Introduction: 3x3x3 LED Cube Shield

Picture of 3x3x3 LED Cube Shield

What should be in your kit:
1 – PCB
27 – LED’s
2 – 6 Pins for Arduino
2 – 8 Pins for Arduino
3 – Resistors
1 – Foam Guide
1 – Small Wire
1 – Medium Wire
1 – Large Wire
You will need: Solder Iron, Solder, Wire Cutters, Wire Strippers, Safety Googles, Helping hands are always good (but not manditory) and a really GREAT ATTITUDE!!!
to by a kit go to 

In the below pictures I will be switching between RED LED’s and GREEN LED’s. My mom made a GREEN one…some parts didn’t turn out so good. She did try – and she is a VERY beginner! Good Job Mom!
Have FUN!

Step 1: Information

Picture of Information

Little Information first

LED’s: All LED’s have a Positive (+) and a Negative (-) As you can see on the picture below. The Positive (+) is longer than the Negative (-) You will always be bending the Negative (-). The official term for the Negative is “Cathode” and for the Positive is “Anode” For these directions we will use short and long.

Testing your LED’s: I’ve tested every single LED. However if you’d like to test to make sure…here’s how to do it. Take a Lithium battery, stick the LED with the long led on the side of the battery marked with a "+". Press the Leds against the battery. The light should turn on. If not…you’ve got yourself a bad LED.

Guide Sheet: I used this as my template. If you ever get confused (easy to do) refer back to the guide sheet. This will tell you how to bend and placement of the LED’s.

Each circle has 2 dots. The one with the arrow is the Negative (-) and the one standing alone is the Positive (+). This shows you which way to bend your Negative (-) led

Step 2: Connecting Your LED's

Picture of Connecting Your LED's

1) Start with the center hole. Folding down Negative (-) on the right side.
2) Place the second LED in as shown. Solder them together. Don’t worry about the end of the LED being too long. We will be trimming them.
3) Place the third LED in as shown. Solder them together.
Continue on until all 9 LED’s are soldered together.

Before cutting the extra wire. Take another look to make sure all your LED’s are going the correct way and you folded down the Negative (-) This is the time to catch a mistake…you can always unsolder and fix it.
Using your wire cutters, cut off the extra wire. Mostly should be on the 4 corners.
You should have.. (3) 9 pin LED’s squares

Step 3: Solder All 3 Levels Together

Picture of Solder All 3 Levels Together

Now the tricky part starts. Stacking them together.

Put one LED piece back into the foam. You can find something to slide in between as shown.

Put your 2nd layer on. You will be soldering the Positive (+) to the Positive (+) on the next layer as shown. You may need to bend the wires so they meet. *Please note that the picture above is showing how to stack the layers. It has not been soldered together. If you connect one Positive (+) to a Negative (-) your LED will not light up in the end.

Do the same with the 3rd layer. *Please note that the picture above is showing how to stack the layers. It has not been soldered together.

This is what you should have in the end. This is the one my mom did…alittle crooked, but that’s ok. As long as all the soldering is good the LED’s will still shine.
Set your LED “Cube” off to the side. Let’s work on the PCB.

Step 4: Resistor's and Wire's

Picture of Resistor's and Wire's

The Resistors come straight. You need to bend as shown. There is not (+) (-) to these, so you don’t have to bend a correct wire. Just bend either one down.

Place each resistor into the board. Solder each in on the back of the PCB. There is no right or wrong way for these. I prefer to have mine going in the same direction.

3 Black Wires

You will need to take your Wire Strippers and strip off a bit at each end. You will be soldering the top and the bottom, so strip off enough to do so. You may also choose to strip off all the black. Either way is fine.

Place the wires in each hole starting with the smallest and working up to the tallest.
Small (1st hole) Medium (2nd hole) Large (3rd hole)
Solder on the backside.

Step 5: Cube Onto the PCB

Picture of Cube Onto the PCB

Let’s put the Cube onto the PCB. This part is also tricky, just take your time. It will work in the end!

 Picture is showing the wires in the correct hole.
You can flip the PCB over and you will notice that only one of the holes on back have a connection.
Take your time and get each wire into the correct hole. It’s kinda like a puzzle. Once you’ve succeed in doing that, solder the wires in place on the back side. Then give yourself a pat on the back!

Step 6: Make the Connection With Your Black Wires and Conecting the Arduino Pins

Picture of Make the Connection With Your Black Wires and Conecting the Arduino Pins

Look at your black wires. You need to solder each of them to the correct level. First look for the very first LED you but into the foam. Picture below. This is the wire you will solder to the Negative (-).
Solder your short black wire to the negative (-) LED.
Solder your medium black wire to the negative (-) LED on the second level.
Solder your long black wire to the negative (-) LED on the top level.
You may have some extra wire. I couldn’t get my wire cutters into the cube – so I left mine alone.

then insert the arduino pins into the pcb and solder.
then your done with the soldering part.

Step 7: Code

Picture of Code

you can get the code & more instructions on my website.


asimobot (author)2014-01-01

Hey there I am making a L.E.D Cube 3*3*3 as a nightlight without any proggramer and i dont want to hook up a resistor to every led so can you please tell me how many and what value i would need? Thanks in Advance..... Power Supply: 5V Foward Voltage: 3.2-3.4 20mA

Leonelf (author)asimobot2014-06-20

5V-3.4v=1.6v R=U/I=1.6V/20mA=1.6v/0.02A=80 Ohm. next standard resistor value would be 82.

TheParacorder (author)2013-02-13

hey joey. nice ibble. done this in the past... thought i'd give it another go. talk to you soon,

LucDaRocka1 (author)2012-07-13

what is this supposed to do?

nerd7473 (author)2012-04-25

Which aruino is this compatable with cause im getting a arduino uno

BitBoink (author)2011-12-15

Hey Joey! I didn't think to check to see if you are on instructables!
This is mars - you autographed one of your first boards for my daughter!

Anyhow - we've built your project a couple of times - and my little girl now loves what she calls "LED Sculptures"!

Thanks a bunch and keep up the great work!


redtraceur (author)2011-12-02

excuse me but do you have the squematic for the pcb ??

i have them on my computer but i cant post them today becous my mother is the one who knows how to post that kind of stuf im sory,but i can tell you that its just multiplexed ther is 3 gnds one for each layer and 9 + one fore each calom.

You, my young friend, are awesome.

thank you

thnks i think i can figure out keep the good work

tigerbomb8 (author)2011-12-04

if you want the pins to be straight solder one pin of each set and then attach it to the arduino
like this

randofo (author)2011-12-02

Nice job.

thank you

fsfshsyhh (author)2011-12-03

Can you help me please? i want to have LED lamps in serial

power supply 3V
forward voltage 3.2-3.4

How many leds can i light up with 3V? Do i need a resistor for that, a

metrogdor22 (author)fsfshsyhh2011-12-03

You're using 3V to power LEDs that need 3.3V? In that case, none.

i dont now. im sory

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to build, solder, invent stuff ,make and designee pcb's, and program.
More by lookwhatjoeysmaking:Light up Wall Make RobotHOW TO REMOVE PRINTS WITHOUT DAMAGING THE TAPE ON THE BEDWatch the Maker Magic!
Add instructable to: