Introduction: Make Your Own SIMPLE 5x5x5 RGB LED Cube

In this project I will show you how to build a simpler version of a 5x5x5 RGB LED Cube. The driver circuit only consists of an Arduino Nano and the programming is rather simple due to the FastLED library. Let's get started !

Step 1: Watch the Videos!

The videos 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: Order Your Parts!

Here you can find a list of all the necessary electrical parts to build the cube:

Amazon.com:
1x Arduino Nano: http://amzn.to/1XrlQJy

150x PL9823 8mm LED: -

1x Veroboard: http://amzn.to/1XrlQJy

3x PCB terminal: http://amzn.to/1XrlQJy

2x Female header: http://amzn.to/1XrlQJy

1x Toggle Switch: http://amzn.to/1XrlQJy

1x 10k Potentiometer: http://amzn.to/1XrlQJy

1x DC Jack: http://amzn.to/1XrlQJy

Silvered Copper wire: http://amzn.to/1XrlQJy

1x 5V Power Supply: http://amzn.to/1XrlQJy

Amazon.de:

1x Arduino Nano: http://amzn.to/1k2lfiB

150x PL9823 8mm LED: http://amzn.to/1k2lfiB

1x Veroboard: http://amzn.to/1k2lfiB

3x PCB terminal: http://amzn.to/1k2lfiB

2x Female header: http://amzn.to/1k2lfiB

1x Toggle Switch: http://amzn.to/1k2lfiB

1x 10k Potentiometer: http://amzn.to/1k2lfiB

1x DC Jack: http://amzn.to/1k2lfiB

Silvered Copper wire: http://amzn.to/1k2lfiB

1x 5V Power Supply: http://amzn.to/1k2lfiB

Ebay:

1x Arduino Nano: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

150x PL9823 8mm LED: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

1x Veroboard: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

3x PCB terminal: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

2x Female header: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

1x Toggle Switch: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

1x 10k Potentiometer: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

1x DC Jack: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

Silvered Copper wire: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

1x 5V Power Supply: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

Aliexpress:

1x Arduino Nano: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/QBqzZvFEQ

150x PL9823 8mm LED: -

1x Veroboard: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/QBqzZvFEQ

3x PCB terminal: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/QBqzZvFEQ

2x Female header: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/QBqzZvFEQ

1x Toggle Switch: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/QBqzZvFEQ

1x 10k Potentiometer: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/QBqzZvFEQ

1x DC Jack: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/QBqzZvFEQ

Silvered Copper wire: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/QBqzZvFEQ

1x 5V Power Supply: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/QBqzZvFEQ

Step 3: Create the Cube and the Wiring!

Here you can find a couple of pictures on how the wiring should look like and the .svg files for the cube.

Step 4: Upload the Code!

Don't forget to include the FastLED library in your Arduino folder before trying to upload the code!

FastLED library: https://github.com/FastLED/FastLED

And here you can also find two example codes with a couple of animations.

Step 5: Success!

You did it. You successfully built your own simple 5x5x5 RGB LED Cube.


Feel free to check out my YouTube channel for more awesome projects:

http://www.youtube.com/user/greatscottlab

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for news about upcoming projects and behind the scenes information:

https://twitter.com/GreatScottLab

https://www.facebook.com/greatscottlab

Comments

author
RhysH14 made it! (author)2017-07-09

would this scale up to a 8x8x8 cube or do i need to add something to the circuit?

author
AestumB made it! (author)2016-07-11

Hi guys,

Can someone help me to figure out what I done wrong?
here to videos what I’m getting when I’m using colorPalette and Animation code:

colorPalette: https://vimeo.com/173495387

animation: https://vimeo.com/173495386

author
MartinR190 made it! (author)MartinR1902017-04-06

I also have the same problem. Did you find a solution?

author
AestumB made it! (author)AestumB2017-04-09

Yes, problem was that some of led was soldered badly. So check each led to be soldered well.

author
masterofcode made it! (author)masterofcode2016-10-20

all I can say is make sure all LEDs work, the voltage is about 5.5 volts and that the data wire isn't corrupted anywhere. Any of these can cause the LEDs to freak out like that.

author
FlorianB30 made it! (author)FlorianB302016-08-11

Hi
I have the same problem did you find a solution?

author
nickverschuren made it! (author)2017-03-11

Here's my version with some notes on how the wiring is done:

IMG_5070.JPGRGB Led Kubus (Manual).docx
author
JohnJohnson17 made it! (author)2017-03-08

Hi, Great instructions. At the Moment i builded the cube and with the example Programm it works fine. But i don`t know how to create my one Animation. Has anyone of you a good example with notes or knows a tutorial? Thx

IMG_0125.JPG
author
BernardN13 made it! (author)2017-02-20

Hi i was wondering if you had a wiring diagram that could help

author
TorstenD2 made it! (author)2016-12-21

Hi everyone,

can someone give me links/sites with animation/programms for this cube ?

author
Bytme made it! (author)2016-11-13

Hi everyone,

I am a noob at this but I had a slightly different idea to "Great Scott".

