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Captain_JEK avatar Captain_JEK
Level 84 : Elite Hero

this is a spice harvester from the Dune (2021) movie.
It is used by House Atreides to collect spice on Arrakis after they were given control of the planet.

Spice harvesters are crawling factories that separate spice from sand and collect the spice so it can be refined later.
Due to the process of how spice is separated from sand (read more about it further down) the harvesters create a lot of vibration which attracts sandworms. Sometimes they get eaten by such a worm if there is no Carryall to pick them up in time.

Inside the harvester there is a workshop containing a milling machine, a lathe, a saw, a surface grinding machine, a cylindrical grinding machine and a workbench with a vice so the crew can repair things onboard, a dining room with a kitchen, an infirmary in case someone is hurt, a rest room, the driver’s cabin, an engine room, a fuel tank, a spice tank, a water tank and rooms for the machinery used to extract spice.

You can enter the harvester through a redstone door on either side near the back of the crawler.

In the last two renders I stripped the harvester of its hull and everything that is not immediately necessary for the sand/spice separation to work (like the workshop or the kitchen room).

In Herbert’s book it only is stated that the spice is „centrifugally removed“ from the sand but he doesn’t elaborate any further. So, I came up with a system which I explain further down.

The harvester is 73 blocks wide at the front where its hull is the widest and 106.3125 blocks long.
I built it in 1:1 scale.

How the harvester works

Spice Sand Separation
Sand and spice is sucked through suction booms into the crawler. The suction booms can be raised and lowered hydraulically. Cyclonic separators remove sand and spice from the airstream. The sand and spice mixture then runs through vibrating sieves to sift out most of the sand.
The implementation of this process is based on the assumption that spice is a very fine powder while sand grains are just small rocks that still are bigger in diameter than the spice powder grains.
Sifted out sand gets transported directly to the back of the crawler where it is ejected.

Spice powder and sand as fine as spice powder also are transported to the rear where they are put into centrifuges. The centrifuges spin rapidly and separate sand from spice by their different densities. I assumed spice to be less dense than sand because in the movie it is said that when the sun is low you can see spice in the air (but sand mostly stays on the ground).

For the centrifugal separation to work it is necessary that sand and spice behave like fluids. This can be achieved in two ways and I incorporated both into the harvester.
The first is to shake the sand. This also most likely is how sandworms travel through sand. Sand fluidized by vibration can be seen in the movie when Paul and Gurney sink into the sand while a worm is near. So, I put the centrifuges on a vibrating frame.
The second way is to blow air through the sand. This reduces friction between the individual sand grains and is used in many industrial applications here on Earth as well.

In a centrifuge, denser material is pushed outwards while lesser dense material gets pushed inwards by the denser material moving outwards. Since I assumed sand to be denser than spice, I built the centrifuges so that sand is ejected at the circumference of the centrifuge. Spice leaves the centrifuge through the center at the bottom. The spice gets sucked through a pipe and dumped into a large tank that can be emptied from underneath the crawler.

Auxiliary Machinery
Okay, but how do you get the vacuum necessary to suck in sand and spice or the compressed air for creating a fluidized bed inside the centrifuges?

The vacuum is created by two axial compressors feeding a centrifugal compressor on each side.
I chose this setup because axial compressors have a high mass flow rate (they pump a lot of air) but can’t create very high pressure differences while centrifugal compressors have a lower mass flow rate than axial compressors but can create higher pressure differences (a greater vacuum).
The air that gets sucked in by the axial and centrifugal compressors needs to go somewhere. Since compressed air is needed for the fluidizing of sand anyway, compressing it further would make a lot of sense.
So, after leaving the centrifugal compressor some of the air goes into a helical screw compressor that can create much higher pressure differences than the centrifugal compressor. The compressed air is stored in an air reservoir before being forwarded to the centrifuges to fluidize the sand and spice.
The rest of the air leaving the centrifugal compressors is used to eject the sand at the back of the crawler.

The energy for all these machines and the rest of the crawler is generated by a turbocharged two-stroke low-speed piston engine with 32 cylinders in the front that is coupled with an electric generator. Electric energy is stored in two batteries, one next to the engine and one in the middle of the crawler in between the two rows of sieves.

Reference Images (Spoilers)
Spice Harvester Minecraft MapSpice Harvester Minecraft Map
Spice Harvester Minecraft Map

The spice must flow.

