Project tutorial
4*4*4 LED Cube Using Arduino Embedded Prototyping Platform

4*4*4 LED Cube Using Arduino Embedded Prototyping Platform © CC BY

This project will show you how to make a DIY flashing LED cube.

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Components and supplies

Necessary tools and machines

09507 01
Soldering iron (generic)

Apps and online services

About this project

And a one, and a two! Christmas, Christmas time is here! And so is the time give our homes a colourful festive makeover! This year, we’re going to up our home-decorating skills and add a touch of DIYing to it by making something totally unique! Presenting to you the DIY Flashing LED Cube - the coolest way to add some colour and light to your life and your home, that too with just some easy-peasy Japan-esy DIYing and some coding.

Ready for some electrifying decor?

Beginning in 3, 2, 1… Now!

Step 1: Things You'll Need

  • LEDs
  • Thick Cardboard
  • Male to Male Jumper Cable
  • Soldering Iron

Step 2: The Platform

We will be making a platform or base upon which we will be making our cube. Also, this platform is used as a reference to make the levels or rows of the cube similar.

  • We will be taking a cardboard upon which we make holes of the size of the LED.
  • As we are going to make 4 x 4 x 4 LED Cube, we will need 16 LEDs in each row. Thus, the number of holes on cardboard will be 16.
  • Also, the distance between each hole is equal to the length of the leg of the LED.
  • Once you made the holes, draw the directions arrows as shown in the image.

NOTE: You can also make PVC Plate or Wooden Plank as the base.

Step 3: The Assembly of the LED

NOTE: It is a good practice once you check the LEDs before using them.

As mentioned above, the base will also be used a reference.

  • We will be inserting the LEDs in this hole.
  • But before that, make sure you bend the anode or the positive terminal of the LED slightly.
  • After you have inserted the LEDs bent the cathode of the LEDs completely horizontal along the direction given.
  • Once you have bent all the legs of the LED, it’s time to solder them.
  • Solder cathode of one LED to the cathode of the LED next to it.

Step 4: Making the Cube

Once you have soldered the LEDs, remove them from the base.

As we are going to make 4 x 4 x 4 Cube, we have one level ready with us. We need to make three more levels similarly. Once you have all the four levels with you. It’s time to connect them.

  • Place one level above the other and then solder the anode of the upper level to the corresponding anode of the lower level.
  • Connect all 16 anodes of Level 1 to Level 0.
  • Similarly, complete the cube.
  • On completing the cube, you will notice that the anodes of Level 0 are left unconnected.
  • Take 20 Male-to-Male Jumper Cables, connect 16 to the 16 remaining anodes of Level 0.
  • Take other 4 Jumper Cables and connect each of them to the cathode channel of each and every level.

Thus, we have successfully built our LED Cube.

Step 5: Connection With Evive and Code

Make the following connections with the evive.

NOTE: You can use the given image as a reference for the labeling.

Rows:

L0 = A0 L1 = A1 L2 = A2 L3 = A3

Columns:

0.0 = D13 0.1 = D12 0.2 = D11 0.3 = D10

1.0 = D9 1.1 = D8 1.2 = D7 1.3 = D6

2.0 = D5 2.1 = D4 2.2 = D3 2.3 = D2

3.0 = D1 3.1 = D0 3.2 = A5 3.3 = A4

After connecting, upload the following code for generating patterns in your cube.

Also, you can code it as you want.

Step 6: Conclusion

With this, your very own Flashing LED Cube is ready to electrify your home and make it Christmas-ready!

Code

Arduino Code for LED CubeArduino
/*
 * evive
 * 
 * 4x4x4 LED Cube
 * Connection Setup: 
 * Columns
 * [(x,y)-Pin] from left to right
 *             (1,1)-13 (1,2)-12 (1,3)-11 (1,4)-10
 *             (2,1)-9  (2,2)-8  (2,3)-7  (2,4)-6
 *             (3,1)-5  (3-2)-4  (3-3)-3  (3,4)-2
 *             (4,1)-1  (4,2)-0  (4,3)-A5 (4,4)-A4
 * Layers
 * [layer-Pin] from bottom to top
 * a-A0  b-A1 c-A2 d-A3
*/
#include<evive.h>

