Material and Time Efficiency
Blueprint originals (BPOs) can be made better by doing either material research or time efficiency research on them. Blueprint copies (BPCs) cannot be modified after they are created, but they are created with the same research values as the BPO they are copied from. Tech 2 BPCs created by invention have completely different research values, see the invention article for further details.
Material research is the more important of the two research types. Material research increases a blueprint's material efficiency(ME), reducing the amount of waste when you manufacture from that blueprint. By default, the waste factor on a blueprint with ME 0 is 10%, meaning that the item costs 10% more of all materials to manufacture than its theoretical cost. The formula for waste is waste = 10%/(ME+1) for positive ME, whereas each point of negative ME adds 10% more waste. Fractional waste is rounded up.
Time efficiency research increases the production efficiency (PE) of the blueprint, which reduces the amount of time needed to produce an item from the blueprint. While time efficiency is generally considered the less important of the research types, and can safely be ignored by people who only manufacture occasionally, anybody who wishes to do large amounts of manufacturing should not neglect it.
Research can be done at many NPC stations, or through the Mobile Laboratory and Advanced Mobile Laboratory POS structures. NPC factories generally have long queues for ME research, often as much as several weeks in popular high-sec systems, whereas PE research generally has no queues. As with manufacturing, there are cash costs for use of research slots at a NPC station. A Mobile Laboratory can do material research on three BPOs and time research on a further three at once, while an Advanced Mobile Laboratory can only do ME research on two at once and cannot do PE research at all.
A blueprint original (BPO) may be copied to create a Blueprint copy (BPC), in similar fashion to research. Copies may be used as limited-use blueprints with which to manufacture, or they may be used in invention. Many players create BPCs and sell them on contract to earn isk. BPCs are exact copies of the BPO they are created from, except that they can no longer be researched, and they can only be used a limited number of times, as indicated by their number of runs. The maximum number of runs for a BPC is indicated by the production limit of the corresponding BPO.
- Science reduces the time it takes to make blueprint copies.
- Research reduces the time required to research Time Efficiency.
- Metallurgy reduces the time required to research Material Efficiency.
- Laboratory Operation and Advanced Laboratory Operation allow you to conduct research jobs. (You must have Laboratory Operation Level I or higher to start any research jobs at all.)
- Scientific Networking allows you to start research jobs at a distance.