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I set out to build the 4x4x4 Charliecube using an Arduino Nano. The cube itself is pretty tough to build, starting with the actual soldering all the way through what can be some messy code. Soldering experience is definitely required.

Materials I would say are needed:

  • Some sort of breadboard big enough to house the whole assembly. I had a hard time finding one that would work but the one I went with is here:
  • 64 (Should have 5-10 extra in case of improper soldering or bad LEDs) cathode RGB LEDs, I bought mine from Amazon.
  • A 3D printer to 3D print the tower tools would be very helpful. This is not required but cut my soldering time in half if not more.
  • Soldering gun/solder
  • I used a helping hand to hold the tool while soldering but again this could be done without it.
  • Arduino Nano and USB Cable (You can probably get away with a different type but this fit right in the board and made it look the cleanest)
  • 20 Gauge Wire, which was somewhat unique and hard to find. The 20 Gauge is perfect for the towers and will hold them in place. I used a lot of it, I estimate probably close to 40 feet.
  • 22 Gauge Wire, used to wire the towers to the nano on the underside of the board
  • Wire Stripper/Cutter
  • Some form of standoff for the board

Notes:

I used two different sites extensively during the building of the cube.

Gunderson.net - link here helped me with the 3D tools and showing me exactly how to implement them. Some of their photos are used throughout this guide.

Asher Glick - link here helped me with the libraries and starter code as well as the wiring diagrams to get this project off the ground. All of the wiring diagrams come from this site.

Step 1: Bending the 64 Cathode RGB LEDs

This step while easy is very important. Using the 3D printed tool saved me a lot of wasted LEDs. Here, you put the LED in the tool and bend in the following order. I oriented the LED so the tallest lead was in the second position from left.

  • Tallest lead goes up
  • Leftmost lead goes left
  • Rightmost lead goes right
  • Leed to the immediate left of tall lead goes down

Doing this correctly ensures no wiring issues when going to solder the towers.

awesome bro
<p>That looks good :)</p>

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