Picture of The Arduino LED Cube!!
Are you bored? Let's try making an LED cube. A work of art, that lights up.

Check out my new project on sending a balloon into space!!
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Step 1: What in the world is and LED?

Picture of What in the world is and LED?
LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode, where electricity can only go one way and when it passes through the "LED" it lights up!

Step 2: Materials you will need.

Let's see what you need to make this...

• 27 LEDs - radioshack sells 20 for 3 bucks. You can go to digikey, or be smart and get two packs of assorted LEDs at radioshack.

• Arduino Programming Board - Go to the maker shed or

• Some like 2ft of wire(choose your favorite)

• A breadboard for connecting all the pieces. 

• A soldering iron! 

and your set to go!

area364 years ago
IT WORKS!!!! muhuhahaha. Hey man thanks a million for puttting out this how to! I thought I was working on a disaster but I am looking at it right now run through all of its programs and it is just beautiful. clap calp my friend!
adrian.robb4 years ago
Awesome project! You can almost 'see' in a way what the code is going to do if you scroll down through the 1's and 0's and look at the pattern they make as they go past :P
avibit1234 years ago
Thanks man, me and my buddy here in israel built two led cubes with your help.
we appreciate your hard work of writing this tutorial thanks alot.

Im confused about several things. Mainly, isn't the max current for each digital i/o pin 40mA? So isn't there a maximum of 3 leds connected in parallel to each pin at a time? And, doesn't each led require around 3.6V for blue or green, and lowed for red, so aren't resistors needed for each layer connection? And, I made my cube of LEDs using these: which draw 30mA, 70mA peak, so wouldn't three of those all on at one time blow out something? I made my cube of LEDs, but i'm too worried to wire them to the arduino. Help would be appreciated.
I thought only one led was lit at a using POV( persistence of vision) to appear that many are lit
Thanks Mark. Yes, this post is a few years old. I learned a lot since then. :)
akki52301 year ago
Can i do this for a 4*4*4 led cube?
bmagnani3 years ago
Thanks for the code! Will this code work for the Baby Orangutan?
robotkid249 (author) 3 years ago
a_noob4 years ago
hey there peepz im doing this project now and i was wondering where do you actualy put the 1st pin from the led to the arduino board coz the discription here is not that clear, its a bit vauge if possible u can shed smome light on that

and  next is the 3 cathode conction, u say its conected to analog 0,1,2. but the analog 1 and 2 is used for the number 1 and 7 anode so i was wondering which one is ryt? im a bit confused here

do pls. help me in those area and i hope to hear from you guys as quick as possible pls. thank you.
vorgon45 years ago
 this might help! I built one, got bored changing 0 and 1's to make it go! if you want to change the above code this little page i made will do it easily... 
vorgon4 vorgon45 years ago
 oops forgot the link
gummy5 years ago
where on the arduino board should i connect the 3 catode pins?
erod998 gummy5 years ago
 i know not the best instrctable ive seen and im wondering the same thing!!!!!
gummy erod9985 years ago
hey erod998

i found out how to connect the 3 catode pins. they go to analog 0,1,2
erod998 gummy5 years ago
 i havent tried that yet but thaanks even if it doesnt work

here is the working link to the code:
i built the cube and it worked perfectly
Jodex5 years ago
I'm building 2x2x2 LED cube next weekend.. It's going to be a bit easier than 3x3x3.. And I'm gonna make my code different way; connect each LED to one pin and make the code about by modding the "Blinking LED"... I 'm not good at all at Arduino coding yet; I just can make some piezo buzzer sounds and making LEDs blink the way I want =)
zm6346 years ago
Spelling and grammar check, Get rid of that huge block of code; it doesn't work. The bloggy thing has turned the conditionals into links. The link to the original code is better. You could also offer it as a downloadable Arduino sketch.

It's still a helpful instructable, but you should try to explain *what* is going on (charlieplexing?) so that someone can use the knowledge to build off it. That whole teach a man to fish thing.
happywatt zm6345 years ago
I'm glad you said something about the code, I down loaded it and it didn't work nor could I figure out what was going on with it. I'm new to using an Arduino and programming. I've probably been at it now for 2 or 3 weeks and it's tough as hell grasping concepts and so on, but I'm getting there slowly so I take all the advice I can get my hands on. You mention something about the original code. I checked the links and didn't really see anything I could use. I'm not even sure if it is code my Ardunio board can interrupt. I am using the software for windows which I believe is C or C++, regardless, would you know where I can obtain a down load of the code for a 3 x 3 cube in C or for the windows version of the code? Any assistance would be appreciated. Thanks,
macattackct5 years ago
using MY cube and Mac u did this, and i dont see any acknowledments!
depotdevoid6 years ago
Besides spelling and grammar, this was a very good instructable, I found it quite useful. Thanks for the help!
robotkid249 (author) 6 years ago
"LED backlight display"
LCD computer monitors contain cold-cathode tubes as backlights.