Magical 3d printers

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Posted by: stak
Posted on: 2022-03-17 11:15:54

Imagine a 3D printer that sucked out carbon dioxide from the air, extracted the carbon atoms, and generated graphene/nanotubes in your desired configuration. Presumably with sufficient energy and some sort of catalyst this should be possible. This would be amazing! Not only does it create products with the properties of graphene (amazing strength, etc.), it fights climate change while doing so! And it's a 3D printer that doesn't require you to procure physical "raw materials" since it would suck it from the air.

A 100g print would require 100g of carbon, or ~367g of CO2. At the current atmospheric CO2 levels of ~420ppm, that requires around 873kg of air, or ~713 cubic meters of air. Assuming a 2.5m ceiling height, that's about the amount of air in a ~285 square metre house (~3068 square feet). That's a pretty big house, but a not-unreasonable order of magnitude. Hook up some giant fans and you're all set!

One day we'll probably discover that trees do exactly this.

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