LED Cube

I’ve been looking at making a large LED cube. That’s LEDs wired up into a three dimensional display. Here’s an example:

It’s pretty clear it would take a lot of labor to make a cube up (not to mention looking at how to control it. So I’ve just been researching.

A couple of years back I met Joey Huey while I was in New York City. He was the next booth over from me at the World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science. He had this cool Marshmallow Cannon. Check out this video of Joey while at a science fair with President Obama.

Joey also had some mini Arudino controlled 3D LED Cube so I picked one up.

I just got a new soldering iron so I decided to make it following his instructions.

I really like the technique of using a laser cut template (foam core) to align the LEDs.

I did a few things differently.

  • For one thing I used inside-out clothespins. This helps hold things in place when soldering.
  • Another thing worth mentioning is the use of forceps (mosquito type). Between that and the clothespins, I think it made a huge difference.
  • I also used a different method of joining the layers. I bent all the pins so they are all sloped. I then jogged all the pins back using a z-bend. This allowed the layers to be soldered in place easily and keep the layers aligned. I didn’t use the spacer between the layers. Instead I pinched the legs together with forceps then soldered them. I did one corner, then the rest of the corners one by one making sure everything was even as I went. I then filled in the rest of the solder joints.
  • I used ordinary headers to connect to the arduino.


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