Fans can blow into any direction that they can point at - directly upwards, downwards or sideways. Place the Fan, then turn it by rotating (hold down "r" as the default key while pressing the left mouse button and moving the mouse).
You can also "lock" the rotation by simply typing "f" while pointing at a rotated block or item so that the whole selected stack of (Industrial) Fans in your quickbar will be placed looking into the same direction.
The Industrial Fan is part of the Industrial Super Bundle that was launched during update R44 in June 2017, and can only be crafted (default crafting key is q) after buying the Super Bundle in the Store.
Industrial Fans as crafted items are also included in the Industrial Pack and in block/item kits that correspond with Industrial Blueprints, but none of those will include the according crafting recipe.
To craft 2 Industrial Fans, you will need (as of June 2017)
- 1 block of Magnetite
Fans can be used as elevators (ca. 5 blocks high or up to ca. 16 blocks with low gravity) or for safe landings when dropping/falling from great heights. However, the player character will be vaulted into the air again after landing on a Fan.
If a player-character jumps into a Fan that is blowing upwards, the jumping height and/or distance will be much higher/farther than normally (beware of falling damage though when landing).
If turned sideways, (Industrial) Fans can give player-characters a good push so they can slide across any kind of block. It is advisable to use blocks of Ice because they are sleek and will allow to slide farther than other blocks.
Using rotated Ice Slopes (made from blocks of Ice in a Processor) as a slide is even better, because these slanted blocks will not melt (currently, as of R33 in August 2016), not even on the Lava layer.
For faster sliding, simply place two or more (Industrial) Fans relatively close to each other - however leave at least one block between the Fans that you place, because this will provide for a higher acceleration than placing them directly adjacently.
Attention: when sliding too fast over a long reach, the game might not be able to load chunks equally fast, resulting in perceiving missing block textures and the slide being stopped; or even a sudden drop of the player character into underground layers in the worst case. Even though changing the performance settings (in the game options) might help, it is strongly recommended to rather make do with sliding at a slower speed.
Fans can be switched on or off by activating or deactivating them (right mouse button or f as the default key while looking at them).
Industrial Fans can also be wired up with activation devices like Switches, Number Pads, Sensors or Pressure Plates. They will then serve as receivers and can either be switched on or off. Their interactivity can be toggled and defined with permission settings.
Fans are receivers and cannot serve as activation devices.