Unless you’re jonesing for your Christmas tree to make the cover of Country Living magazine, you’ve probably decked the halls with a hodge-podge of ornaments collected over the years, and what better way to commemorate back-to-back years stuck at home during the holidays than with a tiny Nintendo Switch ornament.
YouTube’s ‘scottbez1' shared how they created this wonderful custom creation in a six-minute video but with less than five days until December 25 rolls around, don’t count on being able to build one of these for your own tree in time for 2021. The tiny Switch’s plastic shell was designed in 3D using Fusion 360 at 1:5 the scale of the real thing in order to accommodate a 1.14-inch LCD display (with a whopping 240x135 pixel resolution) that would serve as the mini Switch’s display, and then sent off to be 3D-printed.
An ESP32 was used as the ornament’s brain, but since there are no stock PCB boards designed to recreate popular consoles in miniature, a custom PCB had to be created and also sent away for manufacturing. Due to the size of the build, most of the electronic components were just too tiny to solder into place by hand, so an alternate process was used where solder paste is applied using an intricate stencil and the board is heated to 220 degrees celsius and the solder melts to secure all the components in place.
The Switch ornament isn’t playable, but it does play GIF clips of various Switch games which are stored on a microSD card, and the left thumbstick is a clickable button that can be pressed to load the next GIF. Thanks to the ESP32 the ornament is even wifi-connected, which it uses to check the date so that on December 25 more festive GIFs are played instead. If you’re tempted to build your own, ‘scottbez1' has shared some of their custom code on GitHub but hasn’t yet shared any of the 3D plans for the plastic housing or PCB board. If designing those on your own isn’t something you know how to do, you’ve got an entire year until the 2022 holidays roll around to learn and master those skills.