8x8x8 LED Cube…

Well, after countless hours of patient soldering and the replacement of at least 20 dead LEDs, I’ve finally completed an 8x8x8 (yes, 512!) cube of LEDs controlled by an STC12C5A60S2 micro-controller. Here is the pre-programmed sequence in the micro-controller:

Talk about a labour of love!

8x8x8 3D Cube

8x8x8 3D Cube

The intent is to ultimately interface this to an Arduino and create yet another clock. However, for the time being I wanted to familiarize myself with how to drive patterns in the cube. I bought a basic kit from eBay but it arrived with no construction details. The supplier eventually sent me a ZIP file full of Chinese documents – thank God for Google translate – yet, by and large, it was up to me to figure out how the thing was put together. Suffice to say, the LED cube is operational and I plan to start learning how to program this micro-controller.

To construct the cube, I built a simple jig to build each of the eight planes of 8×8 LEDs. I added a second jig to help space and align adjacent planes to create the full 8x8x8 cube.

8x8x8 3D Cube - closeup of LEDs

8x8x8 3D Cube – closeup of LEDs.

Each of the eight horizontal plane has a common cathode for each of the 64 LEDs. Adjacent planes interconnect the LED anode to create a matrix of 8 x 8 anodes and 8 cathodes. These cathodes are then connected to an ULN2803 octal driver chip.

8x8x8 3D Cube - LED matrix

8x8x8 3D Cube – LED matrix

The 8x8x8 cube is then connected to the controller PCB that held the micro-controller and the 74ALS573 octal latches.

8x8x8 3D Cube: Drivers and microcontroller

8x8x8 3D Cube – drivers, latches and micro-controller

Here’s the schematic of the design:


8x8x8 3D Cube – schematic

Once I’ve figured out how to program this beast, there shall be more!

3 thoughts on “8x8x8 LED Cube…

  1. Chris Maynard

    I have the same kit and would like to program it too. I have followed the instructions I found here https://github.com/tomazas/ledcube8x8x8

    At the moment I cant manage to transfer any code to my SCT micro-controller using the stc-isp.

    If anyone manages to get this working please post an update.

  2. lustoll

    How are you planning on programming this cube? What are you going to use to interface with the microcontroller? I am working on this same cube and I would like to control it with an arduino as well. If you have any tips please let me know.

    1. Adrian Post author

      Good question. have not returned to this project although I seem to recall that there is a lot of information about programming the chip supplied with the kit.
      If you come across anything that works for you, please let me know.
      … Adrian


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