For years, we've been designing complicated sorting systems utilizing Redstone and Hoppers to "sort" items. In the mining world, these systems are considered as classifiers.
A classifier would cost a total of 5 Iron ingot, 1 Chest, and 1 Redstone Torch. Placement and such would still be the same as hoppers, with the5 spaces (just like the Hoppers being ONLY what drops through. i.e. If I want a single Classififer to sort out only one item, I only put one item in there. the other 4 spaces are BLANK. IF for some reason I want two or 3 items to be sorted, then second and third items are put in.
As for outside look, Hopper with a redstone "dot" like the Observer has would be good enough. Also, you could output a redstone circuit to "count" or add additional "enchantments" to the line.
In the Java edition(PC), you could even add a checkbox to output the "non Classified" items. stay on top, or straight down
Also, this would allow you to filanny SORT those unstackable items such as all Armor and weapons. With 5 slots, someone could sort all Wood weapons into Smelter, gold and Iron into the top of the smelter, and the higher level gear into chests. Actually have a "War Room" that automatically fills itself up as things are thrown in.
Support. The current system requires a) advanced redstone knowledge (for example, I'd consider myself a decent redstoner, but I have trouble making sorting systems that detect ONE specific item, let alone sort out chests of stuff) and stacks of the item in particular. Be prepared for my 2 cents:
First off, it should be called a "sorter" or something along that line, as per the above post.
It should move all items that stack with (or if unstackable, have the same item IDs) one item placed in a special slot into the container below, and all others to the side; it will otherwise function like a hopper. It should look like a hopper with a grey outlet to the side and a red one to the bottom.
Love this idea but at the same time I can see the red stone community be divided as Ik that lot of people actually enjoy making these huge sorting systems but I really like your idea of simplifying it into an actual block
I'm not firmly attached to the Name of the item... Classifier vs. Sorter is perfectly ok, But reason I consider it a "Classifier" is because in the IRL Mining industry a system like this is used to Classify either rock types or sizes.
no, because the entire system is the sorter. The object in question wouldn't be sorting stuff, it would be filtering stuff, and thus classifying it. So classifier works much better as a name.
I completely agree this is needed. Right now, to kind-of accomplish this, we have to hand create filters, doing stuff with hoppers that they weren't actually designed to do. Which leads to the system breaking frequently. I can think of other uses for this as well beyond a sorting machine for storage.
Well, "classifier" sounds like it just labels things. If I classified a rock, I gave it a class it belongs too. But, a "sorter" sounds like it actually sorts through items and moves them into different areas. If I sort a bunch of rocks, they're probably sorted out by their label.
This doesn't matter much, but the name "sorter" seems a lot more self explanatory, as are all of the names of redstone components.