By joining Cubetube, I understand that all code on cubetube is open-source, and any code I write on the site will be released under the MIT License

Hello!

Welcome to the wonderful world of 3D LED volumetric display!

GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR CUBE

Introduction

If you're here you're likely one of the first owners of a L3D Cube (8x8x8 edition). Hi there you lover of the future, you! This section of the site is intended to help you create and share apps on your Cubes. Let's get started!

Each L3D Cube 8x8x8 edition comes with 512 RGB LEDs mounted in an array, powered over USB (or via the L3D Cube Battery Shield), and connected to WiFi. The brain and WiFi connection center of the Cubes is a Particle Photon, which can be programmed like an Arduino. There's also a built in microphone and accelerometer in each Cube for music visualization and interactive apps.

If you’ve any questions that aren’t addressed here, head on over to the Forum or email Shawn & Alex at info@lookingglassfactory.com.

Creating and Sharing on CubeTube

The magic of owning a Cube comes with being a part of the world's first volumetric app sharing community, CubeTube! Each Cube can download new apps from CubeTube.org with a click of a mouse or finger -- no programming needed.

But for any programmers out there - HELLO! CubeTube is designed to help you create and share like a boss. You can now write code directly in CubeTube's browser window, preview your programs in a simulated 3D Cube, share the apps you create on CubeTube more easily than ever before, and fork other people's code so you can build new Cube apps with startling speed. More details in the CubeTube sections below!

8x8x8 Cube Specifications

There are two types of L3D Cubes so far: the 8x8x8 edition with 512 RGB LEDs and the 16x16x16 edition with 4096 RGB LEDs. This documentation section currently only addresses the 8x8x8 edition and will be expanded to include the larger 16x16x16 edition in Spring 2016..

Each L3D Cube 8x8x8 edition comes with 512 RGB LEDs mounted in an array, powered over USB, and connected to WiFi. The brain and WiFi connection center of the Cubes is a Particle photon, which can be programmed like an Arduino. There’s also a built in microphone and accelerometer in each Cube.

LEDs: 512 RGB surface-mounted LEDs.
The specific type of LED used is a WS2812B, made by WorldSemi. There are 8 LEDs to each LED reed, and each LED reed is identical, connected into a custom base PCB.

Power: Any USB power supply or USB port can power your Cube. We also include a 2 amp USB adapter with your cube that can run off of house voltage anywhere in the world.

Note 1:
There is a 1.7A current limit built into the baseboard of the 8x8x8 Cubes.

Note 2:
There is a bypass connection built into the baseboard of the 8x8x8 L3D Cubes which allows advanced users to get around the current limit for super bright cubing. Some of these modifications are popping up on the Forum, check them out!

8x8x8 Edition with 512 RGB LEDs

Casing: Laser-cut acrylic housing

Assembling your 8x8x8 Cube

In 30 minutes flat, you can transform that box of parts into a 8x8x8 L3D Cube!
Watch this extremely short assembly video.

Or download the full instructions here.


Powering Up

The power

You can power your cube with the included 2A USB power supply, or by plugging it into any USB port on a laptop or other power supply.


Playing Default Demos

Demos

The 8x8x8 L3D Cubes come pre-loaded with four demos:

  • Demo 1. Fireworks
  • Demo 2. Zplasma
  • Demo 3. Squarral
  • Demo 4. FFTJoy (sound reactive)

The four demos will loop forever by default. You can stop the loop and play just one selected demo by tilting left, right, and forward.

The loop can be restarted by reconnecting to power.


Connecting to WiFi

If you already have a L3D Cube, you’re in the very earliest adopter group - a pioneer, you might say. You can connect your Cube to WiFi through the Particle App. These are instructions for how to do so come directly from particle.io.

Getting into Listening Mode

Each Cube is controlled by a processor called the Particle Photon. This is the small circuit board that you plug your USB cable into for power.

When you plug in your 8x8x8 L3D Cube for the first time and switch the slider-switch at the back of your Cube to "Online", you should see the Particle Photon start to blink a blue light. If not, then press down the "Join WiFi" button next to the Particle Photon.

Once the Photon on the underside of your Cube is blinking a blue light, it’s ready to be connected to your local WiFi network via the Particle App.

Using the Particle App for Connecting to WiFi

Download the Particle App to your phone from the App Store or Google Play . (If you don’t have a phone that can download apps, no problem...you can still get your Cube online, it’s just a little more involved of a process to Connect over USB)

Once you’ve downloaded the Particle app from the App Store or Google Play, you should create an account. Afterwards, you’ll be asked to connect your Photon,

Particle App Login screen on iOS.

