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.
|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)|
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|
|1||4pin common anode RGB LED||512||pcs|
|2||MBI5026GN shift-register IC||13||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|
|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|
|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|
|2||Lead free solder 0.6mm||1||Roll|
|3||Long nose pliers||2||pcs|
|6||3rd hand tool||1||pcs|
|8||3mm Shrinkable Wire Pipe Wrap||10||Meter|
|9||battery drill set with bit||1||set|
|Special material , tools and service|
|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.
CAD files also available in Github.
Gerber files (folder: RGB LED cube gerber) were sent to a fab house for PCB fabrication.
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!
Solder wire to LEDs
Solder wire to the bottom layer of LEDs (Rows=red, green, blue and Column=anode).
Build a base for the LED cube
It need a base for the LED cube to stand on. Again, I use my CNC laser cutter to make the base (Autocad drawing file: RGB LED CUBE COVER.dwg)
Insert wires into the holes of the cube.
Be patience, it was tedious work.
Tie up wires with cable tie
It is necessary to tie all the wiring neatly. Make sure cut all the wires in same length and put two square plastic holder in the middle of the base.
A plate for controller board
Attach a plate to the two square plastic holder allows the controller board sit on top of it.
Connecting LED cube to controller board
Prepare the header socket connectors, place a marking on pin 1.
Solder the wires that comes out from LED cube to the socket header connectors, the socket header connectors is then plug into the controller board.
Make an enclosure
I use 5mm thick acrylic to make a top cover for the LED cube.
Here is the bottom cover of the LED cube (Autocad drawing file: RGB LED CUBE COVER.dwg)
The power supply, power bank and Arduino is hide inside the bottom cover of the LED cube.
Done! Please enjoy the video.