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Picture of Build your own 4x4x4 RGB LED Cube

LED Cubes are awesome. The first one I created was a 8x8x8 blue led cube. It still works like a charm. But being able to display every colour in the spectrum is much more spectacular. Let's start with a small and simple 4x4x4 RGB LED Cube.

 
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Step 1: Watch part 1 of the video series!

As you might have noticed, part 1 concentrates on the cube itself and the case. No electronics yet. The video should already give you plenty of details. But I will give you a short list of parts that you will need to build the cube itself.

Step 2: Order the parts for the cube!

Step 3: You finished the cube and case!

Picture of You finished the cube and case!
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Congrats on your finished cube and case. It should now look a little bit like mine in the picture. Go ahead and test all connections with a power supply. If everything works fine you can go ahead and build the electronics in the next steps.

Step 4: Watch part 2 of the video series!

The video gives you plenty of info on how to build the controller for the cube. In the next step I will give you the schematic for the circuit and the part list.

Step 6: Upload the arduino code and test the cube!

Picture of Upload the arduino code and test the cube!
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Download the code for the LED Cube. This is already my updated version of the code which I showed in part 3 of the video series. Be sure to watch this part as well to get an idea how the code works.

Step 7: Watch part 3 of the video series!

This time it is all about optimisation. You may get a better understanding of the code if you watch the video carefully.

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efifi made it!yesterday

My 9 year old and I made your power supply first then your cube. Great work Scott - we loved it. Your instructable was excellent, although a bit fast - I just had to watch it a few times. I posted a video of them both - http://youtu.be/9kdbGer-0fM

I discovered lots of gotya's - for example while trying to test, the power drain on the nano was too great, as a result the nano kelp rebooting - Solution - reduce the brightness or plug it into its own power source. Not to mention a couple of shorts, and poor connections - "dont forget to test each connection with a volt meter for continuity and shorts" - VERY IMPORTANT step, dont skip it.

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CalebJ113 days ago

Great Scott the RGB LEDs on Amazon.com are out of stock can you please find some other one

CalebJ1 CalebJ113 days ago

The

Potentiometers are also out of stock on amazon
CalebJ1 CalebJ113 days ago

The PCBs on Amazon are also out of stock.

CalebJ1 CalebJ113 days ago

The

Potentiometers

(sorry it is so big)

are also out of stock on amazon.

AntB20 days ago

Hi Scott,

I have made 1 of these cubes but I have not had much luck with the code.

I have added the digital IO Performance and the (modified) TLC5940 libraries to the Arduino IDE

The first code of the whole cube doing the colour change works fine (but it only plays right when using external power source), but version 2 of the code will ONLY play the random flashing led's.

I have checked and rechecked the pcb and can't find anything wrong with it, my pcb is almost an exact copy of yours.

I have no idea where or how (or if) I have gone wrong.

If anyone has any ideas, please comment (I personally think it could be a code problem(some how))

I hope I can get this working as it should,

Thanks for sharing this amazing little cube.

GreatScottLab (author)  AntB15 days ago

Sound like everything works great. The second code only shows the random function. The other ones are included but you have to put them into the void loop() function.

Hi GreatScott,

Thanks for the reply, I have spent over 4 hours moving bits of code from 1 file to another to get the other animations working but have had no success at all. I keep getting Error Compiling for various reasons.

Can you please give me a more detailed description to exactly what data needs to be moved to get the other animations into the void loop() function.

I am still quite new to writing code for the Arduino and don't fully understand it all yet, but I'm learning.

Only 1 step away from the finished 4x4x4 RGB LED Cube, All thanks to GREATSCOTTLAB,

I hope you can provide this information I require to finally complete my cube.

