Consider LED cubes. While they can make impressive displays, the nature of their construction means that a 3x3x3 cube requires the soldering of 27 LEDs, but “doubling” things to 6x6x6 brings that up to 216 LEDs, an extraordinary amount of work. Although Jamal-Ra-Davis has actually built a 6x6x6 cube, when he considered making something with even better resolution, a different technique seemed appropriate. He instead designed a volumetric persistence of vision (POV) project that uses 48 LEDs to display an effective (circular) resolution of 60x8x6, or 2,880 pixels.
The POV device works by spinning LEDs fast enough to trick our eyes into thinking that flashes in each area are solid objects, and unlike “traditional” spinning displays, this one stacks six blades on top of each other to create the illusion of volume.
The unit uses a SAM D21 microcontroller to activate each LED, as well as an Arduino Nano and potentiometer to set the speed of the motor. The spinning assembly employs an inductive power source, with the MCU and control board rotating along with the LED assemblies.
Code and PCB files are available on GitHub. The project is still a work-in-progress, but it’s an interesting concept that we’ll hopefully see develop further in the future!