Picture of 4X4X4 LED Cube w/ Arduino Uno

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

-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
-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)

-soldering iron
-drill with a 3mm bit( or any other size depending on your LED)
-masking tape
hsafwan made it!8 days ago

thanks :)

just add the following link for the understanding of how different patterns can be generated on software.

jueljp1 month ago

nice project,but I need help with the coding, could someone help me ?

izzleskizzle2 months ago

Doesn't soldering the jumper wires directly on top of the anode leg defeat the purpose of the resistor? Why not solder the wire to the resistor head so the current flows through the resistor and up into the anode?

Kitchi112 months ago

Works great and the instructions were easy to follow.

what's the code

nicopinga3 months ago

I have a problem when i check the sketch:

"10:33: error: variable ‘PatternTable’ must be const in order to be put into read-only section by means of ‘__attribute__((progmem))"

can you help me?

bhiew4 months ago
I used veroboard as shield board. My first LED cube project. Excellent Instructables. Thanks!
spotrevoc5 months ago

I didnt use any resistors for my cube. Seems to light up no brighter than a single led with a resistor off one pinIn going to ground. In fact, resistors made everything incredibly dim. Should I be particularly worried?

skelsey5 months ago

Great instructable! I made one over the weekend. Thanks for posting this!

jagadish661 made it!6 months ago

Superb. A high five!

larsje3907 months 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)  larsje3906 months ago

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

parmarravi7 months 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

Arduinomadness11 months ago

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.

EoinM1711 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 EoinM1711 months ago

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


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

Again, thanks

emikayee1 year 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)  emikayee1 year 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.
MoonDocker1 year 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.
R0y4L1 year 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)  R0y4L1 year 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.
R0y4L1 year 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.
Kiteman1 year ago
Could we see it running?
laurenk (author)  Kiteman1 year ago
Oh sorry about that! I'll post one soon!
laurenk (author)  Kiteman1 year ago
Video is now up!
Looks awesome! I'd like to see a video please.
laurenk (author)  matt.e.jenkins1 year ago
Video is now up!
MoonDocker1 year 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)  MoonDocker1 year ago
Thank you! Have fun building yours!