Tuesday, 29 December 2015 20:44

DIY 8x8x8 RGB LED cube


DIY 8x8x8 RGB LED cube

Thank you my friend Siew Goh Chuang, he made this beautiful LED cube:  This is a 8x8x8 RGB LED cube project, a modified version of the LED cube which originally designed by Kavindarrah. This project only modified the hardware but leaving the software (source code) intact. All the source code is available in Kavindarrah's website.

My LED cube are using the MBI5026GN constant-current LED driver chip instead of the 74HC595 shift-register. The 74HC595 is a 8-bit shift register, whereas MBI5026GN is a 16-bit shift register, with only 3 data pins (CLK, Data and Latch), you can control an almost unlimited amount of outputs. Table below shows the different between 74HC595 & MBI5026GN.

74HC595 MBI5026GN
8-Bit Serial-In, 8 channel parallel-out 16-Bit Serial-In, 16 channel parallel-out
Require a current limit resistor at each output pin Only need a reference resistor at its R-EXT pin
Positive output (All outputs connected to LED are sharing cathode) Negative output (All outputs connected to LED are sharing anode)

MBI5026GN and 74HC595 pinout

Therefore,  using the MBI5026GN in this project will allow us to reduce the complexity of the circuit & hence reducing components & wiring.


Materials and Components

Main ingredients for RGB LED cube
No Items Quantity Unit
1 4pin common anode RGB LED 512 pcs
2 MBI5026GN shift-register IC 13 pcs
3 IRF9530 P-Mosfet 8 pcs
4 1.2k Ohm 1% resistor 21 pcs
5 100 Ohm 1% resistor 8 pcs
6 100 uF electrolyte capacitor 8 pcs
7 0.1 uF ceramic capacitor 13 pcs
8 74HC244N 1 pcs
9 1*8 2.54mm pin header (male) 26 pcs
10 1*8 2.54mm pin header (female) 26 pcs
11 W237-102 Screw terminal 1 pcs
12 1mm single core copper wire 1 Roll
13 2mm wire (Red) 1 Roll
14 2mm wire (Green) 1 Roll
15 2mm wire (Blue) 1 Roll
16 2mm wire (Brown) 1 Roll
17 2mm wire (Black) 1 Roll
18 5mm clear acrylic top cover box for LED cube 1 pcs
19 4mm White acrylic bottom cover box for LED cube 1 pcs
20 4mm Black acrylic LED cube mounting 1 pcs
21 Arduino UNO 1 pcs
22 5V 2A power supply 1 pcs
23 Stainless steel socket cap screw 8 set
24 6# x 1" Screw (Nickel plating , Flat head) 15 pcs
Tools and consumables item
No Items Quantity Unit
1 Soldering iron 1 unit
2 Lead free solder 0.6mm 1 Roll
3 Long nose pliers 2 pcs
4 Wire cutter 1 pcs
5 wire striper 1 pcs
6 3rd hand tool 1 pcs
7 Cable tie 1 pack
8 3mm Shrinkable Wire Pipe Wrap 10 Meter
9 battery drill set with bit 1 set
Special material , tools and service
No Items Quantity  
1 LED layer building tool (jig) 1  
2 LED layer build up tool (jig) 3  
4 CNC laser cutter 1  
5 5mm clear acrylic 1200mm x 1200mm for making LED box 1  
6 4mm black acrylic 600mm x 600mm for making LED box 1  
7 4mm white acrylic 1200mm x 1200mm for making LED box 1  
8 3V battery or multimeter for testing LED 1  
9 3M scotchcal marking film for marking pin header 1  


Schematic and PCB

High resolution images are available in my Flickr album

8x8x8 RGB LED cube schematic


CAD files also available in Github.

8x8x8 RGB LED cube PCB

Connecting Arduino to controller


Gerber files (folder: RGB LED cube gerber) were sent to a fab house for PCB fabrication. PCB top view

PCB bottom view


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