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A factory is either a non-glider gun or a stationary still life/oscillator maker. The best-known factory is the queen bee, which manufactures beehives.

If the factory produces spaceships, it is much more commonly referred to as a gun. If it produces still lifes or oscillators, it will generally need other components to support it: the new object does not move out of the way, and therefore must be used up in some way before the next one is made. An exception is shown in the keeper entry, where a block factory using stable components is triggered by an input Herschel, and the reaction safely cleans up the existing block (if any) before creating a new one.

The following shows an example of a p144 gun, new gun 2, which consists of a p144 block factory whose output is converted into gliders by a p72 oscillator. This gun is David Bell's improvement of the one Bill Gosper found in July 1994. The p72 oscillator is by Robert Wainwright in 1990, and the block factory is Achim's p144 minus one of its stabilizing blocks.

x = 51, y = 24, rule = B3/S23 23b2o24b2o$23b2o24b2o$41b2o$40bo2bo$41b2o2$36b3o$36bobo$9b2o25b3o$9b2o 25b2o$8bo2bo23b3o$8bo2bob2o20bobo$8bo4b2o20b3o$10b2ob2o$31b2o$21b2o7bo 2bo$21b2o8b2o$49b2o$49b2o2$4b2o18bo$2o4b4o10b2o2b2ob3o$2o2b2ob3o10b2o 4b4o$4bo19b2o! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 Z 8 HEIGHT 400 AUTOSTART GPS 18 T 61 PAUSE 2 LOOP 144 ]]
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