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Arduino LED cube 8x8x8

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Hey guys in this post I will show you how to make 8x8x8 LED cube using Arduino Nano in very easy way, Lets begin this project with some intro about LED Cube

We always say here that where there is an LED there is joy and it is even more true with this impressive 8x8x8 LED cube made by Saptarshi Sikder

The heart of the system is an Arduino nano that with the help of a few components is capable of displaying some really spectacular animations. 

Of course, you have to have enough patience to solder its 512 LEDs and then the board that controls them, but it is still charming!

Do not miss the video below and the link with the complete tutorial on how to assemble it step by step .

This 8 x 8 x 8  LED cube is probably one of the best Arduino projects. You will learn to control 512 LEDs independently using a simple ATmega32 Chip or an Arduino nano microcontroller.

You will also learn to use multiplexing, a process of individual turning on and off the LEDs so that several of them appear on simultaneously.

This project is successfully completed because of the  support from NextPCB.

Guys if you have a PCB project, please visit their website and get very  exciting discounts and coupons.

Here are mid-summer sales at NextPCB :

1. Up to 30% off for the PCB orders

2. Up to 20% off for the PCBA orders

What is LED Cube?

LED cubes are probably one of the most time consuming projects when it comes to soldering and it also of course involves a great deal of patience. 

This 8x8x8 LED cube is made up of 512 lovingly welded LEDs one by one ..the result is certainly impressive.

LED Cube is similar to normal cube but made from bunch of LEDS, there are various versions of LED Cube

Some of them are 2x2x2, 3x3x3 and these multiples can go lot higher depend on your ability!

Here 512 LED diodes work together to display various texts and numbers that looks like 3D Cube

LED cubes are fine work of electronic art which i will show you how to make in simple steps

With this being said lets gather materials that are necessary/mandatory to build this cube

Take a look at the video below if you still need to convince yourself.

Credit : Saptarshi Sikder

this project seems much more complex than it actually is and you should be able to complete it as long as you have a basic understanding of it and the following ideas:

  • Simple electronics 
  • How to solder
  • How to use a multimeter
  • Programming in C or The Arduino IDE – This is optional as it provides the
  •  complete working code that you only need to upload to your board

Supplies required to make Arduino LED cube 8x8x8

  1. Pack of LED that has 512
  2. Tinned copper wire roll
  3. Arduino nano
  4. 3v Battery to Test LED
  5. 74HC595 IC
  6. IC BASE X8
  7. Transistor BD 241B
  8. 1000 micro farad capacitor
  9. Push button
  10. Prototyping board 
  11. 220 ohm resistor
  12. Wooden board

Firstly start with template to make layers of Cube, this needs to be done with at most care as this will be reference for other phases

I have drawn matrix of 8 by 8 in a sheet of paper this will be template using which all 8 layers will be made

 Drill individual holes of 5mm for all 64 holes

 

Arduino 8x8x8 Led Cube matrix doted (Download )

To begin we are going to cut a board, to be able to position the LEDs correctly and make the bending of the pins, without deforming it, or at least looking like a cube when finished.

LED Preparation

Firstly Make sure to check all LEDS if they are working fine

By default LED will be clear and if we use same to make cube we will end up with less brightness so to eliminate this issue all 512 LED should be rub with Sandpaper

Though this might sound like lengthy task which definitely is! i have found some easy way

Bend all LED

  •  1. Prepare 8 LEDs with cathode legs trimmed to around 10mm.
  •  2. Insert these 8 LEDs to the leftmost column of holes of jig #4 (see photo above for orientation of LED).
  •  3. Populate all other holes of jig #4 with LEDs.
  • 4. Bend the LED cathode legs.

Once we have the finished and dot base, we place the LEDs inside so that the cathodes (shorter pin) are inside the cube.

The cathodes must be inwards since they are the ones that we will connect to form the first “level” of the cube, so we bend and connect the anodes of the LEDs  and proceed to weld them.

  • After the process is finish place LED on the drilled holes
  • Make sure to keep positive terminal on one side and negative terminal or another side
  • I’ll be using tin wire to solder terminal of these LED
  • 18cm pieces are cut and solder to terminals of LED, Repeat the same steps for 8 more Times to get 8 layer
  •  4.9 m was diameter of LED so I will be using drill bit of 5mm, Yours size may vary make sure to check

Steps to build matrix layer


Watch the video below to see how we complete circuit,(CLICK HERE)

The following are the main steps we go through to build the 8×8 LED Matrix layers

  1.  Solder the LED cathode legs.
  2.  Trim the LED cathode legs (keep the cut-off legs for step 1 of assembly part 2).
  3.  Test the LEDs.
  4.  Bend the LED anode legs.
  5.  Solder the LED anode legs.
  6.  Test the LEDs again.
  1. Prepare cathode wires (We use wire wrapping AWG28 wires with grey insulation. See photo above on the length of wires required).
  2. Solder cathode wires.
  3. Secure the cathode wires.
  4. Remove the 8×8 LED Matrix layer from jig #4.
  5. To elevate the eight layer height i will be using tin copper wire which are soldered that act as individual pillars
  6. Make sure to take care of height after each layer is solder, Check if everything is at a distance of 2 centimeter repeat same until finishing 8 layer

Finally cool 8x8x8 LED cube  is Ready now 

Circuit Diagram for Arduino LED cube 8x8x8

circuit diagram for Arduino LED cube 8x8x8

using above circuit diagram start making circuit for this project

I have made use of empty prototyping board to make this circuit

Since i have hands on experience on many such complex projects i made this circuits very easily

Beginners who are desperate to build this project can get readily available PCB which i design for you here

PCB assembly

Signal pins from LED are connected to IC using Ribbon wires each led layer terminal will be connected to individual IC drivers 

As we have 8 layers 8 IC are Embed in Board

As I found because of using too many wires the entire project looks little bit Messy

so I design custom PCB for myself you can find free Garber file in description box here this was from NEXTPCB

Download Code and Circuit ( click here)

Video of Arduino LED cube

To watch working of this Arduino LED cube 8x8x8 check Here

That was all about this cool Arduino LED cube project allow some time to check our other interesting projects Here,

Thanks 🙂

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4 Comments

  1. I was hoping to find the code for the video you made on the 4x4x4 led cube. any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Hello,
    Thanks for a FANTASTIC project and description. I have a question about the hardware/software interconnection. The schematic diagram apparently shows a NANO 3.0, based on the orientation of the processor chip. The schematic shows the RED LED connected to A0, which is physical pin 23, but the software includes the statement #define RED_LED 5. I have similar questions on the D10 and D11 outputs.There seem to be similar “discontinuities” in other pinouts compared to the schematic also. In addition, there are two buttons on the schematic, but unless I missed something, I can only find #define BUTTON_PIN 8 in the code. What is the other button?

    Secondly, does anyone know of a written discussion that will walk me through the code? I am so old, I have only really programmed in machine language and Assembler, with a smattering of exposure to C.

    Thank you! This looks like a GREAT project and I already have the LEDs with the ICs on the way.

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