Instructables
Picture of The 4x4x4 LED cube (Arduino)
In this instructable I will show you how to make a 4x4x4 LED cube that will be controlled by an Arduino Demulionove. now yes you might say" that Arduino has only 14 I/O pins well also the 6 analog pins can be used as pins 15,16,17,18,19,20. that way giving us enough pins (16 columns + 4layers = 20 I/O pins)

This instructable is made for those who know how to solder (well) and how to program the Arduino. Also I will be providing detours to skip sum steps so if you see (Detour available skip to __ Step) you can follow if you are to lazy to do that.

 
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Step 1: Get the materials

Picture of Get the materials
To start of you will need these materials:

Mandatory
-- 64 LED (color optional) **
-- Arduino Demulionove
-- Wire

Optional
--32 male pin strip
--PCB prototype board
--Fine Grit (400 +) sand paper

Your choice
-- 64 resistors or 16
you can get 64 resistors which will help by keeping all the lights at the same light out put regardless of how many are on but it will be considerably more work.

Tools:
--Computer
--Soldering Iron
--Solder
--thin nose pliers

**Color is optional but use this website to find the right resistor for your leds http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz (I got Green so I used 100 ohm resistors)
 

Step 2: Assemble the board(the LED cube base)

(Detour available skip to next step)

In this step you will need the board and the wiring. First you will want to map out were all the wires will go and then feed the wires through the board. Don't mind the LED and resistor note on the picture for now.

NOTE: I recommend you use Different color wire just because you won't get confused which wire is which.

 

Step 3: Defuse the LED

DETOUR if you don't want to do this then go to next step

So to defuse the LED I took normal 400 grit sand paper and sanded all the LEDs which made them look pretty good.

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JohnS1820 hours ago

I wondred if someone could post a link to were I can buy the PCB/stripboard and the link to the wires.

parmarravi3 months ago

i made an 4*4*4 led cube with ,16 cathodes and 4 anodes but now the issue is only column works perfect and when ,i light an one row ,it also lights up other rows too...could u tell me how to fix this issue.i have not used any transistors in a cube only resistors and leds

forte1994 (author)  parmarravi3 months ago
You need to multiplex the layers. What seems like is happening with you is you didn't multiplex the layers thus all of them light up. Use the code provided to have them be multipliexed properly.
fryddog2 years ago
Hello,
I have made an 8x8x8 led cube already and I am trying to find an easy way to program it. Is it possible to use your code and adapt it to an 8x8x8 cube? If so would you know where to change it?
There aren't enough outputs on the arduino for that without additional logic such as shift registers or LED drivers, either one will require a major rewrite in the code since it is a completely different method.

Use the arduino mega, or connect multiple arduinos in sync. You can do this by having a serial connection between them perhaps.

ajvdmeij2 years ago
I have just built the cube and it is working great. You can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwlSijShbbc 

Making the code for great patterns is kind of difficult, so I made a little Javascript program to make designing them more easily. It basically works as follows. You see four squares: the first square is the front layer, the second, the one behind that, the third the one behind that and the last is the back layer. You can set the LEDS on or off and when you have made a pattern, and have set a time in a text box, you can write it to a text area. Then make another one, and another one and.. When you are finished, you can copy the contents of the text area and paste it in the Arduino Code. Then go for it!

Try it here: http://home.kpn.nl/ajvdmeij/makecode.html. If you want the source code, you can copy it or tell me and i will mail it to you.

Have fun!

twitter.com/arjanvandermeij
You must use safari on windows, chrome will not work. safari does though!
ddemayo ajvdmeij10 months ago
Your website no longer works to program the code
hi ajvdmeij
can u send me the source code for the 4x4 led cubes? thx a bunch..

will,
That is awesome!!! So handy. Thanks!
Any chance you could whip up a similar program but for an 8x8x8 cube?
mbrenig1 year ago
My friend owns one of these.. I wrote python code to generate frames that look like a simulated game of snakes on the cube. Here's the code if anyone wants to try it out: https://gist.github.com/mbrenig/6596288
Pigstealer1 year ago
First off, thanks for the great 'able. Well done! I got my cube finished and loaded your sample code into it and it works! I burned out a couple of LEDs while soldering the layers together and a couple of them are a little crooked, but I am very happy with the results all the same. I haven't got the program figured out as of yet, so I am still running the code you provided but people I show it to are pretty impressed. Here are a couple links to YouTube so you can check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OEN7cLs0j8&feature=youtu.be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-Mdt0VnOQs Thanks again for the great instructions, I am already started on my 2nd one.
jatinbatra1 year ago
I'm an Arduino begginer ...can i have line by line explanation of code? please
WGY1 year ago
I made my cube and all of the lights work, however, there seems to be a problem with the wiring. Whenever I address a single LED in 6 of the columns, The whole column lights up. This does not happen in 2 columns where the LED's light up individually.
Help would be appreciated!
Thanks!
forte1994 (author) 1 year ago
I might make a miniature version with smd leds most likely bigger then a 4x4x4 maybe a 8x8x8 or a 10x10x10.
Obruni1 year ago
Did it!
Thanks for the great instructable.
Took me 2.5 hours of constructing. The coding took about the same time (with code example available over here)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQynlmQtXY8&feature=plcp

Let's go for the 8x8x8 :-)

Obruni
velankani2 years ago
i did it successfully .
'earl2 years ago
Hey guys, Ive finished mine, and started with this code, took me a while to figure it out, but after 7 hours of maually writing my own binary code, Heres my cube. Not Done. But its Pretty awesome so far I think. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYjYs9WjlLY
velankani2 years ago
at least send me Arduino Demulionove board .where will it available ?
velankani2 years ago
i want to bye this project .
can u tell me cost of this project .
and send to my address.
9949795249
jamesabruce2 years ago
Hey guys, I built one of these and wrote up the process as well as some additional software for this build:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/programming-arduino-4x4x4-led-cube-awesome-stuff/

It just goes over how to code programmatically for the cube rather than using a set pattern, so you can start to make games and interactive stuff. Sepcifically, I wrote code for a 2 segemnt random snake, and conways game of life. Hope you like and it spurs you on to making more apps for this - please send me a link if you do.

Forte1944 - thank you for an awesome build - gave you full credit in the original article here: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-make-a-pulsating-arduino-led-cube-that-looks-like-it-came-from-the-future/
Is there a schematic. I can't tell what goes where.
I'm brand new with arduino and i was curious to how you would upload the code on to it? any help will be appreciated. Also great work.
- Thanks
First, you have to download arduino software from arduino.cc. There will be a manual for installing drivers. After you have done that, open arduino program, write code, comply and upload to board!
velankani2 years ago
can u tell me about the full wiring circuit diagram .
http://www.instructables.com/id/3X3-LED-Cube-Programming-tips-Arduino-based/
alsetalokin2 years ago
Well, I built a cube (from a different instructable) and uploaded the .pde, and it runs, and appears to make the correct patterns, I think... but I can't make heads or tails out of the pattern making strings. There are some weird brightness variations too.

There are sixteen "B0000" groups per line. One would think that each group corresponds to a vertical column, and the 0s and 1s indicate the plane, and whether the light is on or off.

But that's not how it seems to work for me, and I can't figure it out.

The java applet on makecode.html always prints the same line, sixteen B1111s, no matter what boxes I have checked. The only thing that changes is the duration number, which does correspond to what I enter in the box. But everything else is always B1111s.

Can you please help me understand the pattern strings?
I tried it in Safari and Chrome on a Mac and they work. I just saw that it didn't work in Firefox. I also tried it in Windows: IE also didn't seem to work. But Safari for Windows does the trick and I think )although I did't try) that Chrome will also work on a Windows computer.

I made the code in Dreamweaver and I will try to make it Cross-platform compatible but I can't promise anything: I am just an amateur!
ei grande me da awe umas dica como fazer ou me vende um
tboultwood12 years ago
Thank you ever so much for a great tutorial, i just made a 3x3 3mm red because I had no other LEDs :S So I just ordered a bag of 100 Blue! Thanks again and hope to see more of you in the future.

Trevor B
vishalapr2 years ago
I am making another cube and this time I am confused on the resistors bit...

I have a question...I am using these LEDs...

http://www.ebay.pl/itm/110783289032?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649#ht_1456wt_1139

I have resistors of all the values from 1 ohm to 1 mega ohm....in 10's ....
So which resistors will I need to use for those LEDs? The cube is connected to an arduino nano...

plz help :)
100ohm resistors should work.
Please, could you post pictures of the links in Arduino, would help greatly.
Oh, and if you have the electronic circuit, would be great.

Thank you.

Great project, congratulations!

jwgillon2 years ago
If anyone has expanded on the code, please post it!
supernova123 years ago
This cube is awesome, I just built it as my first project with my new arduino and it works great :). Thanks so much for the code, I honestly couldn't be bothered writing all the patterns myself.
forte1994 (author)  supernova123 years ago
Good job, and I did make a java app to write the code for you and you just check and ubchek boxes, its still a work in progress but does genorate the code. I'll try to finish it asap and post it here.

Great instructable! Could you post the java app in its current state?
Do you have finish the program that generate the code ?
It will be very helpful for me.

(sorry for my bad english)
vishalapr2 years ago
Could you help me with how the code works plz ? I get that we change the binary values for the LEDs and I can do that quite easily, but what does the rest of the code do? The instructions and help lines on the file don't really tell me what they are and why they are even there and not just the whole 10101 thing...

By the way,
This ible is awesome! It helped me a lot! Thx for the ible!
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