//initializing and declaring led rows
  int column[16]={13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,0,A5,A4};
//initializing and declaring led layers
  int layer[4]={A3,A2,A1,A0};

  int time = 250;
 
void setup()
{
  //setting rows to ouput
  for(int i = 0; i<16; i++)
  {
    pinMode(column[i], OUTPUT);
  }
  //setting layers to output
  for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
  {
    pinMode(layer[i], OUTPUT);
  }
  //seeding random for random pattern
  randomSeed(analogRead(10));
//---------TFT initialization--------------

  tft_init(INITR_BLACKTAB);
  tft.setRotation(1);
  tft.fillScreen(ST7735_BLACK);

  tft.setCursor(25,10);
  tft.setTextSize(2);
  tft.setTextColor(ST7735_WHITE,ST7735_BLACK);
  tft.print("STEMpedia");

   tft.setCursor(30,40);
  tft.setTextSize(2);
  tft.setTextColor(ST7735_GREEN,ST7735_BLACK);
  tft.print("LED CUBE");

  tft.setCursor(50,80);
  tft.setTextSize(1.5);
  tft.setTextColor(ST7735_WHITE,ST7735_BLACK);
  tft.print("Made By:");
  tft.setCursor(40,90);
  tft.print("Rizul Yadav");
  tft.setCursor(30,100);
  tft.print("Punit Chotaliya"); 
}

void loop()
{
  turnEverythingOff();//turn all off
  flickerOn();
  turnEverythingOn();//turn all on
  delay(time);
  turnOnAndOffAllByLayerUpAndDownNotTimed();
  layerstompUpAndDown();
  turnOnAndOffAllByColumnSideways();
  delay(time);
  aroundEdgeDown();
  turnEverythingOff();
  randomflicker();
  randomRain();
  diagonalRectangle();
  goThroughAllLedsOneAtATime();
  propeller();
  spiralInAndOut();
  flickerOff();
  turnEverythingOff();
  delay(2000);
}

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////turn all off
void turnEverythingOff()
 {
   for(int i = 0; i<16; i++)
   {
     digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
   }
   for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
   {
     digitalWrite(layer[i], 0);
   }
 }
 
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////turn all on
void turnEverythingOn()
{
  for(int i = 0; i<16; i++)
  {
    digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
  }
  //turning on layers
  for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
  {
    digitalWrite(layer[i], 1);
  }
}
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////turn columns off
void turnColumnsOff()
{
  for(int i = 0; i<16; i++)
  {
    digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
  }
}
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////flicker on
void flickerOn()
{
  int i = 150;
  while(i != 0)
  {
    turnEverythingOn();
    delay(i);
    turnEverythingOff();
    delay(i);
    i-= 5;
  }
}
//////////////turn everything on and off by layer up and down NOT TIMED
void turnOnAndOffAllByLayerUpAndDownNotTimed()
{
  int x = 75;
  for(int i = 5; i != 0; i--)
  {
    turnEverythingOn();
    for(int i = 4; i!=0; i--)
    {
      digitalWrite(layer[i-1], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
    for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(layer[i], 1);
      delay(x);
    }
      for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(layer[i], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
    for(int i = 4; i!=0; i--)
    {
      digitalWrite(layer[i-1], 1);
      delay(x);
    }
  }
}
//////////////////////////turn everything on and off by column sideways
void turnOnAndOffAllByColumnSideways()
{
  int x = 75;
  turnEverythingOff();
  //turn on layers
  for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
  {
    digitalWrite(layer[i], 1);
  }
  for(int y = 0; y<3; y++)
  {
    //turn on 0-3
    for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn on 4-7
    for(int i = 4; i<8; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn on 8-11
    for(int i = 8; i<12; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn on 12-15
    for(int i = 12; i<16; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn off 0-3
    for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn off 4-7
    for(int i = 4; i<8; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn off 8-11
    for(int i = 8; i<12; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn off 12-15
    for(int i = 12; i<16; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn on 12-15
    for(int i = 12; i<16; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn on 8-11
    for(int i = 8; i<12; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn on 4-7
    for(int i = 4; i<8; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn on 0-3
    for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn off 12-15
    for(int i = 12; i<16; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn off 8-11
    for(int i = 8; i<12; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn off 4-7
    for(int i = 4; i<8; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
      delay(x);
    }
    //turn off 0-3
    for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
      delay(x);
    }
  }
}
/////////////////////////////////////////up and down single layer stomp
void layerstompUpAndDown()
{
  int x = 75;
  for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
  {
    digitalWrite(layer[i], 0);
  }
  for(int y = 0; y<5; y++)
  {
    for(int count = 0; count<1; count++)
    { 
      for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
      {
        digitalWrite(layer[i], 1);
        delay(x);
        digitalWrite(layer[i], 0);
      }
      for(int i = 4; i !=0; i--)
      {
        digitalWrite(layer[i-1], 1);
        delay(x);
        digitalWrite(layer[i-1], 0);
      }
    }
    for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(layer[i], 1);
      delay(x);
    }
    for(int i = 4; i!=0; i--)
    {
      digitalWrite(layer[i-1], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
  }
}
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////flicker off
void flickerOff()
{
  turnEverythingOn();
  for(int i = 0; i!= 150; i+=5)
  {
    turnEverythingOff();
    delay(i+50);
    turnEverythingOn();
    delay(i);
  }
}
///////////////////////////////////////////around edge of the cube down
void aroundEdgeDown()
{
  for(int x = 200; x != 0; x -=50)
  {
    turnEverythingOff();
    for(int i = 4; i != 0; i--)
    {
      digitalWrite(layer[i-1], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[5], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[6], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[9], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[10], 0);
      
