LEDs are awesome, they are so tiny but bright, colorful but easy to control. Many of us start to know LED since our first lessons of electronics. And my love to LEDs started at the same time. Once I showed a LED demo to my friends at work. A girl said:I love LEDs, I gonna marry to LEDs.(she said that for real :)) I believe many of you share the same love,too.

One LED by itself is cool enough, but by the nature of human kind, we are making LEDs cooler and cooler. LED strips made one spot to a line, Matrix made it a 2D surface, some genius made LED Cubes to light up 3D space(search LED Cube projects on instructable, or check out this video, my favorite. You can even buy a 3 x 3 LED Cube kit in Radioshack for 20 bucks ).

These fancy cubes blew my mind when the first time I saw them. I knew I want to build one instantly. After some online research and messed with radioshack kit for a while. I feel it is not a easy job for me to build a big(at least 6x6x6) single color LED cube, let alone the cool RGB I want. You need pretty good soldering skills to make it work and looks nice. A lot of wiring and complicated coding.

Don't be discouraged by me though, there are good enough tutorials for you to go through. And some practice can make perfection. I just don't have enough time and effort to build this ultimate LED challenge(for me). I just want to build something nice before my girlfriend's birthday(not a whole lot time), as a gift.

Step 1: The Idea

So the goal here for me is, to design something as cool as LED cube, but easier to build, saves time and may be money. I started to do more research about light shows, figured edge lighting is also cool. After some doodling, I got a idea: what if we use a LED matrix and many pieces of clear plastic, to light up a 3D space?

But how could it have the depth of field(the third dimension)? By looking at those edge lighting designs, it seems wherever is cut or sanded will catch the photons. So on the clear parts in each row/column, if they have areas in different height are etched/ sanded, a third dimension is added.

<p>This looks great. I particularly like when it is the blue color! :)</p>
<p>Hiii, is nice that someone could find this kind of projects on the web. Thanks for the tutorial. I just have one small question. Do you have to code for the rainbow like colors? </p><p>Alex</p>
<p>Hello guys,</p><p>I am interested by this amazing project. The problem is that not everyone has a sandblaster. Is there any other solution ? Do you think abrasive paper could work ?</p><p>Michael</p>
<p>A fan of Kevin Darrah, huh? Prepare to be amazed !!!</p><p>http://www.instructables.com/id/8X8X8-RGB-LED-Cube/</p>
<p>Would you believe ZERO WIRE 8X8X8 cubes? Come and check out my creations!</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5tYwl-zKIcw (colour cube)" width="500"></iframe></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/psMFvBiWBbE (mono cube)" width="500"></iframe></p>
<p>Hey Fried! I made it...followed the instructions! Still have to make the proper enclosure and you are right these LEDs are crazy bright and I can't stop looking at it. Awesome thanks!</p>
<p>Do not have access to sand blaster, do you think a &quot;Frosted spray&quot; would work </p>
Hi Fried. I missed your call saturday. Please call me at my 647 phone number. I do nt have Skype
<p>What's the best time to call you? I'll go out with friends tomr night so how about tuesday night around 7?</p>
<p>Gifs for you!</p>
<p>Thanks Penolopy, they looks great!!! </p><p>:D</p>
<p>Do you have the STL file for the base? I really like the design of the base plate. I was thinking of using the base plate and then using nice wood for the sides. How did you suspend the LED matrix in the base, or is it resting on the Arduino?</p>
<p>There are 2 version of the housing now, one with the usb port opening another without. </p>
Awesome! Thanks
<p>Hi, I just uploaded the stl files here :</p><p><a href="http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:259135/#files" rel="nofollow">http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:259135/#files</a></p><p>However I forgot to leave a opening for arduino usb port. So you have to disassemble it before reprogramming. </p><p>I'll make an update soon. </p>
<p>This is beautiful and by far the best electronics instructable idea i have seen for a while. Thank you dude, i will definitely build one of those.</p>
<p>Thanks! Please show me yours when you finish! :D</p>
and is the power suply ac or dc? thanks
<p>Sorry, it should be 1000uf, and it is a DC power supply. I suggest you go to the adafruit tutorial to get the latest updates. </p>
in the sketch you'v written capitetor 1000 uf but in the list you'v written 100 uf so which do i choose? i want to be sure beforei start shoping
<p>Hi,</p><p>The first video looks really neat! I don't understand though how you get the image onto two sides, or is that post production? </p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>Thanks!</p><p> I also bead blasted all the top surface of the bar, so it will catch light. You can find images on Step 1 to get a better understanding.</p>
<p>Ah, so you created a kind of step, that is visible through the front i guess? And because the ones in front are not blasted you can see through? Very neat!</p>
<p>You're right! The clear section won't catch much light so you can see through.</p>
well i made a few led cubes my best work i think is a 5*5*5 rgb cube not that big but it works for me... nevertheless your first impressions look very cool i hope to see more of this nice idea in the next days
<p>Thanks, the tutorial is updated, hope you engoy!</p>

About This Instructable


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Bio: A Interaction Designer with Industrial Design and EE background. Maker since a kid. Super grateful to new technology and online communities made everything possible!
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