Build a custom jig
Making an 8x8x8 RGB LED cube from the ground up involves a variety of tasks, therefore I need to build a custom jig in order to maintain the spacing between LEDs while soldering. Figure below shows the design of my jig, it is very unique and modern.
I made this jig using my CNC laser cutter, the Autocad drawing file (filename: Layer building tool.DWG) is available here.
Prepare the LED
The LED cube is arranged into 8 layers of 64 LEDs each, therefore you need 512 RGB LEDs. They are all common anode LEDs.
Bend the LED leg like this. It will take approximately one minute to make one of this.
Build the First Layer
Aligning and straightening the bare copper wire with two pliers as figure below.
The LEDs will then fit snugly into the holes as shown in figure below.
Solder the anode of the LED to the bare copper wire.
Test the LEDs, make sure all the LEDs are working before continue next step. A current limit resistor is required.
Solder the rest of the LED pins to the bare copper wire which including Red pin, Green pin and Blue pin.
It took about one hour to complete this layer.
Trim away the excess leads. Congratulation! First layer of LED cube is completed!
You need to make seven more of this for a total of eight layers.
Stack the layers
I'm using my CNC laser cutter to make one more tool which helps to stack the layers.
Stack the second layer
Stack until the last layer.
Done! All layers completed!