Jan 22, 2015 | By Kira

In the sci-fi universe of The Matrix, sentinels are the menacing, autonomous killing machines that roam the ancient sewers and passageways of dead human cities in search of defenseless human beings. Their squid-like tentacles and ability to glide effortlessly through the air, as though they were actually underwater, made for the one of the most memorable fight scenes in the first Matrix movie. Now, it’s possible to 3D print a beautifully realistic, fully articulated model at home thanks to Reg Taylor’s downloadable design.

Before getting started, however, you might want to make sure you’ve got time and patience. The sentinel is assembled out of over 500 3D printed pieces, and took a total of 241 hours in building time to create.

To get started on this project, Reg Taylor, a freelance mechanical engineer currently based in France, watched all three Matrix films three times before deciding on designing a sentinel, as it would be one of the most achievable Matrix objects to replicate in a realistic and detailed way. He began with the tentacles, since they would determine how big the main body would have to be. “For a project of this scale, it is difficult to know how big the finished model will be,” Taylor told 3Ders. Yet after printing all 10 tentacles, he said, “I realized that it would be BIG.”

While the project didn’t require very much design time on his part, it did require a lot of print time. Each of the 10 tentacles requires 30 pieces (15 male and 15 female), meaning 300 pieces total. "For a project of this scale it is difficult to know how big the finished model will be, so I started with the tentacles," said Taylor. He first designed two male and female pieces and adjusted them so that they could clip together with just enough resistance and flexibility to hold a fixed position.

Next came the claws, made from 5 different parts that are reproduced 4 times and scaled to suit the size of the tentacles. Once again, there are 10 claws, so if you’re keeping track of the math, we’re already at nearly 500 pieces. As an added detail, the claws are articulated in three different places, allowing for different poses to be recreated.

Lastly, he designed a back plate to fit the tentacles into, and the main body, which had to be printed as two separate pieces due to the large size. Although he had originally planned on making a display stand, the final model was large and sturdy enough to hold its own weight.

In terms of assembly, most pieces were simply clipped together, aside from the main body, which was super-glued. "Final assembly was quite simple as most parts just clip together, the claw's hinge on printed pins that are a couple of mm too long so once assembled I just melted the ends with a soldering iron a bit like a rivet." Tylor told us. The design files and build book are available on My Mini Factory, the online library of 3D printable objects.

Originally from the UK, Taylor now lives in France with his wife and daughter. He purchased his first 3D printer a mere 18 months ago yet already has 32 objects available on his MMF profile, ranging from fashionable bracelets to steampunk grenades to functional GoPro camera accessories. To date though, his fully articulated sentinel model is the only object in the entire MMF library with the Matrix tag, meaning that there could be a very interesting niche to fill if Matrix fans are willing to get creative with their 3D printers. We’d love to see what they come up with.

Additional Details:


  • Total: 300 pieces
  • MA006 – 150 pieces printed at 0.25mm no support
    Build time 26 min each with 516mm of filament
  • MA007 – 150 pieces printed at 0.25mm no support
    Build time 31 min each with 665mm of filament


  • Total: 169 pieces
  • MA001 – 9 pieces printed at 0.25mm no support
    Build time 40 min each with 1810mm of filament
  • MA002 to MA005 – 40 pieces each printed at 0,25mm no support
    Build time varies from 15-18 min each

Main Body

  • Total: 16 pieces
  • MA012 – 1 piece printed at 0,25mm with 10% support
    Build time 11 hours with 74216mm of filament
  • MA011 – 1 piece printed at 0,25mm with no support
    Build time 15 hours with 129584mm of filament



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Captain Mifune wrote at 5/5/2016 1:14:47 PM:

Good try, but it's not accurate at all.

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