So we’ve seen how 3D printers can print all sorts of things, ranging from medical, to even musical, but what about mythical? Can 3D printers actually print dragons? Well maybe not a real dragon, but how about a tiny sculpted model instead? That’s what the scientists at CSIRO did when a seven-year old girl by the name of Sophie Lester wrote a letter to them asking them if it was possible that they could create a dragon for her. Apparently her dad had been raving to little Sophie about the wondrous things that the scientists get up to in their labs at CSIRO, and she thought given their smarts, a dragon would not be completely out of the question.
CSIRO initially responded with an apology on their blog, saying, “We have sighted an eastern bearded dragon at one of our telescopes, observed dragonflies, and even measured body temperatures of the mallee dragon. But our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire-breathing variety. And for this Australia, we are sorry.” However given the viral nature of their apology and Sophie’s letter, they decided to do the next best thing which was to 3D print a tiny dragon for the little girl.
The dragon, named Toothless as per Sophie’s request, was made from a 3D printer using titanium at CSIRO’s lab in Melbourne, Australia. According to to Chad Henry, an additive manufacturing operations manager at CSIRO, “Being that electron beams were used to 3D-print her, we are certainly glad she didn’t come out breathing them… instead of fire […] Titanium is super strong and lightweight, so Toothless will be a very capable flyer.” Good on CSIRO for making a little girl’s dream come true (sort of). If you’d like to check out the creation of the dragon, you can view its progress in the video above.