I’ve seen many LED cube projects pop up on relevant blogs (HackaDay and MAKE blog to name two) and wanted to make my own but it never reached the top of my todo list until I recently started playing with the WS2812 RGB LEDs (more commonly known to some as NeoPixels). These delightful LEDs come in wonderfully small packages (I’m using the 5050 surface mount ones but I believe they are also available as through-hole 5mm LEDs). I made a spinning dodecahedron out of milled PCBs which was adorned with such LEDs (read about that here) and when I took delivery of the bare WS2812B LEDs, which only have four contacts (power, ground, data in and data out) I realised I could free-form them in a series of columns to create a cube. I expect this has probably been done before but as I was due to give a workshop on Controlling LEDs with Arduino I thought this would make an ideal example.
I backed the kickstarter for HDMIPi, a 9″ LCD designed for use with the Raspberry Pi. It didn’t take long to assemble thanks to a good video walk-through and although I had some teething troubles with a dry joint on the micro-USB power socket (fixed by reflowing the solder with hot air from a desoldering station) I have been reinvigorated in my interest in the Raspberry Pi. The first thing I needed to do with the HDMIPi was to build a stand for it. I had elected for the black acrylic styling and since I happen to have some offcuts of 3mm black acrylic I was able to laser cut a matching stand at MAKLab. Continue reading →