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I've recently bought my Pi. After being satisfied of deploying my Enterprise Scale Java Applications (yes I actually deployed some production ready stuff on a toy instead of a real staging server), I am now planning to do some hardware related stuff. I have browsed through random projects and I think that making an 8x8x8 L.E.D Cube is the most suitable project for me, considering the look-awesomeness and difficulty levels.

The problem is, I cannot find a suitable tutorial to help me out. Some tutorials actually show how it is done but they are using some pre-made circuit boards. I actually want to build my own board and then connect it to RPi.

This dude right here seems to be a great tutorial, but he didn't explain the circuit design (Edit: He used Adruino) :/

I found other tutorials who are making the cube like this lad, but they are using pre-made circuit boards...

Can somebody suggest me a good graphic tutorial, or maybe explain me how the first guy made the circuit? :/

  • You will need an MCU as the Pi may have timing issues. The LED's need to be switched really quickly in order to achieve the best result. You can try and run RiscOS though, on the Pi. – Piotr Kula Jul 1 '16 at 10:02
  • You definitely need something other than a pi to make more than a few LEDs throb smoothly. I don't think RiscOS will make any difference with that -- you can already do an "ok" job of PWM'ing LEDs on any pin via the sysfs interface, and I believe pigpio will do an even better job although probably not all the pins at once (which no matter what, it is probably a bad idea to connect all the GPIOs to LEDs and have them on). There are many different kinds of things you can attach to a pi and control in a sophisticated way, and those things will do the heavy lifting WRT the little lights. – goldilocks Jul 1 '16 at 11:20
  • Hi - Did you finish this project? Please accept and answer or post a new answer. (A picture of your finished product would be aweseom) Maybe even a write up to this Pi blog on here (PiVersify) – Piotr Kula Dec 8 '16 at 10:18
  • No. Never finished.... – Jay Dec 8 '16 at 11:06
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Unless you are happy with a 2 x 2 cube, controlling that many LEDs from a Pi requires some additional hardware.

but they are using pre-made circuit boards

If you can print your own boards, then you don't have to do that. This guy does so using a photoresistive process; the design is explained here and is based on controlling a bank of transistor array ICs with a parallel bank of shift registers.

This 8x8x8 RGB cube is also done with a custom driver board, but one which uses arrays of PWM and LED controller chips. He got the board printed professionally, which is not necessarily expensive, particularly in relation to the time required to design it, put it together and do the coding.

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    That second links is completely amazing :) Could you maybe expand your answer a bit, as link to answers are not very great in the long run. – Piotr Kula Jul 1 '16 at 10:01
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    Yeah, I know they aren't, but the question is pretty broad – Jaromanda X Jul 1 '16 at 11:39
  • In keeping with our policy regarding informationless link-only answers, if this post is not edited to contain information that can stand as an answer, however minimal, in 48 hours it will be converted to Community Wiki to simplify having it corrected by the community. – goldilocks Dec 8 '16 at 12:31
  • @goldilocks - I have no intention to plagiarise the content of any of those links, so it's best to convert it now :p – Jaromanda X Dec 8 '16 at 20:22
  • I think this whole question should be closed – ElefantPhace Dec 9 '16 at 2:15

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