Introduction: RGB LED CUBE 8x8x8 With Animation Creator

Picture of RGB LED CUBE 8x8x8 With Animation Creator

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Draw 3D Animation with software!

Include acrylic case, tinted copper wire 0.6mm width

Audio Spectrum Mode and Night Light Mode

Include Remote Controller

Step 1: Soldering the LED

Picture of Soldering the LED

We will start from the LED, with the help of soldering frame and a sort instruction

***use 30w/40w solder iron

A. Bend the led leg beside anode(+) (the longest one) and hold all led on the frame

B. Solder each led leg with tinted copper wire, first is the red green blue pin, when we have 8 led sticks we can solder the anode pin with copper wire in horizontal way. The 3D printed holder can help spacing and alignment.

C. Finally cut all the extra pin/wire, and remove the PCB frame / 3D printed holder for the next layer of led. The anode leg vertically to the PCB ground will be soldered when assembly to the PCB driver board.

D. The 3D printed frame/holder can use for spacing alignment when assembly all led stick.

Practice make perfect, take few wires and leds to try soldering and test you tools/skills first.

Tinted copper wire has been straightened in the kit.

Here is a video for reference(using pcb frame) (will upload video for 3D print frame later):

Step 2: Sketch Up the New Holder for Soldering Leds

Picture of Sketch Up the New Holder for Soldering Leds

1. Cut and bend the led legs, test if the position is correct on the holder,

2. 3D printed holder need some clean up for the detail, can shape with knife or melt with high temp heat.

3. Stick the holder with double side tape on a flat surface, better hold on a 45 degree angle, so the leds won't fall out.

4. Solder the leds with copper wire, after the first 4 row, move upward to solder the 5th and 6th, than 7th and 8th row separately.

Step 3: Correction of the Holder for Soldering Horizontal Anode Wire.

Picture of Correction of the Holder for Soldering Horizontal Anode Wire.

There is a important correction on using the led holder, you should double check if the orientation of the PCB and LEDs is correctly look like the final finish product.

The holder in the picture has a purpose for holding the led stick and solder the horizontal anode wire, but the gap was reversed, so it have to rework the hole a little larger with a 5mm screw driver, and use it like the picture show.

Step 4: Soldering the PCB

Picture of Soldering the PCB

Parts included in the package may be slightly different, but all you need for build the LED Cube is included;

PCB 4.0 (4.1) Notice!!!!!!

  • Main Controller Board already soldered

  • You Only need to solder DC jack and 30 similar SMD parts, which takes less than 60 min to do it.

  • Other parts on the cube board are not in use and should keep it clear, otherwise the circuit may shorted.

  • If you are new to solder smd parts, buy some good quality solder wire and solder flux will help.

  • You may add a 2 pin capacitor to each IC 126D, on the VCC and GND PIN to protect it.

Reference Video / Technique demo / Also search youtube for solder paste with hot air.

Step 5: Combine the PCB and Led Vertical Layer

Picture of Combine the PCB and  Led Vertical Layer

Start to solder led vertical layer to PCB, you are close to finish the assembly.

You should test the led vertical layer with multimeter short circuit test, and problem will be fixed easily before all cube column soldered, most cheap multimeter has enough current to light up the led, some may not.

Stop soldering onto PCB if the animation does not look correct.

Each horizontal anode copper wire need to connect a wire down to PCB, and you can use 2 different way to connect all anode wire to the PCB as the image show.

Finally you can solder one or more copper wire on the top of the cube, connect each vertical layer's anode wire, this help space alignment

Step 6: The Acrylic Case

Picture of The Acrylic Case

If you buy the acrylic case, it look like this above, you can make your own even with glass. These are cheap good but heavy to shipment cost, and cost on laser cutting.

Tools needed is acrylic glue / acrylic cement same as the video used. Should use plastic tape to hold all side together, then apply the glue from inside. The cover sheet on the acrylic can remove partly for apply the plastic tape.

Watch this video for reference

*Make sure no air bubble on the plastic tape applied, some cheap plastic tape make dirt on the board.

Step 7: Firmware Upload and Aninmation Upload

Picture of Firmware Upload and Aninmation Upload


For customer who don't know programming, they just need to upload firmware which was a .hex file to the LED Cube. Which means they can play the cube like a mp3 player, upload mp3 file and it can play.

Drawing Software can share file to other user


Upload the .hex file (firmware):

1.Install the CH341SE driver for windows first.

