Are you a fan of How to Train Your Dragon? I most definitely am! But probably not as big a fan as Australian girl Sophie, who loved the How to Train Your Dragon books and movies so much she wrote a letter to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (also known as CSIRO), asking them to make her a real-life dragon.
“Hello Lovely Scientist,” she wrote. “My name is Sophie and I am 7 years old. My dad told me about the scientists at the CSIRO. Would it be possible if you can make a dragon for me? . . . I would keep it in my special green grass area where there is lots of space. I would feed it raw fish and I would put a collar on it. If it got hurt I would bandage it if it hurt himself. I would play with it every weekend when there is no school.”
CSIRO wrote her back, saying:
“Over the past 87 years we have not been able to create a dragon or dragon eggs. 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 we are sorry.”
So CISRO spent two days in their super-high tech labs trying to find a way to make a dragon. On January 10th, they made an announcement: “We couldn’t sit here and do nothing. This morning at 9:32 A.M. a dragon was born.”
The dragon, named Toothless, was made out of titanium (a super strong and lightweight metal) and was created using what is possibly the coolest technology out there: a 3D printer!
Have you heard of 3D printing before? It’s sort of like regular 2D printing, but more awesome because it prints things in . . . 3D! Instead of printing layers of ink onto paper, it prints layers of other materials, like plastic, metal, even food into the shapes you program on your computer. 3D printing is pretty new, but already there are tons of cool things people have made using the technology.
Sophie would probably build more dragons, but what would YOU make using a 3D printer? What do you think we’ll be able to print in the future? A hamburger? Cars? Real dragons? Share your thoughts and ideas in the Comments section below!
P.S. Don’t forget to check out our interview with a dragon trainer!