The latest code base for the LED cube can be found here
12/12/2013 – Added support for controllers as well as Snake and Tron game modes
One of the projects that I’ve been working on for the last four months or so is an 8x8x8 RGB LED cube. After looking up some designs online of what others have built, I decided to design and build my own version. Instead of something shoddily put together, I wanted to build a display that could be put outside of one of the introductory lab rooms for other students to program and play around with. Thus, my design had a few goals:
- It had to look professional. This meant that the overall cube should be structurally sound and a proper PCB should be designed for the driving circuitry.
- It had to be fast. Since some sort of multiplexing would be needed to drive 512 LEDs, I wanted the cube to have at least 240Hz* refresh rate at the very minimum.
- It had to be driven from a microcontroller that is used in introductory classes. This meant that it had to be driven from a Digilent Cerebot 32MX7 board that is used to teach microprocessors here at Virginia Tech. While the cube itself isn’t limited to a specific microcontroller, by using this board I can write a baseline for the code from which other students can then easily build off of.
- It had to look impressive.
* – There’s actually a notable difference when driving the cube at 60Hz vs 240Hz.