2.Open STM ISP MCUISP software, press button "..." to locate the .hex file (firmware file)

3.Connect the usb programmer works as USB device, connect to USART. GND to GND 3.3v to 3.3v RX to TX, TX to RX.

4. then press "start ISP", and works done.


setting on the Remote Controller

0 ------------ Animation from the drawing software

1 ------------ Music spectrum mode

2 ------------ Animation from the firmware

3 ------------ Night Light Mode

4-9 --------- adjust color of the Night Light Mode

C------------ Snake game


Step 8: Firmware, Schematic, Source Code and Video Demo

The firmware can be upload with mcuisp.exe, no need to learn about programming. The source code is for hacker use only.

Step 9: The Animation Drawing Software, Fast and Easy!!!

New Animation may found here

Its Now fully translated to English

Remember to save the cube8.exe with animation file in same folder

Alt + right click = Pick color

Shift + Mouse Over = Erase

Crtl + Mouse Over = Fill Color

Right Click = Fill Color

Step 10: Tips for Building the LED Cube - Must Read!!

1. Make sure you read the PCB soldering guide before you start the soldering. Some smd electronics have to solder according to the positive/negative pin.

2. The leds may have error after soldering heat, test with night light mode on the cube board, and fix it, do not solder more led before the problem fixed, otherwise you may need remove all parts and start from 0 to check where the error / problems come from

3. Prefer power supply is 5V5A, 5.5x2.1mm DC connector,

4. You should learn about PCB markings and smd parts markings, this help you read this instruction.

Step 11: Additional Info

Change usb serial Port COM number in windows

BPS for upload firmware suggest 115200

BPS for upload Animation suggest 460800

Here is the Cube8 firmware code for hacker sharing the basic code to run the cube only. It need the Keil software to open it.

Step 12: Customer's Work

Picture of Customer's Work

Looks like no different, because using same kit and solder with PCB frame holder.

This pro customer make the color controller with Griffin Controller

There is a new firmware created by Brant James
Very cool animations and custom functions I had capture a few video on the latest instagram post, and here is the download

The remote keys :

- + Increase brightness

- Decrease brightness Play

- Pause or Resume FFW

- Next Graphic RWD

- Previous Graphic Power

- On/Off

Step 13: Data for Old PCB 3.0 Customer

Just download the file here it contains all different sources for pcb 3.0 only


Miguelmo40 made it! (author)2016-08-21

Finalizado,aunque no me funciona modo serpiente ni el modo lampara noche con el firmware 4.0

WongH (author)Miguelmo402016-08-21

How is the remote control working? All mode should work if there is animation when powered.

VitorA21 (author)2016-08-17

So,we are doing a project like this for college,but with single color LEDs,there is any way that we can use this program in the dame way you did?

WongH (author)VitorA212016-08-21

It only work with the program and the hardware in that cube.

AdamP138 (author)2016-07-19

I have almost finished the cube but I have a problem. After installing the driver to my laptop, it still does not recognise the microcontroller. Any ideas?

WongH (author)AdamP1382016-07-25

Hi, did you connect it with a usb to ttl programmer?

RudiF made it! (author)2016-07-10

My LED-cube, 100% happy with the result!

KyleH65 (author)2016-06-09

I think I've found a short between three leads on the PCB. I had soldered the component a second time after the first wasn't so successful and saw a lot of erratic behavior. After desoldering, I verified with my multimeter that 2, 3, and 4 are showing continuity despite there being no discernible connection on top of the board. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is this something that can be fixed? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

KyleH65 (author)KyleH652016-06-09

For that matter, it sounds as though this should be working as I solder in the rows of LEDs one by one or is that not the case, do they need to all be connected for this to work correctly? I have two in at the moment and am seeing that current is flowing through only about half of the resistors on the board.

WongH (author)KyleH652016-06-09

They can work with vertical layer one by one, make sure the anode pin is connected to the pcb board. Crrently there will no animation if that 3 pin still sorted.

WongH (author)KyleH652016-06-09

Hi, that three pin connected to twenty 126d ics, so they can be sorted on either one of the 126d ics, you can refer to the schematic, all 126d ICs has 3 signal pin connected to the 245(exactly the three you circled). You may need some flux to clean up the solder.

benji123456789 made it! (author)2016-05-30

all finished and im happy with it might make another one just because i enjoyed this one sooooo much cheers guys

WongH made it! (author)benji1234567892016-05-30

Nice, you can add a copper wire top horizontal layer's anode copper wire, they are in same signal path on the PCB circuit, so it is no sorting any electric path. here you can see a copper wire added at top.

