Create your own 8x8x8 LED Cube 3-dimensional display!

We believe this Instructable is the most comprehensive step-by-step guide to build an 8x8x8 LED Cube ever published on the intertubes. It will teach you everything from theory of operation, how to build the cube, to the inner workings of the software. We will take you through the software step by step, both the low level drivers/routines and how to create awesome animations. The software aspect of LED cubes is often overlooked, but a LED cube is only as awesome as the software it runs.

About halfway through the Instructable, you will actually have a fully functional LED cube. The remaining steps will show you how to create the software.

A video is worth a thousand words. I'll just leave it up to this video to convince you that this is the next project you will be building:

I made this LED cube together with my friend chiller. The build took about 4 days from small scale prototyping to completed cube. Then another couple of hours to debug some faulty transistors.

The software is probably another 4-5 days of work combined.

Step 1: Skills required

At first glance this project might seem like an overly complex and daunting task. However, we are dealing with digital electronics here, so everything is either on or off!

I've been doing electronics for a long time, and for years i struggled with analog circuits. The analog circuits failed over half the time even if i followed instructions. One resistor or capacitor with a slightly wrong value, and the circuit doesn't work.

About 4 years ago, I decided to give microcontrollers a try. This completely changed my relationship with electronics. I went from only being able to build simple analog circuits, to being able to build almost anything!

A digital circuit doesn't care if a resistor is 1k ohm or 2k ohm, as long as it can distinguish high from low. And believe me, this makes it A LOT easier to do electronics!

With that said, there are still some things you should know before venturing out and building this rather large project.

You should have an understanding of:
  • Basic electronics. (We would recommend against building this as your very first electronics project. But please read the Instructable. You'll still learn a lot!)
  • How to solder.
  • How to use a multimeter etc.
  • Writing code in C (optional. We provide a fully functional program, ready to go)
You should also have patience and a generous amount of free time.

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<p>hai guys I want to know how much power and amp give for cube and I am using arduino so arduino hold 1.5 amp 5v and connect to driver board or I give power to driver board separately and arduino separately and how much I want give can u give me detail</p>
<p>Hello i have built this cube but i am having problems. i upload the test code and everything works but after i uploar the second code as well as the firmware nothing happens</p>
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<p>I will make it</p>
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<p>I am using arduino mega as isp to program or usb pic or if u any software for led programming that is also good </p>
I'm good to go now found good files on pyroelectro.com by thepyroelectro www.pyroelectro.com/projects/8x8x8_led_cube/arduino_8x8x8_cube.pde
can you tell me how to copy and paste animations into the my main sketch from other sketches? So I can add more animations. what section sketch to copy and where to place it. thanks
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<p>hi , i have made CRR's led cube but something very strange is happening</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YZucW88VQr0" width="500"></iframe></p><p>there are led lighting that must not light. I have change emmitter with collector , i have use only one 2n222 as <a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/SuperTech-IT/" rel="nofollow">uperTech-IT</a> says but nonthing good.</p>
<p>I noticed you got yours up and running. Congrats. I see you went the 2 transistor rout in the end, but that's OK, it's just more parts than needed.<br>My boards are a lot more compact than yours, and allow Arduino's ATmega328p or the ATmega32/32A/32L processors, but the end result is pretty much the same. LOL. Here you can also see one of my completed single colour cubes beside one of my RGB cubes.<br></p>
2N2222 transistor have 600ma current max on colector and one led need 0.015ma mutil by 64 led each layer equal ~1A. Therefore you need at leat 2 2N2222 transistor
<p>More precisely, my design uses single 2N2222 for the layers - the whole cube with all LEDs lit draws under 700mA. Anyways, if you still have not worked this out, go to www.TheLEDCube.com and download my source code for your processor which contains a POWER ON SELF TEST. Video the POST and put the video up here and I will analyze it and point you to pretty much exactly what's wrong right off the bat unless there are multiple shorts / bad connections.</p>
<p>Hey, can u uploade a bit more detailed description of the power supply.</p><p>I cannot figure out how to solder the pieces</p>
<p>Your best bet is to simply get a 5V 2A plug-in power supply.</p><p>These are cheap and plentiful on ebay.</p>
<p>What have you used, atmega or arduino? </p>
<p>i use atmega</p>
<p>It worked flawlessly buddy. it is such a great feeling achieving that task</p>
<p>The Arduino is also ATmega in that the processor is an ATmega328P.</p><p>Most people prefer the ATmega32/32A/32L for this project though.</p>
<p>Finally, It worked flawlessly. Now I want to go to the next level and use atmega32. Problem is to get the crystal, I'll have to import it</p>
<p>and of course i have place 8 pull up resistors on collectors ,6.2k</p>
<p>finally it works! there were many short circuits and tow transistor had electrik leak</p>
<p>Glad you got it all up and running! Hope to see a video of your cube in action!</p>
<p>Is there any program to control led cube and make coding easy ,just clicking on leds we want to gets on with the order we want?</p>
wow I'm blown away. I built the jameco 8x8 cube pcb version. their sample code works great but I sure would like more code that will work with this kit. I'm glad I made the cube large with 25mm spacing thanks for the advice.
I built the Jameco 8x8x8 cube PCB version. I need better code than the sample file. Please help.
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About This Instructable


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Bio: I like microcontrollers and LEDs :D
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