      digitalWrite(column[0], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[0], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[4], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[4], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[8], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[8], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[12], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[12], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[13], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[13], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[15], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[15], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[14], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[14], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[11], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[11], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[7], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[7], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[3], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[3], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[2], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[2], 1);
      digitalWrite(column[1], 0);
      delay(x);
      digitalWrite(column[1], 1);
    }
  }
}
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////random flicker
void randomflicker()
{
  turnEverythingOff();
  int x = 10;
  for(int i = 0; i !=750; i+=2)
  {
  int randomLayer = random(0,4);
  int randomColumn = random(0,16);
  
  digitalWrite(layer[randomLayer], 1);
  digitalWrite(column[randomColumn], 0);
  delay(x);
  digitalWrite(layer[randomLayer], 0);
  digitalWrite(column[randomColumn], 1);
  delay(x); 
  }
}
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////random rain
void randomRain()
{
  turnEverythingOff();
  int x = 100;
  for(int i = 0; i!=60; i+=2)
  {
    int randomColumn = random(0,16);
    digitalWrite(column[randomColumn], 0);
    digitalWrite(layer[0], 1);
    delay(x+50);
    digitalWrite(layer[0], 0);
    digitalWrite(layer[1], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(layer[1], 0);
    digitalWrite(layer[2], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(layer[2], 0);
    digitalWrite(layer[3], 1);
    delay(x+50);
    digitalWrite(layer[3], 0);
    digitalWrite(column[randomColumn], 1);
  }
}
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////diagonal rectangle
void diagonalRectangle()
{
  int x = 350;
  turnEverythingOff();
  for(int count = 0; count<5; count++)
  {
    //top left
    for(int i = 0; i<8; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
    }
    digitalWrite(layer[3], 1);
    digitalWrite(layer[2], 1);
    delay(x);
    turnEverythingOff();
    //middle middle
    for(int i = 4; i<12; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
    }
    digitalWrite(layer[1], 1);
    digitalWrite(layer[2], 1);
    delay(x);
    turnEverythingOff();
    //bottom right
    for(int i = 8; i<16; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
    }
    digitalWrite(layer[0], 1);
    digitalWrite(layer[1], 1);
    delay(x);
    turnEverythingOff();
    //bottom middle
    for(int i = 4; i<12; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
    }
    digitalWrite(layer[0], 1);
    digitalWrite(layer[1], 1);
    delay(x);
    turnEverythingOff();
    //bottom left
    for(int i = 0; i<8; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
    }
    digitalWrite(layer[0], 1);
    digitalWrite(layer[1], 1);
    delay(x);
    turnEverythingOff();
    //middle middle
    for(int i = 4; i<12; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
    }
    digitalWrite(layer[1], 1);
    digitalWrite(layer[2], 1);
    delay(x);
    turnEverythingOff();
    //top right
    for(int i = 8; i<16; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
    }
    digitalWrite(layer[2], 1);
    digitalWrite(layer[3], 1);
    delay(x);
    turnEverythingOff();
    //top middle
    for(int i = 4; i<12; i++)
    {
      digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
    }
    digitalWrite(layer[2], 1);
    digitalWrite(layer[3], 1);
    delay(x);
    turnEverythingOff();
  }
  //top left
  for(int i = 0; i<8; i++)
  {
    digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
  }
  digitalWrite(layer[3], 1);
  digitalWrite(layer[2], 1);
  delay(x);
  turnEverythingOff();
}
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////propeller
void propeller()
{
  turnEverythingOff();
  int x = 90;
  for(int y = 4; y>0; y--)
  {
    for(int i = 0; i<6; i++)
    {
      //turn on layer
      digitalWrite(layer[y-1], 1);
      //a1
      turnColumnsOff();
      digitalWrite(column[0], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[5], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[10], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[15], 0);
      delay(x);
      //b1
      turnColumnsOff();
      digitalWrite(column[4], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[5], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[10], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[11], 0);
      delay(x);
      //c1
      turnColumnsOff();
      digitalWrite(column[6], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[7], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[8], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[9], 0);
      delay(x);
      //d1
      turnColumnsOff();
      digitalWrite(column[3], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[6], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[9], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[12], 0);
      delay(x);
      //d2
      turnColumnsOff();
      digitalWrite(column[2], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[6], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[9], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[13], 0);
      delay(x);
      //d3
      turnColumnsOff();
