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Frame Assembly

In this section, the process of assembling the grid of LEDs and then attaching the grid to a perf-board will be explained. Typically, individual LEDs in a cube are connected together by their cathodes and anodes. Some sort of jig or frame helps keep the LEDs uniformly spaced apart. After the grid is completed, it is attached to a perf-board - a board uniformly perforated with metal-rimmed holes. All of the electronic components for the cube will eventually be attached to the same perf-board, allowing the circuit to be soldered together on one surface.

Soldering the Grid

A wooden jig with 9 holes drilled in a 4cm x 4cm grid is used for this particular LED cube. All of the LEDs in a single level are connected together by their cathodes, and each column is created by the LEDs' anodes (see figure 1 on the next page). In order to ensure that the LEDs are not damaged in the soldering process, the legs must be attached quickly to avoid prolonged contact with the hot iron. However, both legs should be heated briefly prior to melting the solder to ensure the metal binds evenly to both surfaces (Winstanley, 2010). The cathodes and anodes of the LEDs are placed very close together, so special care must be taken to make sure they never touch. A solder bridge between the cathode and anode of an LED must be cut away or de-soldered and reapplied. Any connection between a cathode and an anode results in a short circuit, causing current to flow past the LED instead of into the component.

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