When 7-year-old Sophie wrote to us earlier this week asking for a dragon, what else could we do but use our high-tech facilities to 3D print one?

Earlier this week we posted about a letter we received from Sophie, a 7-year-old girl. All she wanted was a dragon.


Sophie’s very polite letter.

“Our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire breathing variety. And for this Australia, we are sorry,” we replied.

Sophie’s letter, and our response, made an unexpected splash across the globe. It was featured on TIME, Huffington Post, The IndependentYahoo, Breakfast TV, the list goes on. 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. The dreams of one little girl went viral.

We couldn’t sit here and do nothing. After all, we promised Sophie we would look into it.

So this morning at 9:32 a.m. (AEDT), a dragon was born.


Toothless, born today, is a blue female dragon. Species: Seadragonus giganticus maximus

Toothless, 3D printed out of titanium, came into the world at Lab 22, our additive manufacturing facility in Melbourne. The scientists there have printed some extraordinary things in the past—huge anatomically correct insects, biomedical implants and aerospace parts. So they thought a dragon was achievable.

“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, our Additive Manufacturing Operations Manager. “Titanium is super strong and lightweight, so Toothless will be a very capable flyer.”

Toothless is currently en route from Lab 22 in Melbourne to Sophie’s home in Brisbane.

Sophie’s mother Melissah said Sophie was overjoyed with our response and has been telling everyone dragon breath can be a new fuel. “All her friends are now saying they want to be a scientist and Sophie says she now wants to work at CSIRO. She’s saying Australian scientists can do anything,” Melissah told the Canberra Times.

We’d love to have you in our team, Sophie. For now, stay curious.

* * *

UPDATE: Dragon delivery complete.

Sophie and Toothless.

Sophie and Toothless.

Media resources: More images and video: A 3D printed dragon


  1. I truly hope Sophie got a call from Dreamworks too 🙂

    Excellent work CSIRO, keep inspiring the younguns!

  2. Well played, CSIRO. ♥

  3. Very cool! There’s a great 3D (optical illusion) dragon at the Grand Illusions website – I wrote about it here: http://figjamandlimecordial.com/2011/11/26/paper-dragon/

  4. Sooo…. how could a girl go about getting one of these? Because despite being 2 decades miss Sophie’s senior, I must admit I’d rather like a dragon for myself. There’s a real marketing niche here that you should look into.

    1. @Amy: Haha, I want one too.

      1. As a collector of dragons, I have almost 200 dragons made from many different materials: Ceramic, Glass, Resin, Wood, Pewter, Stone, Steel, and even Coal to name a few. However nothing in titanium…. Yet…

        1. Do you have a picture?!

      2. me too please … just love the colour, my favourite and one of my most favourite metals!

    2. @Amy, my sentiments exactly!

      1. Sorry guys, Sophie’s dragon was a limited edition!

  5. You guys are totally awesome 🙂

    I do hope Sophie stays curious. Curiosity and that desire to learn and understand is the foundation of science. Unfortunately we tend to school that out of our kids!

    1. That last sentence there… I’m glad I saw that here. It’s something I think people don’t talk about enough. If students were directed toward projects of their own, which they develop using their own research and passions, I think people would be a lot more successful than the current system of stressing people out with test and assignments for a conformed set of information.

      This is the opinion of one such student though, but I definitely believe what I say to be true.

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