      digitalWrite(column[1], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[5], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[10], 0);
      digitalWrite(column[14], 0);
      delay(x);
    }
  }
  //d4
  turnColumnsOff();
  digitalWrite(column[0], 0);
  digitalWrite(column[5], 0);
  digitalWrite(column[10], 0);
  digitalWrite(column[15], 0);
  delay(x);
}
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////spiral in and out
void spiralInAndOut()
{
  turnEverythingOn();
  int x = 60;
  for(int i = 0; i<6; i++)
  {
    //spiral in clockwise
    digitalWrite(column[0], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[1], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[2], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[3], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[7], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[11], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[15], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[14], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[13], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[12], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[8], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[4], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[5], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[6], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[10], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[9], 1);
    delay(x);
    ///////////////////////////////////////spiral out counter clockwise
    digitalWrite(column[9], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[10], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[6], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[5], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[4], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[8], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[12], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[13], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[14], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[15], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[11], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[7], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[3], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[2], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[1], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[0], 0);
    delay(x);
    ///////////////////////////////////////spiral in counter clock wise
    digitalWrite(column[0], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[4], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[8], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[12], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[13], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[14], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[15], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[11], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[7], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[3], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[2], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[1], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[5], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[9], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[10], 1);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[6], 1);
    delay(x);
    //////////////////////////////////////////////spiral out clock wise
    digitalWrite(column[6], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[10], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[9], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[5], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[1], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[2], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[3], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[7], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[11], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[15], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[14], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[13], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[12], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[8], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[4], 0);
    delay(x);
    digitalWrite(column[0], 0);
    delay(x);
  }
}
//////////////////////////////////////go through all leds one at a time
void goThroughAllLedsOneAtATime()
{
  int x = 15;
  turnEverythingOff();
  for(int y = 0; y<5; y++)
  {
    //0-3
    for(int count = 4; count != 0; count--)
    {
      digitalWrite(layer[count-1], 1);
      for(int i = 0; i<4; i++)
      {
        digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
        delay(x);
        digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
        delay(x);
      }
    digitalWrite(layer[count-1], 0);
    }
    //4-7
    for(int count = 0; count < 4; count++)
    {
      digitalWrite(layer[count], 1);
      for(int i = 4; i<8; i++)
      {
        digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
        delay(x);
        digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
        delay(x);
      }
    digitalWrite(layer[count], 0);
    }
    //8-11
    for(int count = 4; count != 0; count--)
    {
      digitalWrite(layer[count-1], 1);
      for(int i = 8; i<12; i++)
      {
        digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
        delay(x);
        digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
        delay(x);
      }
    digitalWrite(layer[count-1], 0);
    }
    //12-15
    for(int count = 0; count < 4; count++)
    {
      digitalWrite(layer[count], 1);
      for(int i = 12; i<16; i++)
      {
        digitalWrite(column[i], 0);
        delay(x);
        digitalWrite(column[i], 1);
        delay(x);
      }
    digitalWrite(layer[count], 0);
    }
  }
}

Schematics

Labelled Diagram for LED Cube
Labelled ledcube mezbrw93c2

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