LED Cubes never fails to impress us. Watching some animations on 7x7x7 or larger LED Cubes can be very mesmerizing.
We have long wanted to build one of these cubes larger than 7x7x7. We researched online for similar projects and found that the time just to construct the LED Cube alone is very time-consuming and may be quite complex for some. For most of these projects, the electronic circuits to drive these LED Cubes may be quite complex for entry level hobbyist to build and may not be easy to troubleshoot if something goes wrong.
Here, we are going to show how we build our single color 8x8x8 LED Cube which hopefully entry level hobbyist are able to follow and complete it without much difficulty. There may be a faster method to build such a cube but this is the best we can offer as of now without using complex jigs to facilitate the build.
For this project, one need to possess some basic soldering skill, basic electronic knowledge and is familiar working with Arduino boards.
We from jolliFactory will present our design of an 8x8x8 LED Cube aptly named jolliCube here. This LED Cube is designed for entry level hobbyist who wants to take on the challenge to build a bigger cube rather than settle for a small 4x4x4 or 5x5x5 LED cube.
Though our cube is not designed to work with any particular microcontroller, we will be using the popular Arduino board in this instructables to drive our cube via SPI using only 3 signal wires.
For those who prefer not to mess with too much wiring, we will be offering jolliCube as a DIY kit at our jolliFactory Tindie store.
You may view the following jolliCube YouTube video to see what we will be building.
You may want to check out the following instructables in which we largely adapted the program codes from to drive the above demo for our cube.
After building jolliCube, you may want to adapt it for other projects. You may want to check out our 3D Stereo Audio Spectrum Visualizer project in which jolliCube is re-arranged with the 2 sets of 3D 8x8x4 LED
Matrix displays placed side by side to form a 3D Display.
EDIT: You may also like to check out our jolliCube Audio/Music visualizer project at https://www.instructables.com/id/JolliCube-AudioMusic-Visualizer/
For our design, we will be going to solder the LEDs together using just the long leads on commonly available LEDs. So the LEDs used should not be large which may obstruct the view of LEDs at the back of the cube.
Clear super bright LEDs are also not recommended as the light emitted from one LED may make the LEDs around it to appear lit. Ideally, what we want is to have point light emitting from each LED that will not light up too much of adjacent LEDs.
For our cube, we will be using diffused 3mm LEDs with long leads which are not super bright.
To be able to see all the LEDs as much as possible, we prefer the cube to be built a bit on the flimsy side rather than fortify them using too many additional wires as braces which will inadvertently block the view of LEDs at the back of the cube.
For our LED Cube, the LEDs will be arranged in layers of 8x8 matrix with the cathodes soldered together for the rows and anodes soldered together for columns for each layer. So, we need 8 layers of these 8x8 LED Matrix for our LED Cube.