PCB Pin Badges – Skeletor

In previous posts I’ve talked about some of the difficulties I’ve had converting vector drawings to PCB layouts in Eagle. After discovering a video by Twinkle Twinkie where he shows off his workflow I thought I’d follow along and see what came out. The result is the Skeletor “Myah!” badge.

I’d been looking to put together a design that took full advantage of the OSHPark palette and Skeletor seemed to be a perfect fit. I won’t repeat all the steps of the video, but this process makes use of a plugin for Inkscape called svg2shenzhen. Essentially you can design all your layers in Inkscape and export them as a KiCAD component. Then all you need is to drop your components in.

As a testament to how simple this process is, I managed to put a quick and dirty badge together in about two hours! I spent a little more time tidying up the Inkscape file to get it just right, but I’m really pleased with how painless the process is compared to the Eagle equivalent, which normally requires manipulating the SVG file until one of a myriad of plug-ins decides to convert it properly.

Unlike the Clamps badge, there are no LEDs on the front. This design makes use of red 1206 SMD LEDs mounted upside down on the rear of the board, but the remaining components should look familiar.

I was keen to be able to take this with me to Electromagnetic Field at the end of August, and almost left it too late to order from OSHPark. Fortunately they managed to turn it around in time.

Order submittedAugust 9th
Added to panel and sent to fab houseAugust 11th
Received from fab house and dispatched to meAugust 20th
Received by meAugust 29th

As usual they did a great job, the exposed FR4 came out really well and the contrasting purples look fantastic!

Soldering the LEDs on upside down wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I paired them with 300 ohm resistors so they didn’t shine too brightly. The effect looks great with the bright spots in the centre of the eyes and the bleed-through around the edge.

I had two spare PCBs which sold out as soon as they were listed on Tindie! I did consider a medium run with OSHPark but even with a kindly offered discount, the cost was a little too high. Having seen Twinkle Twinkie’s Mad Cat I’ve decided give PCBWay a go, their purple solder mask looks perfect for a slightly more cartoon accurate Skeletor.

I’ll post an update when they arrive.