8X8X8 LED Cube





Introduction: 8X8X8 LED Cube

About: AA drgree in Electronic Engineering

Here is my take on this project. I have updated the protype board to stacked PC Arduino boards. In addition I made PC boards for the LED to mount to underneath the display top. I also mirrored the case on the bottom and the back of the cube enclosure. All of the LED leads attached to the stacked boards by ribbon jumper cables. all control switches and and status lights will be located on the sloped front panel. the USB programing port, power switch, and power cord will be located in the back. Just have the power supply, and the PC boards to finish and install.

OK, Here I hope this helps you out, here is a better look at the boards and a list of the chips on them.

top board:
MAX232CPE            Multichannel RS-232 Drivers/Receivers
ATMEGA32A CPU   8-bit Micro-controller with 32K Bytes In-System Programmable Flash

the top board connects to the bottom via a 16 pin and a 2 pin connector.

bottom board:

8 74HC574N            Octal D-type flip-flop; positive edge-trigger; 3-state
   74HC138N            3-to-8 line decoder/demultiplexer; inverting

I am currently working on the PC board that the led's will solder to underneath. It will have 8 pin connectors for easy connection to the main board. it's the last photo. I will up date this as soon as the boards are made.

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Nice board what software did you use to create it? Also I am designing the finished board to be like a socket so I can pug the cube into it. In additions the cube will be a modular cube in the event I have a LED that burns out. I can just unplug the layer and replace it easily.

I use ExpressPCB to create my boards, but I have them fabricated in Hong Kong after converting the files to Gerber and Excellon format.

I triple check each layer before assembly. LEDs should last a lifetime pretty much as long as they work initially.
My assembly method which is a bit different that everyone else's produces near perfect cubes every time.


looks like we use the same program, I develop them myself instead of sending them off. I use an iron on transfer paper to transfer the traces to the board. I also use Circuit maker and Trax Maker.

LOL! My boards are WAY too complex to do that with.
Sure the cube base could be done that way, but not my PCBoards
Here's why...
Look at the size of the ATmega proocessor, and how close the lead spacing is... then look at the part of the design just where that is...

You can't do that with iron on - plus those holes are thru-plated VIAs.
When you condense a design to that size, it gets challenging to say the least.
This isn't a high school project, this is a big league design, I just chose to use a minor league program to make it. If I had to go any tighter in spacing, thinner in traces or use smaller VIAs, I would have to use a more complex program.

CIMG2328.JPGAtmega PCB spacing.jpg

I found another board that uses an arduino uno or a rocket to run the cube.

but can that board use the uno's chip by itself, and if so, can it use that OR the ATmega32A on the SAME board?

Also, my boards have added features now like audio input, mic module option and wireless remote option...


it cant use the chip directly, but it dose have a mounting spot where either board can plug directly into it on the bottom. also I installed a 9v battery with a 5v regulator to supply power to the board with a AC/DC selector switch. it now sits in the show case for the Dayton OH ITT Tech.


Here is a photo of my finished board, Its a dual compatible board for both Arduino and TI MSP-430 Launch pad


here is a sample of the programing in the chip. now I just need to change some of the programing.

This is the board that I finally used, it is a dual compatible board. It can use the Arduino or the TI launch pad. This one is using the TI launch pad. also built a internal power supply with a dual switch on the front.


sir small doubt regarding the power supply!
im doe with ther cube and im using our clg LAB RPS to power my cube.now im planing to use pc smps.ca i dircetly conect the smps 5v rail same as rps? smps has very high current ratings,does it make any damaga to my cube?

So where is the instructable.This looks like a really nice project. would love to see the board lay out

3 replies

I see your point on that board they are quit tight. but for a minor league program its till did a great job. And I have not mastered the through hole plating yet. in that case I would of sent off and had mine done too.

You can see my instructable, or the original one by CHR which I link to in mine.
This is my controller. It's all one board.


I also include instructions on how to build a more perfect cube (LEDs line up almost perfect using my method)


That does help some. You do beautiful work.