With the advent of accessible PCB build services, we’ve all kinds of creative uses for this medium. One such clever — and very small — invention is the Pikocube, a 54 LED die from “Maker Moekoe.” This little gadget measures in at just over 25mm on a side, embedding nine WS2812-2020 LED pixels on each PCB surface.
Inside, an ESP8285-01F module gives the tiny but mighty Pikocube WiFi communication abilities, while an ADXL345 gyroscope allows it to detect motion and position. The unit also features battery charging circuitry, along with a 150mAh LiPo that lets it shine all by itself.
To assemble the device, Moekoe created a 3D-printed jig that enables him to solder three boards together on their sides, before being combined them into a cube. The connections provide structural rigidity, and pass power as well as the LED control signals along these surfaces. Two PCB designs are implemented, one to accommodate the MCU and another that houses the charge circuitry. Only one of each are fully populated, with the others simply holding LEDs on the outside.
The Pikocube starts off in a sleep mode, turned on by a button via a notch in one of the PCBs. When activated, the colorful cube can then be controlled from a Blynk app and react to movement. As shown in the video below, it can be programmed externally, so its future use possibilities are endless!