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  • Writer's pictureDr. Tõnis

Large RGB Cube

Project summary

In this project, I designed a 3d-printed frame to fix four RGB LED panels with 256 LEDs in a cube form. Each RGB LED could be individually controlled and the suitable software needed to be found.


My responsibilities

  • Component selection.

  • Mechanical design, including CAD modelling.

  • 3d-printing the components.

  • Mechanical assembly.

  • Electrical assembly (soldering and wiring)

  • Programming and testing.


Results

First I thought that this would be a simple project where I could reuse the CAD files from the small cube project. Mechanically I had to do some adjustments with positive results. The largest challenge was the controlling SW. Readily available Arduino libraries can handle up to 500 LEDs. As I had 1024 it was getting an issue. I tried to separate the panels, however the available libraries ddnt support that and at least I was not able to adjust the SW for my needs. In the end I found my old bubble clock project where I used a Nucleo board to control the RGB LEDs.

I used the code from Arduino and had to modify it to suit with the Nucleo board. The SW adjustment took more time than expected, especially the first attempts with the Arduino.

I used only four panels as I did not have more. At the same time the back would be mostly against a wall or not directly visible, thus the missing back was not an issue. The open back allows better cooling that is required due to the high power consumption. I used 4 DC-DC converters to supply each panel with its own power. The power consumption is high and therefore I designed several cooling holes around the cube.

Overall I am happy with the results and the cube looks really nice.





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