Instructables
Picture of LED Cube 8x8x8
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.

 
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Step 1: Skills required

Picture of 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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Futurlec called me three weeks after my order and after charging me and told me that they didn't have most of the parts. It was aswell a hassle to get them to refund my purchase.

LHC5 days ago

Hi, plz tell me. How rule cube by PC ? What programm i must use?

Geekaton6 days ago

Here a youtube video timelapse if you need any help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTZJOy70rrc

LahA8 days ago

it's awesome n i feel like i wanna try it out......can u please provide me the program source code to building this project....i'll b really thankfull if u email me....... (klgodman143@gmail.com) thanks in advance

the source code is in this instructable, and also in my revisited instructable.

thank u
noelsharpe9 days ago

hi guys,

I am really interested In purchasing this product for my school project.

I have researched the cost and shipping on ebay but the shipping takes too long. is there any websites you can recommend to buy this product with a 10 day shipping or around that time to Ireland ?

sorry if this was asked already ! and thanks for replying also in advance ! :)

thanks,

noel

Your best bet is to get your parts locally somewhere.

If you want to reduce your build time, I sell PC Boards for this project, but just the boards, no parts. Delivery typically is 1-2 weeks after payment. inbox me for details if you wish to purchase my PC Boards.

thanks very much ! I took your advice and bought the separate parts! it cost 3 times more but I have all the parts within 3 days. thanks

I don't know about Ireland, but whenever I need parts fast, I use DigiKey as they usually have all the parts I need, and also have next day delivery to Canada / US, so I suspect it would be pretty fast even to Ireland.

Happy 4 million views CHR !!!

Flosyd1238 days ago

It really looks great.

LahA8 days ago

it's awesome n i feel like i wanna try it out......can u please provide me the program source code to building this project....i'll b really thankfull if u email me....... (klgodman143@gmail.com) thanks in advance

piddy05041 month ago

I am currently building this cube,was wondering how it would be possible to use a momentary switch to cycle through the different effects,any pointers as to how to modify the software to achieve this would be much appreciated.

I have code that does this. See my "revisited" instructable on this circuit.

Hi again i have built my circuit following Pyroelectro schematic using the 328p on my board.However i now want to change this to use the atmega32 as i do not have the spare pin required for the button input.Would i need to alter the Pyroelectro circuit in any other way apart from the obvious changes that involve the bigger chip.Any advise would be appreciated

It's hard to speculate on someone else's circuit.

Ok point taken but what i am asking really is if it were to replace the 328 with the 32 and connect everything from the 328 to the corresponding pins on the 32 eg. PB0 on 328 is pin 14 PB0 on the 32 is pin 1 would the same code work.

No. This is why different code had to be made for each chip.

Thank you for your reply and excellent tutorial.I have my circuit completed and am currently waiting on more LED to finish the cube as i only received enough for 3 layers instead of the 8 i had ordered from china.Once i have completed my build i am sure i will be needing your help again as software side of things is still a big learning curve for me.
rjsbass12 days ago

Hi - I'm trying to debug an issue with my cube - one of the columns doesn't light up. I tested each LED in the entire column and their connections...could it be a busted IC or transistor?

jlj0425 made it!1 month ago

i made it!!! Thanks guys. its really great

IMG_20150117_135103.jpgIMG_20150117_135114.jpgIMG_20150117_135211.jpgIMG_20150117_135221.jpg

looks impressive, well done

Hey, what program you use to made this led cube. I want to make this led cube.

hey. i want to try make this led cube 8x8x8. can u sent all info that i needed to make this led cube please? sent to this email hediana11@yahoo.com

http://www.pyroelectro.com/projects/8x8x8_led_cube/
Go here. I has all the step by step guide with pictures.

Ya, but if you run normal code on that circuit, the letters come out backwards.

No. Mine work perfectly. And i did not use only one code. I combine all available code in the net to a single code. And it works perfect.

It works fine with your code, or the one by Jameco - which is backwards when compared with CHRs original project. Trust me.

http://www.pyroelectro.com/projects/8x8x8_led_cube/
Go here. I has all the step by step guide with pictures.

jlj0425: Hai, i want to make this led cube 8x8x8. can u sent me all the detail to make this thing. i also want the program to move this thing. sent to my email hediana11@yahoo.com .

http://www.pyroelectro.com/projects/8x8x8_led_cube/
Just follow this. More detailed instruction. Gud luck

Nice and clean setup, funny you kept the image underneath.

LexiM21 days ago

Awesome

likehamza25 days ago

i have modified original code by chr and supertech it to workable on arduino mega 2560 along with pin configuration let me know i will mail that code to one who is looking for it

and please help me with the diagram of music mode in led cube if any one have any idea related to adding music mode in chr's led cube 8x8x8 then please send me

my email is : likehamza@gmail.com

I still have some if anyone wants....


Actually it's the Rev.4 that I have which fix the minor issues with the Rev.3

Scan_Pic0038.jpg

it made it

it made it

it made it

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