Your phone must be connected to the Wi-Fi network that you want to connect the Photon to. Wi-Fi Hotspots generated from the phone you are running this app on typically will yield an error claiming there is no Wi-Fi available.

In this case, please try to Connect over USB and enter your Hotspot credentials manually.

When connected to Wi-Fi, the app will automatically fill the SSID field with the name of the network that your phone is connected to. Enter your Wi-Fi password and hit connect.

This connection process can take up to a minute, so be patient. The closer your phone is to your Particle Photon, the faster it will connect. Once the Photon hears the signal, it will go through the following sequence of lights:

  • Solid blue: Credentials captured
  • Flashing green: Connecting to Wi-Fi network
  • Flashing cyan: Connecting to Particle Cloud
  • Breathing cyan: Connected to Particle Cloud

Once the Particle Photon has connected, your phone will "claim" the Photon and attach it to your account. Then you’ll get to name your Photon. If you’re uncertain, you can confirm that the claim process was successful by logging into the Particle Web IDE and clicking the "Photons" icon at the bottom of the page. Is your Photon listed? Great! The world is perfect.

The Photon MUST be online (breathing cyan) in order for the claiming process to work. If the Particle Photon has been claimed by someone else, the app won’t recognize it.

If you are connecting multiple Photons, you’ll go through this naming process for each Photon. You’ll know which one is which by the rainbow signal.

Claiming your Photon

Once your Cube’s Particle Photon is connected to WiFi via the Particle App, it needs to be claimed in order to be associated with your account. This is what lets you control your Cube and keeps anyone else from doing so.

If you use the mobile app to set up your Photon, it should claim it automatically. However if you connect your Photon over USB, or if the claiming process is unsuccessful, you can claim it manually.

The easiest way to manually claim a Photon over USB is to use the Particle Command Line Interface. Once you have this installed, you can simply type particle setup and follow the instructions.

Alternatively, if you have troubles installing the command line tool, you can get the Photon’s ID over serial and claim it via the build site. You can do this by opening a Serial connection to the Photon and pressing the i key (see the above instuctions for connecting over USB). It should show you a number like this:

# Example Photon ID55ff68064989495329092587

Then open up Particle Build and click the ’Photons’ icon. Click the button that says ’Add a Photon’, and enter your ID in the text box.

Switching to New WiFi Locations

When you move to a new WiFi locations, you can get your Cube’s Particle Photon back into Listening Mode by clicking the big round "Connect to WiFi" button next to your Cube’s Particle Photon, on the underside of the Cube. This will not delete any programs you have stored in the internal memory of the Particle Photon, and just clears the WiFi credentials and puts the Particle Photon back into WiFi Listening Mode. Then repeat the process above to connect to the new WiFi location.


CUBETUBE: THE VOLUMETRIC WONDERLAND

Loading CubeTube Apps onto Your Cube

When you first go to CubeTube.org, click the "Join or Log in" button. Log in using the particle.io username and password that you created when you were connecting your Cube to WiFi in the previous step.

You can browse the Gallery and see simulations of most apps in your browser when you mouse-over the app thumbnail.

If you like a particular app and want to load it onto your Cube, choose one of your online Cube from the dropdown menu and click "Send to Cube". If you chose a "Cube Required" app, immediately after you click the Send to Cube button, the LED on the Particle Photon under your Cube should start to blink purple (indicating it is downloading the app). This download process will take 10-45 seconds.

Programming Cubes on CubeTube

BIG NEWS! You can now write code directly in the browser window on CubeTube, fork other people's programs (e.g., "Sketches"), and easily simulate and share your programs with the rest of the CubeTube community.

You can get started by forking another user's sketch, or you can start from scratch by clicking the blue "Create" button.


Connecting multiple cubes

Coming soon


Opensource License

Hardware & Software Repo

Particle library included with cubetube apps: https://github.com/enjrolas/Cubetube-Library

Here’s an Instructable on How to Draw Sweet 3D Graphics for LED cubes - there’s even a cube simulator so you don’t even have to wait for your cubes to get started.


Improvements List

This is a list of hardware, firmware, & software improvements we’re strongly considering implementing in follow-up revs of the L3D Cube. These improvements are based on ideas at Looking Glass Lab & within the community via the Kickstarter comment boards and the CubeTalk Forum.


Troubleshooting

The very first L3D Cube owners are just getting their Cubes now and we’re in the process of making a Troubleshooting list.

For now, if you’re having trouble connecting your Cube to WiFi or downloading Apps from CubeTube, please head over to the Forum and post your question there...someone in the community or within the Looking Glass team will help out!

We will then compile the most frequently encountered issues in this section.