Thanks again

Is it all properly put in shematic because I am about to start this project if my last 3 parts get tomorrow, pls answear

GreatScottLab (author)  filip.mehmetovic15 days ago

Why should my schematic lie to you?

dbreithupt2 months ago

any resources for absolute beginner for soldering the PCB? I already hit a problem when comparing the schematic to your video. I do not understand why you used bridgewire on the ends of the TLC5940's? any resources for beginners would be appreciated

dbreithupt2 months ago

any resources for absolute beginner for soldering the PCB? I already hit a problem when comparing the schematic to your video. I do not understand why you used bridgewire on the ends of the TLC5940's? any resources for beginners would be appreciated

dbreithupt2 months ago

any resources for absolute beginner for soldering the PCB? I already hit a problem when comparing the schematic to your video. I do not understand why you used bridgewire on the ends of the TLC5940's? any resources for beginners would be appreciated

Michalsky2 months ago

Hi I need help,

4x4x4 RGB was no problem for me, I tried now to do the same for an 8x8x8 RGB cube with 12 TLCs but the TLCs are having lot of interference, 3 Boars each board have 4 TLCs , I put also a 100nF between + and - on each TLC !!! and tried also putting shorter wires between each TLC but it doesn't look better, and when I try to turn all LEDs on I get a lot of mixed colours and some LED turns on some turn off but nothing to do with the code (only interference)

The circuit is ok because I tested each board in my 4x4x4 RGB Cube.

The problem is only when I try to daisy chain more than 4 TLCs.

do you have any idea what could be wrong?

Thanks

I also changed the TLC numbers to 12 in the tlc_config.h file but always the same problem

Hajiwaqar2 months ago
In video you are interconnecting 1K resistor to IRF950N MOSFET but in systematic you are connecting resistor 1K in differnet way.. Please help me by showing properly connecting the resistor to MOSFET..Thank you
Hajiwaqar2 months ago
In video you are interconnecting 1K resistor to IRF950N MOSFET but in systematic you are connecting resistor 1K in differnet way.. Please help me by showing properly connecting the resistor to MOSFET..Thank you
akshay.baweja made it!2 months ago
awesome one :D
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dbreithupt3 months ago

are the parts listed everything I will be needing? It sounds like he says there are more parts in the video such as the "one time four pins for anode layers"

hkerr dbreithupt2 months ago

yes(except if you want male and female header pins) the pic at step 6 in the middle of the board is the 4 pins for the anode layers.

tboultwood14 months ago

Youve just inspired me to create one! Just ordered all my parts from HongKong for under a tenner.... Its a real nice project for so little money.

Can I use diferent adapter (power supply), with same specs

GreatScottLab (author)  filip.mehmetovic4 months ago

Sure!

bikec4 months ago

Ultra good toturial

tyxman7 months ago

Does it matter that much which kind of arduino I use. I have an arduino uno

hkerr tyxman6 months ago

shouldn't as long as it is connected to the right pins. so yeh it should work

hkerr made it!6 months ago

I just need to finish the case but havent had time in the last few weeks.

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mbrotcke7 months ago

I am also interested in Integrating the MSGEQ7

I have attached MSGEQ7 pins attached to
pin 3 to Atmega pin 23/A0
Pin 4 to Atmega pin 14/d8
Pin 7 to Atmega Pin 12/d6

But have no idea how to code it. please let us know if you work with this

Olek4108 months ago

Is it possible to make it react to mp3 files and make a vu meter that would be awsome

GreatScottLab (author)  Olek4108 months ago

It is definitely possible. Maybe I will give it a try in the future with a MSGEQ7.

domdomgin8 months ago

i made the circuit but all it does is change from rgb rgb thats all..I used a arduino duemilanove..Please help..Thanks..

GreatScottLab (author)  domdomgin8 months ago

Did you use the v2 of the code? Or the one in my second video?

i see only one code.also i used the arduino duemilanove is that fine..i checked all connections and all seems fine..kindly suggest.also changed the tcl config lib to 3 tlc..

GreatScottLab (author)  domdomgin8 months ago

duemilanove should work just fine. But it does something at least. So your circuit should also work. I suggest playing around with the code a little could at least give you hint what is going wrong.

domdomgin8 months ago

Thank you for this great inscrutable..Would like to know the value of the cathode current limiting resistors if they are required..

Also if you could give another explanation on your code on how to make some new animations..thank you..

Jack Moran8 months ago

Great instructable, you've got my vote!

hkerr8 months ago

How much of the bridge wire will i need to buy? (length)

GreatScottLab (author)  hkerr8 months ago

I used around 12m

Thanks for the quick reply. I bought 100m instead of just 15m.

Ploopy8 months ago

Cool!

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