Design Process

A project log for The Santanator

A festive Santa pin commemorating the nascent AI apocalypse!

stephSteph 12/04/2023 at 02:190 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.