“My first ever instructable on this website was a 4x4x4 LED Cube using glass PCBs. Normally, I do not like to do the same project twice but recently I came across this video of french maker Heliox which inspired me to make a bigger version of my original cube. In her video Heliox comes up with a much simpler process to manufacture glass PCBs that does not involve etching but instead she uses a plotter to cut the traces from a self-adhesive copper foil which is then transferred to a glass substrate. Since plotters are not that expensive and could also come in handy for other projects I just got one to try the process for myself.
Apart from being a bigger version of my original cube this version also uses a custom PCB based on a SAMD21 microcontroller and a housing made from lasercut acrylic. The cube can be programmed with the Arduino IDE and is also compatible with CircuitPython.
64 pcs - WS2812B 5050 SMD LEDs (e.g. aliexpress)
4 pcs - 100 x 100 x 2 mm glass plate (I found this really cheap German supplier which only charges 0.20 EUR/pc)
2 pcs - A4 sheets of self-adhesive copper foil (e.g. amazon)
1 roll - plotter transfer paper (e.g. amazon)
1 set - lasercut acrylic (see below)
1 custom PCB (see below)
4 pcs M2x8 screws + nuts
The total costs of all materials including the lasercut service and PCB manufacturing is about 100 EUR.
Silhouette Portrait 2 plotter (e.g. amazon)
laser cutter or online lasercut service (I am using snijlab.nl)
heat plate or reflow oven for SMD soldering (or advanced hand soldering skills”