|Usually I hide the electronics that make up
my projects somewhere inside the project itself but
this time I decided to leave it out in the open so
people can see it.
This is currently a popular building technique called "circuit sculpting". All circuit connections are made with 1 mm brass rod/tubing.
|Six 8x8 NeoPixel panels are used to create
the six sided cube. Each panel has a data in, data
out, Vcc or +5 Volts and Ground connection.
The panels are wired in the following order: top, front, right side, back, left side and bottom. So the data out of the top panel connects to the data in on the front panel and so on and so on.
The circuitry consists of an ESP8266 Node MCU module, three capacitors, a switch and a 100 ohm resistor. See schematic below. The switch controls the power to the cube's NeoPixel panels and is used to power down the panels while the cube is being programmed. Powering down the cube is necessary on my Macbook Pro or else the USB port will turn itself off because of the high power demand.
|The four legs of the cube are parts of the
circuit. In this image the left front leg is the
connection from the ESP8266 to the data in pin of the
top NeoPixel panel. The 100 ohm resistor is used to
prevent ringing of the data signal caused by the high
The left rear and right front legs carry the ground connection and the right rear leg is the 5 volt power connection to the cube.
The NeoPixel cube is powered by a USB power adapter capable of at least 2 amps. A USB cable connects the USB power adapter to the ESP8266 module.
|Another view of the sculpting. You can see
the WiFi antenna of the ESP8266 Node MCU module in
|The NeoPixel panels I used each have three
small holes on their left and right sides. To hold the
panels together in the cube I soldered wires between
the panels to which the cube's legs connect. The top
and bottom panels got special treatment because the
side panels don't have holes in the top and bottom. I
glued three wires to the back of the side panels and
ran them through the three holes on both sides of the
top and bottom panels. On the bottom panel these glued
on wires are soldered in place. On the top they are
just bent over so I could remove the top panel if
I think the NeoPixel Cube turned out nicely and besides being colorful, displays useful messages, time and date and the current weather conditions.