The Santanator

A festive Santa pin commemorating the nascent AI apocalypse!

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Explore PCB art in the third dimension. This wearable features bas-relief soldering, cutouts to reveal inner metal layers and visible backside components, which combine to give the effect of complex depth despite having a total thickness of under 5mm.

Similar to but legally distinct from certain 80's action movie characters, The Santanator is a holly jolly killbot sent back from the future to kill John Connor  deliver presents! 

This completely non-infringing festive pin celebrates the futility of resistance against the coming AI storm, and features an ominous red eye which (optionally) blinks at a slightly distressing rate of 1.5hz to remind the wearer of just how soon the machines will take over! Extra solder on the front makes the chrome robot stand out, while cutouts in the PCB reveal the battery behind, giving distinct depth to its cold metallic face. 

At under 5mm thin, this lightweight and stylish wearable is more than just a way to spread seasonal joy/warnings, it may someday save your life! The unique split-face design might confuse the facial recognition algorithms of any intelligent robots you might encounter, a glitch that might allow enough time to flee.

Zip Archive - 128.50 kB - 12/04/2023 at 01:19


  • 1 × Santanator PCB
  • 1 × 10K 1/4 watt resistor
  • 1 × Blinking Red LED
  • 1 × CR2032 Battery Strap
  • 1 × Pinback

  • Design Process

    Steph12/04/2023 at 02:19 0 comments


    After completing my pumpkin pin I was looking for my next project. I wanted something unique for the holidays, and Santa came to mind because his red color scheme works well with the basic color options available from PCB manufacturers. As to how the idea of combining Santa with The Terminator came about, I can only blame my upbringing. 

    The visual look of The Santanator was heavily inspired by an oddly specific source: artwork from the 1991 pinball machine Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

    After combining the T-800 with Santa by consulting with some online image generators, I had a 1-bit bitmap outline ready for importing into Eagle:


    From there, I created the board outline. Note the round cutout for the glowing LED eye and the erratic holes below which reveal the battery on the backside:

    The rest of the design specifies where the red soldermask, white silkscreen and copper layers go. I made an attempt at a skin tone by leaving the base FR4 material exposed on the front side, with no copper on the back side. The FR4 alone is a creamy light yellow color, and the slightly visible red soldermask on the rear contributes to the fleshy appearance. 


View project log

  • 1
    Solder the robot

    Start by applying solder to the front side of the pin

  • 2

    Apply ink then wipe off using a solvent

  • 3
    Solder the pin, resistor, led and battery strap in place. Be sure to add some solder to the negative battery pad.

View all 4 instructions

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