Real-time Driving of RGB LED Cube using Unity3D

RGB LED cubes are great, but building the cube is only half the battle – they also need to be driven. The larger the cube, the bigger the canvas you have to exercise your performance art, and the more intense the data visualization headache. This project solves the problem by using Unity to drive an RGB LED cube in real-time.

Landscape animation RGB Cube - smallWe’re not just talking about driving the LEDs themselves at a low level, but how you what you want to display in each of those 512 pixels.

In the video, you can see [TylerTimoJ]’s demo of an 8x8x8 cube being driven in real-time using the Unity engine. A variety of methods are demonstrated from turning individual LEDs on and off, coloring swaths of the cube as though with a paintbrush, and even having the cube display source image data in real-time (as shown on the left.)

Using Unity3D to drive an 8x8x8 RGB cube shows results, but does require a computer to do the heavy lifting. In the past we have seen some beautiful animations from RGB cubes, for example from this LED cube driven by an Arduino MEGA, but they don’t have the flexibility this method offers.

The cube itself is what you would expect. At the end of his project explanation video, [TylerTimoJ] walks through the hardware, which is a multiplexed system. Each layer has common anodes, with the cathodes extending downward to the base. 192 connections are drive by an Arduino which is receiving the Unity stream over USB.

You probably recognize [TylerTimoJ’s] username. We just covered another amazing project he’s been working on: a scratch-built solenoid radial engine that is simply exquisite.

Thanks to [supershwa] for the tip!

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