Today we are going to learn how to make an LED Cube Jig.
What is an LED Cube Jig you might ask? Well its simply a neat little holder that will allow you to easily assemble an LED Cube Frame so that it is uniform in size and shape.
In order to make a perfect LED Cube like those mentioned in so many Instructables, you are going to need one of these.
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Step 1: Deciding the Size of Your LED Cube
You can make a jig that will allow the construction of one size of LED Cube, or you can make a universal one that will allow you to make any size you want in the future.
This will also depend on the size of the LED's you intend to use for your cube. The most common size of LED for Cubes are usually 5mm.
So its up to you if you want to make a cube that is 5x5x5 then you would need a grid of 5x5 for each floor of the cube.
Today we are going to make a Jig that will allow the creation of a 3x3x3 LED Cube using 5mm LED's.
Step 2: Materials and Tools
The beauty of this project is that you can use almost anything to make the Jig.
You can make it with:
Today I will be using a shoe box lid that I salvaged from the shoe closet.
For this project you will also need a Hand Drill with 5mm Drillbit, or you can use a 5mm screwdriver to make the holes for the LED's. Also you will need a measuring tape to measure the Cube Layout and a pen to mark the lines.
To keep things simple I used a 5mm screwdriver to poke some holes in the shoe box lid. It took about 5 minutes to make the entire Jig this way.
If you want a more professional and longer lasting jig then go for a wooden or plastic base, but be sure to sand the holes with some fine sandpaper so that the LED's will not get stuck. (This is a problem because if the LED's are stuck when you try to remove them from the jig, it could damage your soldering work).
Step 3: Measuring and Cutting the Holes
So to make our 3x3x3 LED Cube Jig, simply measure a 3x3 Grid of at least 1 inch per LED like in the picture. This also depends on how long the leads are on your LED's, some are short but most are about 1 inch.
Mark the grid with a pen or pencil, and put the positive symbols on one side, and the negative symbols on the other. (This will help later when constructing the floors).
For a better assembly line, you can make 3 identical jigs side by side, so that you can solder them all in one go. (check the picture for my assembly line)
When that is finished you can now cut the holes with your chosen tool. I used a screwdriver, which actually took only 1 minute to make.
Step 4: Finished and Ready for Construction of LED Cube!
So now you have a complete LED Cube Jig, which is sure to make your job of making an LED Cube much much easier. You can now place your desired colored LED's down into the jig, and begin soldering them together.
I used this jig to make my LED cube. Enjoy!