Gaming On An 8x8x8 LED Cube


Building an LED cube is a great way to learn how to solder, while building something that looks awesome. Without any previous experience with soldering or coding, [Anred] set out to create a simple 8x8x8 LED cube gaming platform.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, [Andred] based the LED cube off of three separate Instructables. The resulting cube came out great, and the acrylic casing around it adds a very nice touch. Using an Arduino Mega, the 74HC574, and a few MOSFET’s to drive his LEDs, the hardware is fairly standard. What sets this project apart from many other LED cube builds, is the fact that you can game on it using a PlayStation 1 controller. All the necessary code to get up and running is included in the Instructable (commented in German). Be sure to see the cube in action after the break!

It would be great to see a wireless version of this LED cube game. What kind of LED cube will gaming be brought to next? A tiny LED cube? The biggest LED cube ever? Only time will tell.

17 thoughts on “Gaming On An 8x8x8 LED Cube

        1. I think resolution / price / ease-of-construction / practical-wise, it’d be better to do a sheet of LEDs and spin it around, or some other POV method. Pong, Snake, and Tron (isn’t Tron the same as Snake!?) are about all you’re gonna get out of an array this “small” (at 512 LEDs!). And control’s not easy for 3D, even with half-a-dozen joysticks and buttons that can read your mind, as modern joypads come with.

          I think there’s a lot more possibility, for some exciting, real fun and proper games, using something like a POV cylinder, AKA a square on top of a turntable. You could play some exciting space games, puzzlers, or even fighters with small enough players, For practicality it might be best to use bicolour, red / green LEDs. The type with 2 pins, the red and green in inverse-parallel in 1 LED package.

          Size-wise you could do it quite small, allowing for better brightness, less annoying gaps, and more sturdy mechanics, since the speed at the outer edge is faster, the wider it is.

          Would it be possible, people who know, to use the smart RGB LEDs you get in strips, for this? Laid out in horizontal strips, on a square backing board. In however parallel channels you’d need for the pixel rate.

          It’s something we don’t see a lot of on here, but volumetric displays can do a lot of interesting stuff. It’s not practical for the home, or mass-consumption, yet, that will have to wait for a new display technology, if one ever comes along. But it’s still practical enough for a hell of a toy! Imagine pairing your volumetric display with something like a Kinect, and make yourself a 3D paint package! That can scan in real objects if necessary, point clouds wouldn’t be a problem.

          I’d do it myself if I could afford to. Nearest hackerspace (Canterbury, UK) to me seemed dead last time I looked online, but I’ll look some more.

    1. TNG – that was a cool game idea. No clue how the input was supposedly working with the finger tip clamps and such. Lesson: you can’t beat the AI in the black and gold spandex.

  1. This reminds me of Ender’s Game, in the book where there’s that videogame that the kids play, where they are piloting fighters and trying to shoot each other down. For some reason I always pictured it as being a 3D space like this and people could circle around and watch the game. I might have been reading it wrong, but I imagine with enough definition, you could do a game like that with an LED cube

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