[Jeremy Cook] wrote to us about one of his projects – a bouquet of LED cube flowers. The flowers are PCB cubes made up of small, crenellated PCBs, each of which has an individually addressable LED in its center. Slots mechanically hold the cubes together, and thanks to a cleverly chosen pinout, only two different PCB types need to be ordered to build such a flower!
As a vase for these flowers, he decided to use a glass bottle – which would need a cutout to fit an ESP8266-powered NodeMCU board, a controller of choice for the project. After a few different approaches to cutting the glass all resulted in the bottles cracking, he ditched the “clean cut” idea and repurposed one of the broken bottles, regluing it well enough for the aesthetic to work. .
[Jeremy] tells us he got help from a hack we covered in 2017 – using a diode for the level shift, as the 3.3V level signals from the ESP8266 don’t match the inputs well WS2812. From there, the ESP8266’s WLED firmware ties everything together nicely. It’s clear that [Jeremy] had a field day designing this, playing around with all the ideas and approaches!
Colored LEDs are indispensable for decorating hacker houses. From a bouquet of flowers, you might find yourself sketching out a crenellated PCB tile design, and the next thing you know, you’ve created a beautiful triangular LED tile system. Some PCB manufacturers don’t care about castellations, and if so, you might as well finish the job yourself.