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Light Shows: What is an LED cube?

An LED cube is a 3D grid of small LEDs that is used to create a light-show. LED cubes utilize many aspects of computer engineering and need a certain degree of technical knowledge and skills to build. So what exactly is required to create an LED Cube?
This report will follow the construction of an LED cube in order to demonstrate the different components and the technical experience necessary for the job. For each section of the cube's creation, any technical aspects involved will be explained and linked (if possible) to relevant aspects of computer engineering.

There are many different ways of building LED cubes, but this report will only focus on one specific method. The Netduino Plus microcontroller will be used to control the LEDs and the basic construction of the cube will follow the online tutorial : "LED Cube and Arduino Lib" from instructables.com. Any background information on the parts or methods involved in the cube's creation will be ignored unless it is crucial to understanding how the cube works.

The major sections of this report will be ordered the same way as the construction of the cube. The first section will explore the assembly of the grid of LEDs. This will include a lot of soldering and a small amount of circuit theory. Next, the construction of the cube's circuit will be explained in detail. The third section will address the process of setting up the microcontroller to work with a computer. Finally, the report will discuss the basic code necessary to run the cube before exploring some custom functions and applications with music.

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