AnkitP57 (author)2016-05-06

I want to purchase this kit, but I don't want to use the built in controller. Your programming is very, very good. It is much better than mine, but I wish to drive the cube with my own hardware just to challenge myself. I have an FPGA that I'm going to use to offload multiplexing from my microcontroller. Is the mainboard only 2 layers? If it is, it should be easy for me to modify the board to drive R, G, and B channels independently. Would you be willing to share the PCB file so I can get an idea of what modifications I'd need to make before I purchase the kit?

WongH (author)AnkitP572016-05-06

Hi, I am reselling this item from a supplier, so I don't get the pcb file. But the schematic file is shared on step 6, it was correctly rotue same as the pcb board. But I extend the main controller parts out to the small stm32 controller board. I think you idea should work if you have the ic data sheet.

AnkitP57 (author)WongH2016-05-07

Thank you for the fast response. I will go ahead and order from your ebay store. Hopefully I will have good news to share once I finish the build :)

MikeRich (author)2016-04-29

Looking for the Schematic mentioned on your facebook page. Step 5 does not seem to contain it anymore. Is there a location to obtain the latest board schematic?

WongH (author)MikeRich2016-04-29

Hi, just added to Step 6, it seems lost the file sometimes on step 5.

WongH (author)2016-04-01

WongH (author)WongH2016-04-05

It will replace the original main controller parts on the white PCB, so it works like other cube project with a develop board assist. Code and circuit are the same as original design.

alexstar (author)2016-03-23

What is a value of a capacitors C9 and C7 please?

WongH (author)alexstar2016-03-23

Hi, it was a connection to build in programmer, I planned not to use the build in programmef so I removed it. Left it blank and use a external programmer, I will sent a main controler to you guys soon, it works more stable, pls refer to the facebook page for new updates. Thx!

SteveK35 (author)2016-03-02

is there a way to go into the program and change the settings so that the cube automatically starts in the animated program that I have created and not the default one? As it is right now, I must press button 0 on the remote in order to activate my animation. I would like the cube lights to start on the custom animation and then I could activate the pre-made animation by pressing button 2 when I desire. I am using my created animation to turn on when an alarm is activated from an Arduino, but the cube seems to always start at the default animation(aka Button 2).

WongH (author)SteveK352016-03-02

I don't how to edit the firmware code for your result, but the code is share on step 5, and I just added the remote code image for reference

SteveK35 (author)2016-02-15

I try to follow the first video in step 7, I can open all the programs and the software says that I correctly sent the new animation to my cube but the new animation doesn't seem to actually be getting sent... button 0 is supposed to display my new created sent animation, correct?

mannym3 (author)SteveK352016-02-15

Hi steve,

1) plug usb lead into cube and computer. this should shut the cube down.
2)start mcuisp software and load firmware into it. set correct com port, which in most cases it does for you. upload firmware. After it has uploaded the cube will kick back in, starting with built in animations.
3)click 0 on remote. shut down mcuisp software. and open cube8.exe. load animation into it. select frames to be loaded in left hand panel, or just tick "select all" select correct .com port, then connect., which will say connected.. then send. this should upload the animation. and automatically start playing. if it does not, then select a different board bps. i have mine set at 460800. also make sure the cube8.exe file is in the same folder and the animations.

SteveK35 (author)mannym32016-02-27

thanks for the response, i think it was due to not having the files in the same folder

Peter Van Roy (author)2016-02-26


I built the cube and it works very well: really impressive! I would like to compute cube contents on a PC and download them in real time to the cube, to create computed animations and visualizations. Is that possible? For example, in an interpreter like Python, Octave, Matlab, or something like that.

WongH (author)Peter Van Roy2016-02-26

Go through step 5 and 6 it has original firmware code shared as opensource. You can edit it with keil. Did you sucess created animation with the animation editor?

DaveB84 (author)2016-02-13

I Built It !!

Some comments....

1. Jig is very nice, but the LED bars are a bit flexible. It was tricky to ensure all the LEDs sat at the same height while soldering, because the LEDs were a good fit in holes. I made this much easier by opening the LED holes a bit with a dremel, so that gravity made the LEDs fall to the jig bars.

2. I elected to solder the jig bars to the vertical struts, which made the jig much sturdier. Although it was difficult to get them apart each time, with patience and care it is definitely achievable.

