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Materials Jobs
  1. Architecture
  2. Carpentry

Generates 40, 20, or 0 power, depending on wind level

This article is about an older version of DF.
For a basic overview of how the different machine parts work and work together, see machinery.
Windmill animation.gif

A windmill is a machine component that provides power via wind on the surface of a fortress map. In order for the windmill to generate power, its center tile must have the "outside" attribute. The power produced by each windmill can be 40, 20, or (rarely) 0, depending on on how much wind there is on your map*. Wind is fixed and does not vary on any embark map, not with the seasons, nor by changing location nor elevation. If a windmill built on solid ground does not generate any power, then you simply don't have enough wind on your map and will never be able to use windmills.

(* The amount of wind is largely based on the latitude at which your fortress is located on the world map. See Wind.)

Designate a windmill with the bMm keys. Constructing a windmill requires the architect labor, and then carpentry.

The power generated by a windmill is transmitted downward through its center tile, so you must channel out the central tile and build the windmill on top of an existing vertical axle or gear assembly (or the actual machine you wish to power). As the center tile of the windmill has an implied floor, this does not permit passage as long as the windmill stands.

When building a windmill on top of an existing axle or assembly, you might get a "no access" message even if your dwarves can reach the center space of the windmill. You'll need to build a floor so that there's a place to stand adjacent to one of the nine windmill squares (i.e. one space between the standing platform and the windmill axle). Spaces adjacent to the windmill's axle (i.e. within the 3x3 building area) aren't sufficient for construction access.

Due to what is assumed to be a bug, it is sometimes possible for windmills to transmit their power through a solid floor without channeling. They only have this effect if the windmill is built first, and whatever it's powering second; however, this does not always work reliably.

As with other machines, windmills freeze if the floor under them is natural ice.

An old windmill.


Windmills can be synchronized using the method described here.

When collapsing, water wheels do not cause a cave-in and the center tile of the waterwheel causes the tiles below it to be indoors. By building a series of hanging gear assemblies, axles, and waterwheels connected to a single supported gear assembly, you can deconstruct the supported gear assembly to allow all the windmills to start simultaneously.

AltarAnimal trapArmor standBedBoxBucketCabinetCageCoffinDisplay casePedestalRestraintSeatSlabStatueTableWeapon rack

Machine and trap parts
Other buildings

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