While these aren't RGB pixels, the process is the same for any panelized design I create, including the layout for the WS2801 + SMD RGB pixel in this thread. I needed to make 630 bright green LED pixels and rather than buying the LilyPad pieces (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10046) which would've cost me upwards of $500, I decided to make my own. On a 50mmx50mm piece I can cram 23 of them: a grid of 7x3 plus two extra to fill the rest of the board.Production of boards was $30 + $5 shipping. LEDs and resistors just over $200. My time: priceless. Here's me cutting a single board into pieces, takes me a little over 2 minutes each (I already trimmed off the extra two that are along the top edge of each board). I should point out that these are 0.8mm FR4 boards, however the WS2801 pixels I created above were done on 2mm FR4 boards. Cutting is just a bit slower for those.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_2T23rSzJo
Like I said, you could just take a regular 3mm through hole LED, bend the bottom 3-5mm of the legs at a 90 degree angle and solder that to the boards I created.
Cut into individual 2811 pixels at less than 24 cents per pixel each on their own little flexy board. Snip snip snip.
Follow the datasheet. This is something I have done, it's not rocket science. I used 5050 RGB SMD LEDs though. The attached image shows the LEDS in the various stages:Directly above the pencil: blank boards, front and back.At the very top is one side of the board with the WS2801, 3 resistors, and a capacitor (each in a corner).At the very bottom is the other side of the board where you see the 5050 RGB LED attached.Directly below the pencil are the individual pieces once I cut them apart.The second picture is a closeup of the IC side of the board, where you can see the WS2801, resistors, and capacitor in the corners.The row of four holes on either side is the data/power cable, a 4-core ribbon cable, that allows me to daisy chain them to whatever length.If you want to use through hole LEDs, you obviously can't use this method as everything on here is SMD. These LEDs are 5x5mm by the way.Ultimately the strings I created ended up in my window, which you can see here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3ex1k8f_NkWhy did I do that when I could've bought ready made strings? I wanted to learn to work with double sided SMD by doing it myself. I'd say I was successful ...
I heard that Itead don't allow internal cutouts, so did you manage to panelize?