I decide to make changes in the way was constructed by building jig, instead of measuring each LED on its place.

I
had various ideas regarding the jig, my first one was made from window
putty...it was a total failure!!!......(does not dry quick enough it
takes several weeks, if not months).

Then I used wall filler because it dries within matter of hours.

Then
I decided Made a box out of cardboard and filled it with the wall
filler, then I made a stencil, as per measurements in the tutorial which
I placed on the wall filler and placed the LED's on the stencil and
soldered all joints.

But then had another idea what if I wanted to change the program? And there is no in put for the data!

I
found 2 cables, on one end has micro "USB" and the other cable has
"A-Female socket", joint the two and placed them on the acrylic box.

........It was just ideas that I wanted to share with everyone else ......

Window Putty.JPGFiller in box 1.JPGFiller box 2.JPGStencil.JPGLED's.JPGLED's orientation.JPGUSB extention.JPGFront Panel.JPGDSC_0069.JPG
author
daltonjensen made it! (author)2016-05-16

Do you need to use this power supply? could you use just a regular USB plug, like from a computer, or a wall transformer that plugs into the jack?

author
masterofcode made it! (author)masterofcode2016-10-20

you can use a regular power supply, make sure it can deliver the right amps. But do not use just the USB plug, that would lead to overdischarge.

author
Guransh Singh made it! (author)2016-03-28

Can I use 5mm rgb led

author
masterofcode made it! (author)masterofcode2016-10-20

you could use these ws2811, p9823 or apa106 LEDs, they all function about the same. Here's the eBay listing:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WS2811-APA106-P9823-F5-5mm-F8-8mm-Round-RGB-LED-chipset-Full-color-LED-Chip-5V-/262557174771?var=&hash=item3d21a08bf3:m:m8T47ldvZXsC047otS-x2Jw

author
GreatScottLab made it! (author)GreatScottLab2016-03-28

No

author
HùngT14 made it! (author)HùngT142016-03-29

pls tell me why

author
andreas.grain made it! (author)andreas.grain2016-05-20

you could not controll it just by conecting it to the arduino. it would be to much for one arduino. he acually did a version where you can use rgb leds, but you would need couple more parts.

author
DevanshD made it! (author)2016-08-28

cant find the LEDs that you recommend. would it be fine if i used 5mm common anode RGB LEDs instead?

if not could you please recommend some other options that could be used?

Thanks! @GreatScottLab

author
masterofcode made it! (author)masterofcode2016-10-20

you can't use regular rgb leds, the construction will not come out the same. You could try the ws2811 LEDs, or those APA106, but they all function about the same. Here's and eBay listing:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WS2811-APA106-P9823-F5-5mm-F8-8mm-Round-RGB-LED-chipset-Full-color-LED-Chip-5V-/262557174771?var=&hash=item3d21a08bf3:m:m8T47ldvZXsC047otS-x2Jw

author
ugore1 made it! (author)2016-09-09

what are the connections for arduino mega 2560 rather then nano?

IMG_0162.PNG
author
masterofcode made it! (author)masterofcode2016-10-20

for a mega, just use the same data pin and analog pin, and set the programmer to arduino mega. Everything else is the same.

author
elexhack made it! (author)2016-03-28

Any substitute for PL9823?

author
CURLS1 made it! (author)CURLS12016-03-29

theres a cheaper one $12.80 for 50 pcs http://www.ebay.com/itm/301798006159

author
elexhack made it! (author)elexhack2016-03-30

Actually this is not available where I live. That's why I was asking if there are some other IC's available of this kind.
Thanks. :)

author
CURLS1 made it! (author)2016-03-29

What was the length x width and hight of the case you made?? i want to 3D cut a box for my own build.

author
QuangT8 made it! (author)2016-03-28

Hey Scott, from rewatching the video many times and scratching my head looking at the pictures, can you tell me if this is how it's wired. So the Nano goes to the Din of the first layer. Then, Dout of the first layer goes into the Din of the 2nd layer. This keeps going until it reaches the 5th at the top. Hence, you hide the Din to Dout connection between the layers using an extra wire buried inside the case, since doing the connection outside is not appealing. Can you confirm this?

