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Topic: 8x8x8 LED Cube (Read 18806 times) previous topic - next topic


I am planning to make an 8x8x8 LED Cube.

This, I guess is gonna be my first big project.
As of now I am practising on an 8x8 dot matrix and now would be starting to build with cube.

Since many of you would have made such cubes, I would want to ask for some advice for a starter.
If any1 can post a link to a good DIY 8x8x8 LED cube or would like to give any personal suggestion or advice from their experience then it would be really appreciated.

Lastly I would like to ask is, Since I am making this project on an Arduino. Will it be possible to get the code permanently written on a Micro controller chip so that I can properly case the cube n make it permanent. (I ask this question because I know you can make a copy of chip using the UNO but I have a Mega ADK having a Mega2560 and would like to know if it is possible to make a copy of the project on a smaller chip ie: ATMega 128, 328 etc. )

Thankx in Advance for the Help


and would like to know if it is possible to make a copy of the project on a smaller chip ie: ATMega 128, 328 etc. )

The code is compatible, it's just a matter of how much memory (both flash and sram) your program ends up using and how many I/O pins and other hardware features your code uses if it can be compiled and run off a 328p chip. There is also the 644p and 1284p chips that could be candidates if the 328p comes up short on those resources.




Plenty of tutorials there mate. Should find some code for a 168 or similar too.
You could always build a bare-bones arduino that can be programmed, then you don't have to worry about converting the code from your mega.

You have loads of options when controlling the cube too, direct driven, multiplexed, shift registers, TLC chips etc etc.
Looks like a fun project though :D


Demonic69 is on the right track (great name btw!lol) this instructible is EXTREMELY informative:
i urge you to check it out, i learned so much from it.
it uses a permanent custom built controller that runs off an ATmega32, but i would highly suggest that if you build it like they do to just build your own arduino with a ATmega328. It is possible, they show it using one in one of the last steps, and i think arduino is easier and overall better than the code they use. tell me what you think! hope it helped.


Thankx guys.
The info was helpful.


How the cube is made:
The dimensions of the cube will be 8 led by 8 led, by 8 led, for a total of 512 leds. The whole structure will be based on a wood board.

The concept of persistence of vision:
In this project we will exploit the persistence of vision. This phenomenon is a feature of the human eye and is responsible for the illusion that a movie is not composed by individual still images. All the animations are based on this biological dis-functioning of the human eye. If we can switch on and off the leds in a sufficiently quick time, (a few milliseconds) they will appear as if they were simultaneously on.
We use the persistence of vision because simultaneously switching all the cube leds on would require a very high electric current (in ampere). Actually, if we consider that the high brightness leds of this project require about 20 mA, we can calculate that 512 leds would require 10.24 A. This high current is hard to manage. So, what we do? We switch on a cube layer at each time! In this way the current consumption will never exceed 1.28 A (20 mA x 64 leds), which is easily supplied by a good voltage transformer. Let us suppose that we want to make the cube appear as completely switched on. To achieve that we simply have to switch on the different layers one by one at high speed. To a human eye the cube will appear as completely lighted.

How to control each led:
In order to independently control each led, we divide the cube into horizontal layers and vertical columns.
All the leds of a horizontal layer will have the cathodic contact (-) in common.
All the leds of a vertical column will have the anodic contact (+) in common.
Overall, it will be necessary to control 8 cathodic contacts to select the layers and 64 anodic contacts to select the columns. The combination layers by column will select and switch a single led.

The 8-bit shift registers:
The shift registers are composed by 1-bit memory cells connected one each other. At each clock impulse, they allow the bit flowing from a cell to the next-one. The registers used in this project are SIPO (serial input-parallel output) type. The data are charged one by one through the input bits and the output bits are simultaneously collected from the 8 outlets.

Power supply':
To power the cube and the control circuit it is necessary a power supplier with the following specifications:
- voltage: 5 volts (stabilized)
- current: 2 ampere (4 is better)

Needed tools:
- Soldering iron
- Soldering tin alloy
- Hot glue gun
- Jigsaw

Needed materials:
- 512 leds of your favourite colour
- 1 40 pin flat cable (to connect the IDE hard disk to the pc)
- 1 34 pin flat cable (to connect floppy disk to the PC)
- 1 prototype board
- 1 plywood board 20x20 cm, 8 mm thick
- Electric wire suitable for soldering (thin, flexible, and resistant)

Draw a 7x7 square grid (2.5 cm side) on the the plywood board. At the crossings of the grid lines drill 64 holes with a mesh diameter as the led size, generally 5 mm. This board will be the basis on which all the leds will be soldered. By this solid grid the leds will be evenly spaced and perfectly aligned. As explained in the intro, the cathodic contacts of each layer will be joint together. Insert the 64 leds in the board holes and bend the cathodic (-) terminal to obtain an interconnected grid.

SEE IMG. 02.1 AND 02.2

Let go out the board holes only one led terminal. It will control the layer.
Attention! Each time you finish soldering a layer, test each single led. It is convenient to discover early if a led is burned out or not well soldered.

SEE IMG. 03.1 AND 03.2 AND 03.3

Make 8 identical grids, paying attention that the led terminals going out of the board have a different orientation for each layer.



I have some PCBs made up that would be great for this.
Use 8 TPIC6B595s as current sinks for the column cathodes. Use a 9th to control external PNP transistors (or add a UDN2981) as current sources into the Anodes for the rows.
Will post a pic when I get home if you're interested.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.


Sure, id like to see d pic.
I was thinking of using 74HC574, but nw ill consider TPIC6B595.
Thankx :)


'574 is not a shift register tho.
Can be wired to work as one.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.


sir this is naman from India.... sir i seriously need ur help.... i made my 8*8*8 led cube using a Arduino uno and it is working like a charm... but the problem i got is with code i have downloaded several no. of codes from internet but non of them is executing. only one code which i got from instructable website which is separately given for a arduino user is working fine for me.

but when i execute other codes in arduino IDE software im getting a error as

" error compiling

  compilation terminated

  exist status 1"

the above error is common for all codes im executing

my 8*8*8 cube has 8 cathode layers and 64 anode columns. 
i request u to give me the solution and if possible link for arduino code which can operate my cube

if possible provide ur mail id so that i can get  a quick response from u .
my mail id is guptanaman2312@gmail.com

sir plz help me out

Thank u :)


OK, Naman, here's the rules.

Not being omniscient, none of us here has the slightest idea what circuit you are using, what code you are using or whether you have wired it up properly.

I mean, does it "work like a charm" or does it not work?  What does that term even mean?  What - if anything - does it do?  How are you going to demonstrate it to us?

Do you begin to see the problem here?



I've built a 8x8x8 lightsquared cubes.. the one they sell by the thousands on ebay etc..
Many of You would probably know of it..

This uses a STC12C5A60S2 to hold the code
And 9x 74HC573 Shift registers
And one ULN2803..

Would it in some way be possible to skip the STC 12C controller and use an arduino instead?

I saw this on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUcX41pokZY

I appreciate any help and tips..


Mar 10, 2016, 11:49 am Last Edit: Mar 10, 2016, 11:51 am by PaulRB
Hi kakemanx. You should start your own thread for your question. Despite how it looks, this is not actually a general thread for all questions relating to 8x8x8 cubes!


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