Gem-gum suit

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This article defines a novel term (that is hopefully sensibly chosen). The term is introduced to make a concept more concrete and understand its interrelationship with other topics related to atomically precise manufacturing. For details go to the page: Neologism.

Nanofactories will allow us to make very cheap clothing anytime anywhere. Even just from air-molecules and sunlight. This type of clothing (suit) made from diamondoid (gem) metamaterials (gum) will be able to give us more comfort at any place on earth than an entire house can give us today (2014..2015..2017). Death from freezing will largely be a thing of the past.

Comfortable everyday tracksuits

With advanced atomically precise technology clothing can become much more comfortable. First and foremost thermal regulation becomes a thing one just don't have to care about anymore. One can keep the same clothes independent of the whether. This can be archived through advanced thermal regulation as described further below.

With more advanced metamaterials which can emulate elasticity and actively change surface area clothing can be made sloppy or skin tight or both on different body parts.

A simple lightweight hood with transparent visor that behaves like textile when unused and self stiffens to a helmet like state when employed can be used to protect the face from weather and act like a bicycle / motorcycle helmet.

An inflatable mattress for comfortably cushioning sitting or lying that is very tiny in its folded up state can be included. You only need to take care about food for the most extreme trips through the land. Water can easily be fully recycled from sweat and urine. It will be clean down to the last molecule. Ultra-compact fast artificial direct excrement to food conversion is a very hard technical problem with advanced APM (See: Synthesis of food, Atomically precise disassembly, Tapping of biomass, Recycling). And obviously its also a psychological problem. If implemented the lost material needs to be refilled. This is mainly carbon that was burned and exhaled by the body.

Means for washing ones body could be integrated into the suit too. This would especially make sense in life supporting protection suits for dangerous or even deadly environments.

House-less people wont be homeless

An advanced 0$ open source suit should be able to provide at least the comfort of a entire house of todays (2016) standards. Being house-less will not mean major discomfort anymore it fully decouples from being homeless.

This means people may no longer be tied to a physical home. This could lead to completely new forms of living where people are willingly wandering around freely with only their suit as cover at night (assuming there is no war).

Even if you're floating alone in a remote part of the pacific ocean with omnipresent wireless connectivity and rich virtual communication spaces solitude will be a luxury not a problem. Assuming you're not in deep space where communication will remain being hard.

Temperature regulation

A skin covering material that is normally thin with thermal conductivity near the one of diamond can blow up a tiny bit in volume and rise it's thermal isolation to levels that suffice for every possible climate one can encounter on earth including -90°C and extreme winds on the polar caps. Its basically a metamaterial that combines the thermal isolation of aerogels (wikipedia) with springiness that prevents it from being crushed permanently and some actuating microcomponents for adjustment.

Additionally one can use a heat harvesting trick similar to the one penguins use. Turning the sun facing area black (in the visible spectrum that lies way above thermal equilibrium) and the area in the shadow white this maximizes optical absorption while minimizing thermal emission. (See: Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation, Stefan–Boltzmann law, emissivity and absorptivity )

In hot climate the solar energy can directly be used for cooling with e.g. diamondoid solar cells and diamondoid heat pump systems. Physical movement can be tapped as a power source too but depending on the ambient temperature it might heat you up more than it cools you down.

There are limits for temperature regulation. In rather unnatural very hot and dark situations like in a deep mine life supporting protection suits that use energy from storage cells to actively cool the body become necessary. Such storage cells can run out "pretty quickly" energy without resupply.

A thin second skin

Proposed in Josh Halls Book Nanofuture. If thermal isolation is not too much of an issue suits can be made extremely thin without risk of rupture and thus maybe barely noticeable. This would protect well against mosquitoes, cuts with kitchen knives and aggressive chemicals like acids. This works because diamondoid metamaterials can have very high tensile strengths and many gemstones like diamond and quartz are resilient against most aggressive chemicals.

Life supporting protection suits

Suits for extreme environments like space and deep-sea where no or too little oxygen is present need life support systems which add significant volume and mass. This won't make them exorbitant more expensive than simple AP tracksuits. Only patents and proprietary secrecy may do so when those suits first emerge.

Space suits

Space suits can use the same fabric as advanced basic atomically precise manufactured tracksuits just fortified to counter (one full nice atmosphere of) internal air pressure and external bombardment with micrometeorites. Perfect shielding against radiation is and will always be physically impossible with a moderately thick suit made from light elements.
(TODO: Check how effective would be the massive inclusion use of lead atoms in a space radiation environment. Read that thin layers of lead can worsen things instead of helping.)

Related: Spaceflight with gem-gum-tec

Indoor space suits

Cool would be something like a weightless airspace movement gear.

Suppose you are somewhere in outer space in a big sports hall located far away from the walls and not moving relative to them at all. You're helplessly stuck there. Its known that air-swimming doesn't work effectively and sucking air in from the front and blowing it back with your lung probably won't be very effective either. You can change your orientation (the direction in which you look) easily by using the cat body rotation trick but that's about all. If you're spinning you can't get rid of that rotation. Air drag is low.

For mobility in such a situation small (round) air accelerator plates stiffly mounted to key locations of your body (e.g. at the shoulders hips and feet) would probably work well especially to stop spin. They would only pop up when needed. A wrist mounted winch with a gripper that can be shot towards railings would be more effective for movement towards a wall. The winch cable should be a smart material that breaks in a controlled way when side-ward forces are detected. This way horrifying decapitation (or other) accidents can be avoided.

Deep sea suits

With diamond as building material deep sea suits will become less bulky. Maybe each finger can be encapsulated separately. They will still be fairly massive because of the immense pressures. Cable bound telepresence is and will be a good way to work down there.


If the suit is sufficiently equipped with motion sensors all the movements of the wearer can be detected. This allows one to use the suit as input device for the remote control of a humanoid avatar. This avatar can (given sufficient bandwidth) be located on the other side of the planet. Out in space (e.g. earth-moon, interplanetary, asteroid belt, ...) the time lag due to the limited speed of light is prohibitive.

In the other direction the avatar can send back diverse kinds of tactile impressions (like pressure friction temperature and others) back to the wearer via the suite. Additional actors in the suit (normally used for adjusting whether the clothes should behave sloppy or skintight) can apply that pressure to the skin at fast changing rates with high spacial resolution. The suite now essentially became not only a remote controller but an immersive remote reality system. In short this is remote sensing for telepresence. It might be a good idea to physically limit the force that the suite can apply to the wearer instead of limiting it by software to prevent gruesome accidents.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that the humanoid avatar is somewhat similar to the suite. The main difference is that the inside is not occupied by a human but instead is inflated with air or uncrushable aerogel and maybe some additional safe energy storage. Additional weight might be needed. It can be added either by adding some common low density stuff like water or specialized weight delivering microcomponents which carry e.g. some insoluble diamondoid lead mineral.

Note that the "Fabric" only needs to change its area and not its general shape it also doesn't need the capabilities to emulate flow - that would be utility fog which would be more general purpose than needed - see:Self limitation for safety.

Scaling telepresence ...


  • AP clothing e.g. shoes