How creative should the DM let an artificer be in terms of what they can build?

Just how creative should the DM let the Artificer be? One of my players is a guy who thinks way too hard on how to solve problems he’s not meant to ‘Solve’ as a player.

For example, I have a little set-piece in place for my campaign setting where there are roaming clouds of illusion magic that will appear at random times around the region. These clouds effectively have the magical power of 9th-level illusion magic violently swirling within them, causing all kinds of chaos when they appear.

They are meant to be a hazard that the players are meant to avoid, but my Artificer player thinks differently. He surmises that with all his tool proficiencies like Smith’s tools, Tinker’s tools, Alchemy supplies, etc., that he should be able to build any kind of contraption he wants given time. I tried to explain that doing so would grind the game to a halt, as he would need to study for years in game time to come close to building the ‘giant magical vacuum’ that can suck up the illusion storms, and he wouldn’t even be able to determine whether it would work or not.

This is only one of many hypothetical arguements we’ve had in the past, and I would just like a reference to point to in the future if he ever picks to play Artificer again:

Exactly how much of the hypothetical creativity should be allowed to actually happen when a player uses meta knowledge to build machines in a D&D setting? What power do artisan’s tools actually have in the hands of an Artificer?