Instructables

4X4X4 LED Cube w/ Arduino Uno

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As someone who is very new to digital electronics this LED cube was fun to make, challenging and a great lesson in soldering. If you have some patience (64 LED's to solder!) and steady hands, this project will be well worth it in the end!

 
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Step 1: Materials & Tools

Materials:
-64 LED's ( I used 3mm ones on my cube)
-16 resistors ( I used 330ohm)
-solid uninsulated wire to connect the rows of LED's together
-Arduino Uno 
-Prototype Shield V.5
-2 six pin headers and 2 eight pin headers
-20 pieces of stranded wire (Using multicolored ones will help keep your wiring organized)
-1 stripboard or prototyping board with copper leads (The ones without leads are fine, the copper leads just save you a step)
-A case to hold your cube( I used this one for mine http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007POB8PK/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
-Optional: A plastic covering to house your cube( I ordered 5 plastic squares with a two way mirror film from TAP Plastics to make my cover. The mirror element gives the illusion of infinity lights)


Tools:
-soldering iron
-solder
-drill with a 3mm bit( or any other size depending on your LED)
-ruler
-masking tape
-pliers 
jjagan made it!22 days ago

Superb. A high five!

IMG_4326[1].JPG
larsje3901 month ago

Hey man, nice instructable!! On my arduino I can't find the ports A13 and A12. I think that they are labeled like this on the shield you put on top of this, but not on the arduino itself. Any idea which ports they would be on the arduino uno itself?

laurenk (author)  larsje3901 month ago

I think it might be digital ports 12 and 13. I may have mislabeled it. Let me know if that works!

parmarravi1 month ago

i made an 4*4*4 led cube with ,16 cathodes and 4 anodes but now the issue is only column works perfect and when ,i light an one row ,it also lights up other rows too...could u tell me how to fix this issue.i have not used any transistors in a cube only resistors and leds ..

Sorry, i have a question, why do a lot of similar project use NPN Transistors and here it isn't necessary?

I believe it is because this one doesn't us an external power source, it's all powered by the arduino

hi Lauren,

Great Project for long weekends and holidays! I have a question, almost all of the LED's work except 3 of them, they work when i apply power to them directly, but not when attached to the atmega328P(I built a standalone arduino for this.) do you by chance have a solution? the LED's are all in different places.

EoinM175 months ago

Hi Lauren,

Great instuctable, had been thinking about making one of these for a while now but your instructable made me decide to do it. This was my first arduino project, and I just finished making it, but for some reason it is malfunctioning. The LED's are extremely dim, even in a completely dark room are barely visible. If there is any light in the room at all they are not visible. Not even a phone or camera can pick up the light... it's not that the led's are faulty because I tested them beforehand and they worked fine. Any idea's as to what caused this? Could it be that the resistors (which are 330K) have too much resistance for my leds?

Any help would be much appreciated, and again, this was a fantastic instructable.

EoinM17 EoinM175 months ago

Just realised my mistake, I accidentally used 330k resistors instead of 330 ohm...

Tony Gouveia6 months ago

Hi,

Thanks. I've been searching for a good LED project and yours fits the bill perfectly.

Again, thanks

emikayee7 months ago
This is awesome, I made this same cube from "techmadeeasy" because his instructions were better than any I've seen on instructables.
I was going to do an "ible" just so this site would have it but I never did get around to that, so I'm glad you did!
I'm gonna have to try out your added code since our cubes are compatible!
Nice work!
laurenk (author)  emikayee7 months ago
Thank you! Yeah, his instructions were great! I only added a few things his tutorial didn't have but all the credit goes to him.
I'm blushing.
The original guide that I used on Instructables was great but it was missing a few steps. That's why I wrote the one on Tech Made Easy.

Love the drawings on this guide though, miles better than anything I could put together.
MoonDocker7 months ago
I find it easier to lay the cube on it's side while soldering the layers together. I solder the corners first and align it then solder the rest.
R0y4L7 months ago
Just wanted to query the image 8 in step 5. It shows one of the cathodes on the same bus as a resistor and other 3 cathodes are not linked to a resistor bus. Is this an error in the image or is it meant to be this way? I have completed all of the steps and have a working cube but a selection of LEDs seem to be constantly ON and column A1 does not lit up at all.
laurenk (author)  R0y4L7 months ago
Sorry that's an error in my image I'll fix. The cathode shouldn't be in the same column as the resistor since the cathodes don't need resistors.

As for your LED's that are constantly on I'm not exactly sure why that is. The only reason I can think of is that there is something in the code that is turning them on or a wire in step 6 might be in the wrong port.
R0y4L7 months ago


R0y4L says: 1 second agoReply

Just wanted to query the image 8 in step 5. It shows one of the cathodes on the same bus as a resistor and other 3 cathodes are not linked to a resistor bus. Is this an error in the image or is it meant to be this way? I have completed all of the steps and have a working cube but a selection of LEDs seem to be constantly ON and column 0 does not lit up at all.
Kiteman7 months ago
Could we see it running?
laurenk (author)  Kiteman7 months ago
Oh sorry about that! I'll post one soon!
Kiteman laurenk7 months ago
Cool.
laurenk (author)  Kiteman7 months ago
Video is now up!
Looks awesome! I'd like to see a video please.
laurenk (author)  matt.e.jenkins7 months ago
Video is now up!
MoonDocker7 months ago
Awesome job! This is the best illustration I have seen. I am ready to start building my own. This has inspired me.
laurenk (author)  MoonDocker7 months ago
Thank you! Have fun building yours!