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CSIRO makes amends for lack of progress on dragon research by 3D printing one

The CSIRO has complied with the wishes of a seven-year-old girl from Brisbane, Sophie Lester, and created a dragon for her – out of 3D printed titanium.

Responding to a letter from Lester, reported all over the world by news outlets including Time and The Independent, the Commonwealth research organisation created “Toothless” at 9:32 am at its Arcam facility in MelbourneArcam’s machines use an electron beam to melt and fuse powdered metal in a vacuum.

“People contacted us offering to help, financial institutions tweeted their support and DreamWorks Studios phoned (seriously), saying they knew how to train dragons and wanted to speak with Sophie,” said the CSIRO on its news blog.

“The dreams of one little girl went viral.”

Lester’sletter was made public earlier this week, with a tongue-in-cheek apology from CSIRO for never working to create a dragon in its 87-year history.

“Being that electron beams were used to 3D print her, we are certainly glad she didn’t come out breathing them … instead of fire,” said Chad Henry, the operations manager for additive manufacturing at CSIRO, earlier today.

“Titanium is super strong and lightweight, so Toothless will be a very capable flyer.”

According to the organisation’s blog, Toothless is currently on the way from Melbourne to Brisbane to settle at its new home with the Lester family.

CSIRO has created giant bugs and horse orthotics over the last year, but this is its first dragon.


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