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v0.34:Gear assembly

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Gear assembly


Materials Jobs

Needs 5 power.

A gear assembly is a machine component that is used to transmit power from one adjacent machine component to another, such as water wheels, windmills, axles, pumps, millstones and other gear assemblies. Gear assemblies are required to change the direction of power flow, whether between vertical (z-axis) and horizontal (x- or y-axis), or between x- and y-axis -- that is, any change of 90°.

Gear assemblies require 5 units of power each.

Gear assemblies do not block unit movement and can be crossed by dwarves without being spooled around them. But digging a channel to transfer the power (such as for an axle or a pump) below a gear assembly can result in a hole that can not be crossed.

For a basic overview of how the different machine parts work and work together, see machinery.


Gears can be constructed from the build menu under Machine Components and gear. They require one mechanism to construct.

After the gear assembly has been constructed, it will automatically draw power from an adjacent power source. Further components can then be connected to the other available sides (East, West, North, South, Above, Below) of the gear assembly, and will automatically draw power from the power source via the assembly. Note that gear assemblies do not transfer power diagonally; they only work orthogonally (N-S, E-W, up-down).

In order to transfer power between z-levels with a gear assembly, you must first dig a channel, and then place the gear over the opening. Then place either another gear assembly, a vertical axle, or a machine (screw pump, etc.) on the z-level below in the same square, and power will be routed to it. They can also be built on stair tiles, however they will not transfer power through z-levels when placed like that.

Disconnected gears[edit]

Gears can be "disconnected" by being connected to a lever, and then pulling that lever. However, be warned that if a device is supported entirely by a gear, it may collapse when the gear is disconnected. The same is true of a horizontally connected hanging device. An example is a windmill built directly on top of a gear with no floor: in this case, disconnecting the gear via the lever will cause the windmill construction to collapse. In order to avoid this, create a second gear adjacent to the linked gear but not otherwise connected to the system; this gear will support the windmill if the linked gear is disconnected, but will not transfer power, since it only draws it from the now-disconnected gear.

Note that the above is only necessary if the machine component is entirely unsupported outside of the gear on which it rests. Components which have "Stable foundation" in their q view should not collapse if a gear beneath them is disconnected.

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