need to haul a lot of material to keep your factory planets fed.

I make robotics and guidance systems - from scratch and build them into drones. Given that PI represents about 75% of the build cost for a T2 drone - it’s very profitable!

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I want to select a t2 ship and build totally from scratch, getting input mats from buy orders, just as a challenge. That is the reason for which trading aspect on intermediate mats is not interesting to me.

Thanks !

If it‘s not profitable from sell orders, your profits come from trading only, not from PI/manufacturing. In this case it’s better to just sell what you bought like a station trader.

If you are not only looking for fun but income, I would recommend to evaluate every single step in the chain whether it contributes to the profit, i.e. answer the question: when buying materials from sell orders, and selling result via sell orders, is the added value worth the effort to do the step?

Sometimes a small value/loss is acceptable if the overall logistics is easier or the result can be sold easier than the intermediate product.

Thanks for your reply.

I have never built from sell orders, and i have built lots of stuff, trust me (24 maxed builder chars, at the time i used to produce 500 hulks/week from inventions, just to name one :wink: ).

But, as stated previously, never done PI, in non-null profits are not reasonable imho.

No offense, but not doing the strict math is one reason why producing most hulls is not profitable without counting trade profits and own labor valued at zero.

Absolutely right, maybe i have not stated my intention clearly. Basically i have all the steps of all the chain under control, and of course i am not going to produce anything that will cost more than what it is sold for. But my original question was if setting up a PI chain only for ASSEMBLING materials and not extracting raw ones is something that has any ‘functional’ side effect (since i am not expert of PI).



I beg to disagree and recommend that the o.p. tries to understand https://www.adam4eve.eu/pi_chain.php and plays around a bit with this to find out what P4 might be interesting, even if just selling to buy orders and buying from sell.

Before implementing a good recipe check if there is enough orders at those prices and not just a few ouliers.


If you are looking to build T2 hulls, the only PI you’ll need is construction blocks - easily made on any lava planet, even in highsec. The cost with shipbuilding, as you will know if you used to build Exhumers, is the advanced components. Moon materials have been volatile since refineries were released last fall but, the few times I’ve checked, it’s been more profitable to buy advanced moon material and build the components than to buy them so that’s what I do.

My preference is to build modules and drones - they sell faster, at higher margins and they are a lot easier to transport!

Edit: that said, I have a Nomad print and intend to build it once moon material prices stabilize. I doubt that I’ll make a profit but, that’s not the point!

Aside from stuff related to market (like price, trend, moving avg) the most important one is Logistics.

Hauling stuff back and forth takes time, while doing P2 -> P3 will make your goods’ mass compressed down some P3 -> P4 schemes inflate the mass back. Also there’s always the small chance of getting ganked and being left with a huge loss if that’s the trip with cargo full of final products.

Thanks, good info !

Yeah, sometimes, provided you are not making a loss, is also about getting fun and satisfaction about making something more articulated. Before burnout :smiley:


yeah, as mentioned i don't want to sell them, but see if i can get any needed mat cheaper than buy prices; only in case, clearly, i'd jump again into it ;-)

Still my questionremains: provided i don’t have to extract, is the ‘structure’ that i create on the planet having any impact ?

Yes, because you need a lot of buildings, and therefore minimize the routing. Use a planet with the lowest possible radius, to reduce fitting costs of pipelines. Best is a compact structure with every factory touching another.

Google for ‚EvE factory planet‘ to get examples for viable layouts.

Thanks mate !

Also remember that you need a barren or temperate planet if you intend to run up p4’s. planet size, and poco tax are your main concerns in terms of pi setup. Also rember you can only route through six structures at most.



as has been said, barren or temperate with a small diameter are best - and of course a low poco tax.


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