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01/07/2023 8:52 am
Level 17 : Journeyman Nerd
Square Pirate
Square Pirate avatar
And you're telling me it's only to harvest spices?
More like a war machine!
01/08/2023 12:58 am
Level 84 : Elite Hero
Captain_JEK avatar
Yeah xD
It would make an excellent weapons platform though, that's for sure :P
09/03/2022 7:03 pm
Level 7 : Apprentice Architect
ShrimpPig avatar
hmmm crab indeed
09/05/2022 11:51 pm
Level 84 : Elite Hero
Captain_JEK avatar
xD crab
12/23/2021 4:30 pmhistory
Level 1 : New Miner
User3957670G avatar
Ok i looked at the whole interior and I have to say that I am beyond impressed. I have a couple of problems though

1. Bathrooms: Remember, all waste goes through their stillsuits (including feces) as water is paramount and it gets filtered. toilets and SINKS make absolutely no sense as they negligently waste water. I suggest making it a sleeping quarters as the crew practically need to spend nights in the harvesters so they are ready in the shortest amount of time possible to harvest spice again.

2. The Kitchen and the Captain's quarters connected to it: Two reasons: 1, the spice harvester is a specific go in get out job, so the bed connected in the kitchen makes no sense (UNLESS you can justify that perhaps the captain spends the nights in the spice harvester so he is already in the harvester once they move out again, saving time). 2, The potted plant and the kitchen sink makes no sense, as well as the stove and the refrigerator, as all either negligently waste water (kitchen sink, potted plant and refrigerator) or require negligently wasting water to be purposeful (the stove). I suggest making it either a planning room or administrative room, or another sleeping quarters (there were 21 people on the crawler, and i don't think renovating the bathroom into a sleeping quarters is enough to fulfill that quota

3. Spice around the crawler, dust cloud coming from back of the crawler, the tiny spotter aircraft, and perhaps something more than a flat landscape, like dunes. I think it would be just be cool to have these things and would definitely elevate it. And if you are feeling particularly courageous you could make wormsign.

Seriously, incredible job man. I couldn't even dream of having the patience to do this.
12/23/2021 6:16 pmhistory
Level 84 : Elite Hero
Captain_JEK avatar
Thank you very much :D
I'm gonna explain to you why I did what I did:

1. The toilets function similarly to toilets on space stations without the difficulty of zero gravity. There is a filtration system that reclaims the water. Also, I wasn't really sure if the dunemen working on the crawler wear stillsuits all the time since the crawler basically is a moving building and you can get back any water from the ventilation system. Astronauts don't wear space suits inside the space station either after all.

I didn't build any sleeping quarters because I guess the workers work in shifts and the harvesters need to be taken back to the refinery to get emptied anyway. That's when they change shifts and the tired workers go home and sleep.
But I was sure they need a break room with the opportunity to store and make some food.

2. There are no captain's quarters. The small room connected to the kitchen is an infirmary in case a worker gets injured.
The sink is connected to the same filtration system the toilets are connected to. The water evaporated from the stove can be regained from the ventilation system. The plant is a sign of strength of the House Atreides as well as to lift the workers' spirits, so they know they will never be let down.

Why would you suggest to me making the kitchen sleeping quarters after you said the bed in the supposed captain quarters makes no sense?

3. I tried partially replacing the sand with birch planks and other blocks slightly darker than sand but I liked it better with just sand.
I tried to build a dust cloud with sandstone and brown stained glass but it looked horrible both ways xD
I really tried to make dunes with World Painter because I thought about making this an entry for the Nvidia RTX contest. But since I pretty much never build terrain I always was unsatisfied with the terrain I made xD
Eventually, I decided to put the crawler into a flat world like all my other vehicles.
But, if you want you can download the world and try building all of the above yourself :P

I usually upload a single vehicle per submission. The spotter aircraft would be its own submission.

Thanks again! ^^
12/23/2021 7:02 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
User3957670G avatar
I understand this all. Great work man
12/15/2021 4:46 pm
Level 72 : Legendary Architect
Kaizen87 avatar
Hi! I have an idea what about building a van for Steven Universes dad. From the cult cartoon "Steven Universe"
12/15/2021 10:58 pm
Level 84 : Elite Hero
Captain_JEK avatar
Nah, it would be the same as the Ice Cream Truck or the Mystery Machine just repainted.
12/11/2021 7:25 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
Theticfish51 avatar
ok, now i have motivation to learn worldedit and a command block to george jetson's briefcase this as a portable base for explorers in my custom map
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