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.

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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I am using arduino mega as isp to program or usb pic or if u any software for led programming that is also good

I am not using rs232 ic just using atmega32 and 74hc574and 74hc138ic just using basic module I don want confuse I want program the atmega working alone

give me link

Hai guys I need help with complete code and this is my first project I am done everything I need only code I am using 74hc574 ic I want code based on that and another thing I am chef I not familiar with c programming I am doing project in hobbies because I love electronics pls help me with that ,that's greatfull for me

LinasB made it!12 days ago

Help needed!

I managed to put everything together and now I am having problems with programming. I have little experience in this, so I don't what's wrong:

I have (a copy of) Arduino Uno, i programmed it as an ISP so that i would able to program the cube's Atmega32.

I wrote:

avrdude -c avrisp -P COM3 -p m32 -U lfuse:w:0b11101111:m -F

(I used -F to get any result, because otherwise all i got was:

avrdude: Device signature = 0x000000

avrdude: Yikes! Invalid device signature.)

And i get a verification error (see screenshot). If I do anything afterwards, all i get is this: avrdude: stk500_cmd(): programmer is out of sync

After reconnecting Arduino usb, i get the same result (verification error and then out of sync error).

Also, it is unclear to me whether the programming header's jumper should be used. If I disconnect it, the avrdude displays out of sync error immediately. If i do use the jumper, the cube lights up seemingly randomly and after some time pretty much all of the LEDs are lit up. Is it a soldering problem or is it supposed to happen?


I suggest getting an USBASP or USBTiny off ebay. They are typically $2 to $5.

The other option is to program your arduino to control the cube itself.

Thanks, i figured that would be necessary. Would i have to make any changes to the board to use Arduino with it? Or should i just wait for the programmer to arrive?
SuperTech-IT made it! LinasB7 days ago

There aren't really any changes as such to run it from an arduino, and this is explained at the end of this instructable and has code for it as well. I also provide code on my instructable complete with a Power On Self Test (POST) for troubleshooting wiring issues. Honestly though, I would wait for the programmer and use the Atmega32 as it has better animations written for it. If you had one of my PCBs, you also need the 32 for things like music response and serial communication.

RAMP 1.0E Rev.4.jpg
I see, thanks a lot!
power0005 months ago

hi , i have made CRR's led cube but something very strange is happening

there are led lighting that must not light. I have change emmitter with collector , i have use only one 2n222 as uperTech-IT says but nonthing good.

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


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.

What have you used, atmega or arduino?

i use atmega

It worked flawlessly buddy. it is such a great feeling achieving that task

The Arduino is also ATmega in that the processor is an ATmega328P.

Most people prefer the ATmega32/32A/32L for this project though.

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

power000 power0005 months ago

and of course i have place 8 pull up resistors on collectors ,6.2k

power000 power0005 months ago

finally it works! there were many short circuits and tow transistor had electrik leak

Glad you got it all up and running! Hope to see a video of your cube in action!


power000 power0004 months ago

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?

1e1e1914 days ago


here you got a list and links to all parts

Yup, that's my instructable, but the parts links haven't been updated for a while. If you want to get a complete parts kit, you can visit my site at www.TheLEDCube.com and select any board, then on the next page, you will see links to the right hand side, including a link to a single complete parts kit for the circuit (minus power supply and AVRs)

Tymmybike19 days ago
What leds did you used?what voltage?

Well u have to choose ur own leds (should be around 5v) or buy the LEDs he linked

Tymmybike20 days ago
Can you tell me what value are those 64 rezistors

It depends on your LED, u have to try it out which resistor strength u have to use.

U have to find a good value between led safety and the brightness :D

(i took around 100 Ohm)

1e1e1926 days ago

Can you uploade or can somebody give me a more detailed configuration of the power Supply of the multiplexer board.

amirs1129 days ago


thank you chr for the excellent guide!

I have trouble in opening the .sch files - does any one else has that problem? I'm a linux user so every schematics software for linux is fine by me.

Thank you.

BreandáinD1 month ago

Hi! Thanks for the excellent instructions. I was able to follow them with no problem, and finally finished my own! (Sorry about the video quality)


Used an Arduino Uno, and your code works perfectly for me. I thought there was something wrong with it initially, but it was just my own terrible soldering skills, so I'd suggest to anyone that has a problem with the code to go fault finding first, because that was 99.9% of my problems. Thanks again!!

peter.mbiria made it!1 month ago

Finally, it worked after much struggle with the board. It is running on sainsmart uno v3.0 controller


Barely managed to get trough the whole tutorial and I might say this is more than incredible! I doubt I could built this on my own tho, but still it is an incredible project!

KonradH2 months ago
Thanks for doing this Instructabe! I actually did this as my first electronic project, and it worked flawlessly on an Arduino UNO. I really apreciate you took the time to do a guide so extensive and complete.
Now, i wanna manage the cube via Serial Comunication on Bluetooth. So i need an Arduino MEGA(the Uno doesnt have any Pins lef). Problem is, the code isnt compatible with the Mega and i cant fully understand how the PORT commands work, so i am unable to make it work on am Arduino MEGA. Can you help doing a compatible code. (I dont need to use Analog pins anymore to control the cube)
KoussayS2 months ago
Guys plz i use atduino uno and i need thé code plz help me
Lukhman2 months ago

it is different from the board that you made. i found there are some large difference in the blue print and the completed pcb. i need your help urgently. can you give your any other contact details like skype.

Lukhman2 months ago

hello, i would like to make a cube. so i need your help. i had the items you have written above. but i cant understand anything from the blue print.

the_fbomb2 months ago

Hi guys, if you want the code for a 8x8x8 Led cube controlled by an Arduino mega 2560 and coupled with a IR detector you can check out that code:


It includes a complete library of letters and numbers! Feel free to use it and also improve it ;)

Please note that the pre-processor, and the effect functions are snippets, so thank Chr for that!

salar naser2 months ago

wowthank you boy

its best

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