3. As you complete each panel, fix it to the board as described, and run the cube, selecting 0 on the remote (assuming you haven't loaded any other code), and the panel will light up white. It will be easy to spot any bad LEDs. Also flex the panel gently to test for missed or broken solder joints.

4. When glueing the case together, don't use tape on the corners to hold the parts in place. If you do, the glue (which you apply on the inside corners) goes into the joint, and seeps behind the tape by capillary action, leaving a residue on the outside of the corners which is almost impossible to remove. Much better to use a setsquare, holding the parts in place, apply the glue, and hold it for about 20 seconds while the glue sets.

tolderlund (author)2016-01-18

Hi, finished soldering the cube and it works. I put it on youtube:
I have a question:
It has a problem, when it has run through the animations for some time it freezes, it doesn't react to the remote controller either.
You can see it in the youtube video, at the end of the video (last couple of seconds) it freezes. The only way to start it again seems to be switching the power off and on.
What can be the cause for that and how do I correct it?

crazybul (author)tolderlund2016-02-04

Hello, just read about your problem with 8x8x8 cube and I have the same problem.

Goes through test mode then locks up like yours.

Have you got an answer to fault as yet?


tolderlund (author)crazybul2016-02-04

I have not got any answer. The silence really bothers me.

Perhaps I should leave a nasty review on ebay, maybe that will make him come with a reply?

crazybul (author)tolderlund2016-02-06

Hi again, did you have any luck with removing R4 and R5 resistors, I have removed mine and no change, tried programming but no good , appears to upload with led flashing on programmer but nothing happens.


WongH (author)crazybul2016-02-07

Hi, it need to replace the stm32f103, pls contact me one ebay for help if you can't make the replacement. Thank You!

WongH (author)crazybul2016-02-07

Hi, it need to replace the stm32f103, pls contact me one ebay for help if you can't make the replacement. Thank You!

tolderlund (author)crazybul2016-02-06

Just saw Wong's suggestion. Haven't tried it, but if it doesn't work for you, there is not much point for me to try it.

WongH (author)tolderlund2016-02-04

Hi, pls contact me on ebay, sometime I missed to check up on Instructable, also you can try remove the resistor on r4 and r5 to solve the problem,

tolderlund (author)WongH2016-02-06

Could it be a problem with the code in firmware?

WongH (author)tolderlund2016-02-07

I Try it and need to replace the stm32f103, seems we need to make the board more easy to repair.

James3xyx3 (author)tolderlund2016-02-06

Hi, I too am having the same problem as you guys. Definitely not a software issue as I have 2 cubes, one works perfect and the other constantly freezes, both using the same firmware. Music spectrum mode freezes instantly, firmware animation freezes, software animations freeze, flickers bad on white light, it's basically useless.

tolderlund (author)James3xyx32016-02-06

That is interesting. Not software then. Could one of the chips on the board be faulty then?

BobR48 (author)2016-01-26

I am looking for a 64 bit version of winrar. Is this available? I am using windows 7 64 bit.

WongH (author)BobR482016-02-04

Hi, WINRAR can download free on internet, win 7 64bit is work.

SteveK35 (author)2016-01-28

Once I download all of the files and connect the board to my computer, how do I get the MCU in system programmer to run. The usb says it loading complete, but then nothing else happens...Please help!:)

WongH (author)SteveK352016-02-04

Hi, please contact me on ebay, thank you! And you mean nothing happen after sending animations or sending the firmware?

RudiF made it! (author)2016-01-04

How to set RGB-colors

MannyM1 (author)RudiF2016-01-04

Thanks, i have been using this program for a few weeks now reproducing some of the standard animations and some of my own. i have found it a little limited, not being able to adjust speed hinders some of the animations a little, and when selecting colours from the palette, the colour shown is not a true representation of the colour, for example orange and red look exactly the same. Have you produced any animations worth sharing ? :).

WongH (author)MannyM12016-01-07

Hi, the speed is not able to control, but you can double the frame to make it two times slower. For the color, it seems the software show a transparent color over a dark blackground, you may need to send you animation to the cube continue during drawing. For I do decide what color/ rgb setting to use before start to draw, make the color as a palltet on the animation frame, this help you construct faster.

RudiF (author)MannyM12016-01-06

Hey Manny, for color orange the best RGB-code is 11,2,0 or 12,2,0 (on the screen it's red/brown :-))

When you take 15,7,0 or 15,8,0 (great on screen) then the true led color is more yellow/green.

About This Instructable




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