author
QuangT8 made it! (author)2016-03-28

Hey Scott, from rewatching the video many times and scratching my head looking at the pictures, can you tell me if this is how it's wired. So the Nano goes to the Din of the first layer. Then, Dout of the first layer goes into the Din of the 2nd layer. This keeps going until it reaches the 5th at the top. Hence, you hide the Din to Dout connection between the layers using an extra wire buried inside the case, since doing the connection outside is not appealing. Can you confirm this?

author
Guransh Singh made it! (author)2016-03-28

Can I use 5mm rgb led

author
Guransh Singh made it! (author)2016-03-25

Can I use 4mm rgb led

author
GreatScottLab made it! (author)GreatScottLab2016-03-25

No

author
Guransh Singh made it! (author)2016-03-25

Can I use arduino pro mini with the same pins and connections

author
GreatScottLab made it! (author)GreatScottLab2016-03-25

Yes

author
danggara1 made it! (author)2016-03-25

can i see the wiring of electric

tanks

author
GreatScottLab made it! (author)GreatScottLab2016-03-25

There are pictures available.

author
danggara1 made it! (author)2016-03-25

can i see the wiring of electric

tanks

author
Heginator made it! (author)2016-02-14

can I use a chip instead of an auduino nano if yes wich chip should I use

author
JohnClifford made it! (author)2016-01-04

Where can I find the details for making the acrylic base? Apart from the pictures in the video there are no actual plans. I am hoping to use this as a project in school.

Great use for an arduino. Many thanks

author
GreatScottLab made it! (author)GreatScottLab2016-01-05

I added a .zip archive which contains them.

author
HesoP made it! (author)2015-12-29

Thank you for the guide. I've ordered the leds and the arduino nano from aliexpress. I have a question: the leds need 5V but how many amps? I want to make a bigger cube (8x8x8) but I don't know which power supply I need.

I think that this way of soldering the leds is quite difficult and not really precise. I found a good way ( http://www.hownottoengineer.com/projects/rgb-led-cube.html ). Basically, they create some panels and then they connect them to each others. In this way it should be easier. I'll let you know when I'll be finish with the cube.

author
cavalcade made it! (author)2015-12-16

Hello,when i open animation .ino i have that :

#include <FastLED.h>

#define DATA_PIN 2

#define LED_TYPE WS2812

#define COLOR_ORDER GRB

#define NUM_LEDS 125

#define analogin A0

CRGB leds[NUM_LEDS];

int BRIGHTNESS;

int i;

int x;

int y;

void setup() {

FastLED.addLeds<WS2812, DATA_PIN, RGB>(leds, NUM_LEDS);

x=0;

y=200;

}

void loop() {

BRIGHTNESS=map(analogRead(analogin),0,1023,0,255);

FastLED.setBrightness(BRIGHTNESS);

FastLED.clear();

for (i=(0+x);i<(25+x);i++){

leds[i] = CRGB::Red;}

FastLED.show();

x=x+25;

if (x>=125){

x=0;

y=y-10;}

if(y==10){y=200;}

delay(y);

}

And the message is : redefinition of 'void setup()'

What must i do ?Thank you.

author
WillO7 made it! (author)2015-11-29

To preface this comment, I would like to thank you for this great project, it was very fun to build the cube. However, I am having some issues with data corruption when trying even the most basic programs. Most animations work fine for the first two layers (50 LED's) but after that, the colors become mixed up and are all funky looking. I have re-watched the videos several times to ensure that my cube has the correct wiring, and I have tested for shorts. Every LED works properly by itself, and there is even voltage distribution throughout the cube. If anyone has any information on why this may be happening that would be awesome.

author
grandpayum made it! (author)2015-11-27

would this work with an arduino uno?

author
MariusG1 made it! (author)MariusG12015-11-28

Yes.

author
econjack made it! (author)2015-11-16

Enjoyed this a lot and would like to see the programming video. I have a 5x5x5 that I bought some time ago and am working on a video editor for it. The idea is to have an editor that simulates the LED patterns on the PC, doing away with the need to upload to test the patterns.

author
Media LAB dude made it! (author)2015-11-12

yes. do make a video on how to program custom animations. Great work!!

author
che Lollittah made it! (author)2015-11-12

I have tried to but am facing some difficulty please help me more

author
ThomasVDD made it! (author)2015-11-08

Very nice, I'm making one! :)
Could you include the inkscape files, like you mentioned in the video? ;)

author
GreatScottLab made it! (author)GreatScottLab2015-11-09

Correct. I forgot that. I will upload them soon.

author
makeosaurus made it! (author)2015-11-01

Would you be able to do a similar video using arduino and 3x3x3?

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