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8x8x8 LED Cube BOM
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PartQuantityTypeTotal approximate price ($)SourceComment
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NDP6020P8Component25www.farnell.comMOSFETS for switching the anode planes
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3mm difused blue LEDs512Component25www.ebay.comIt's always a good idea to buy some extra (pack of 1000). Also a good idea to buy diffused ones, as clear LEDs tend to shine excessively through their top and light the LEDs above them but not give enough light to the side (and you need the light at the side!)
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TPIC6B595N9Component6www.ebay.comShift registers, 8 for the 64 cathode columns and 1 for the 8 anode planes
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5V 3A power supply1Power supply10www.ebay.comYou're probably well off with a 2A PSU or even with a 1A PSU if you don't necessarily want 20 mA per LED. The PSU's rating must be calculated to be able to power 64 LEDs (1 LED plane) at once plus at least 20% overhead. So for example if you want 20 mA per LED, then you need (64 * 0.02) * 1.2 = 1.5A (@5V)
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Craft wire 0.8mm thick50Structure26www.ebay.co.ukAlso called beading wire. Silver plated is a good idea as solder will adhere to it well. This is needed for the structure of the cube. You may choose to leave this out and solder the LED leggs together directly, but that will lead to a crowded cube, as 3mm LED leggs are typically 15mm-20mm long and for good visibility you need about 30mm distace between the LEDs. Yes, you really do need about 50 meters of craft/beading wire. Soldering the LED leggs together means much less work but also much less nicer end result.
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Capacitors 0.1 uF (ceramic)9Component1www.ebay.comOne for each shift register
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Capacitors 10 uF (electrolitic)9Component1www.ebay.comOptional. Might be good in parallel with the smaller ceramic caps
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Resistors 82 Ohm64Component2www.ebay.comOne for each LED cathode column. 82 Ohm is for 20 mA per LED. You can calculate the resistor value as (4.89 V - VLED)/TARGET_CURRENT, where 4.89V is the voltage that remains from the 5V of the power supply after it passes through some components, VLED is the voltage drop across the LEDs and TARGET_CURRENT is the desired current through the LEDs. White and blue LEDs will usually have a voltage drop of 3.3V, other colors will differ (see here: http://led.linear1.org/vf-help.php). The desired target current also depends on your LEDs, but most LEDs today will shine brightly enough at 1-2 mA (maybe even less!), even though they are rated at 20 mA. My cube is about 70% bright with 1.2 KOhm resistorscmpared to the brightness obtained with 82 Ohm resistors (LEDs get between 1-2 mA). This brightness seems more than enough to me, but you should experiment.
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Resistors 220 Ohm8Component1www.ebay.comOne for each anode layer, at the gate of the anode layer driving MOSFET
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Resistors 5.6 KOhm8Component1www.ebay.comThese are pull-up resistors between the gate of each MOSFET and the 5V line, to ensure that the layers are off when they get no signal from the Arduino. I think you may go much higher (maybe 47 KOhm or even more) with these resistors for the circuit to use even less current.
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Pin headers (male/female)72Component2www.ebay.comYou need 1 pin for each cathode column and 1 pin for each anode layer (so 64+8). You may ommit these but it's a good idea to not solder the wires coming from the LED leggs directly onto your circuit.
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IC sockets DIP-209Component3www.ebay.comOptional, but it's a good idea not to solder the ICs directly onto the board. These are for the TPIC6B595N shift registers
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Jumper cables (female-female or male-female)72Structure7www.ebay.comOptional. These are to connect the LED leggs (or craft wire ends) to the pin headers on your board. 64 for the cathode columns and 8 for the anode layers.
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Crocodile clips4Tool2www.ebay.comYou'll need theese to hold the LED leggs and craft wire together while soldering
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Small hair clips4Tool1Local shop or girlfriend's stashSame purpose as the crocodile clips, but these are not as strong and sometimes that comes in handy
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Printed circuit (the driver circuit to solder onto)1Circuit20Local manufacturerThe price may vary greately depending on where you make it. www.iteadstudio.com offer high quality but they make a minimum of 5 for about 50$. You may use some generic breadboard(s) instead, which are much cheaper but you'll have to do a lot of extra soldering and there's the risk of making more mistakes (bad connections)
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Arduino1Arduino25SantaI got mine as a gift for Christmas from a sexy Santa. The prices differ greatly, you can get Uno, Nano, Mega 2560, etc. You can also get Chinese remakes like the Tosduino, Snakeduino, etc. which are just as good. The 25$ is an estimated average price.
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1 roll (100g) of rosin-core solder (40%-60%)1Materials10Local shopYes, you'll use it all. It's a lot of soldering. Maybe it even won't be enough. Do use rosin-core solder. It makes life easier.
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1 bottle of SMD soldering liquid (liquid flux)1Materials4Local shopOptional. Putting a drop of this stuff on the craft wire and led leggs before soldering makes the flux adhere so much easier and results in much better connections (less cold joints)
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Piece of wood to hold the LED grid while soldering (to solder a hole grid into)1Tool0Found around the houseYou really do need this. Try to make it perfect, the quality of this hole grid will be reflected in the final result. Make sure the LEDs fit into the holes easily but don't fall out by themselves. Drill holes of the same diameter as the LEDs.
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3mm drill head1Tool1Local shopSame size as the LEDs. USed to drill the holes in the wood.
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Soldering iron1Tool0Already owned
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Plieers for cutting the LED leggs1Tool0Already owned
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Box to hold the Arduino and the driving circuit1Box10A relative made it for meThis is the box that hods the Arduino and the driving circuit. It goes below the LED cube and the leggs of the cathode columns and anode planes go into it.
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Aquarium1Box6Local shopAquarium-like custom size glass box to prtoect the cube but allow it to be seen
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