In this project I will show you how to build a simpler version of a 4x4x4 LED Cube. The driver circuit only consists of an Arduino Uno . Let's get started !
Step 1: Watch the Video
The video will give you the mandatory information you need to build this project. In the next steps though I will give you some additional helpful advice.
Step 2: Parts You Need:
Here you can find a list of all the necessary electrical parts to build the cube:
1 x Arduino Uno
64 x LEDs
4 x 100 Ω Resistances
20 x male to female jumper wires
Step 3: Building the Cube Structure
This is the hardest part. Building the 3D structure will take about 3 - 4 hours, depending on your soldering skills and patience. There are several steps in this build. Keep testing it! Once the cube is assembled, it is next to impossible to repair anything. So keep testing! I know why I say this, believe me...
TIP: A simple way to test LEDs is with a multimeter set to "diode test". The multimeter will drive a small current through the LED, so it will light up dimly. Try all possible combinations of connecting columns and levels of your cube with your test leads. Do this after every step.
Step 4: Prepare the LEDs
The LEDs need some preforming of theirs anodes. We start with a standard LED.
Use pliers to hold the longer wire (the anode).
Make a 90° bend.
And finally bend it the other way.
And here is the reason why we have to do this. The LEDs will be stacked later. In each column of the cube, the anodes of the LEDs will be used for this. And without the preforming, it would be difficult to reach the anode below.
So keep repeating this until all of your 64 LEDs are prepared
Step 5: Build the Groups
Each group consists of 16LEDs.
You need a template to assemble the LED groups. so I made a set of 16 holes in 4 rows with 4 holes each into box
Mark the side to towards which your cathode of led will point.
Insert all LEDs in the template. Make sure all cathodes point towards marked side as shown in image.
Step 6: Soldering
Bend the anode leads by using twizzer as shown in pic.
before doing bending , mark the arrow on direction in which you want bend your anode as show in pic.
Solder them to their neighbors so that the anodes form a ring-like structure. Align cathodes and make sure they are vertical. And then test!
Step 7: Assemble the Cube
Finally, all groups are connected.
This step needs to be executed carefully.
Make sure everything is level and aligned.
Insert the first group into the box.
Then, add a second group. Put it on the box in exactly the same orientation. Later, the columns of these two LED groups will be connected in parallel.
Connect the common anodes to the box.
Now test those first two groups!
If everything works, start with the second level.
Connect the two groups of the second level through their anodes to the corresponding anodes of the first level.
Take your time!
and connect the rest.
Make sure everything works. Try all combinations of columns and levels.
Congratulations! This is the hardest part done. What remains to program an Arduino to control the cube. It is very simple.
Step 8: Connection to Arduino
connect all the columns (16 common cathode pins)of cube to arduino as shown in pic
note: connect the rows (4 common anode pins) of cube to the one 100 ohm resistance then it to the arduino pin as shown in pic
Step 9: Upload the Code!
Step 10: Success!
You did it. You successfully built your own simple 4x4x4 LED Cube.
In case you have questions, leave a comment below.