LED matrix cylinder gaming display

Large WS2812 LED cylindric display project (1600 LEDs)

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Update 2021: After pausing the project for quite a while, I will take the "Rethink Displays" contest as a hint to do the next step planning and building the large version with at least 1600 LEDs.

Planned features:
- Minimum 80x20 pixels
- multiplayer gaming (Tetris, Snake, etc.)
- full cylindric animations
- modular design for easy transport and maintenance
- full open-source hard and software

Plan is to bring it to future post-pandemic Maker Faires.

It will include all the learnings form this project hanging on my wall since several years now:

Older project posts relate to a test project for a 20x5 pixel WS2812 based matrix in a cylindric shape. I was already thinking about a much larger version, but first I wanted to learn on the small one.

First test after full assembling:

  • Full matrix design

    makeTVee05/30/2021 at 15:27 0 comments

    Just to get a first impression about the matrix, 90cm diameter, 70 cm height:

  • Large matrix design

    makeTVee05/29/2021 at 09:34 0 comments

    The grid for the new large cylindric matrix (right now 84x20 LEDs) is designed in Fusion360 as a full parametric design, so by changing the number of LEDs for x and y and the material thickness, Fusion automatically redraws the matrix segment. I will use 30 LED/m stripes, so the diameter is close to 1 meter.

    To make assembly and transport easier, the design is made for a quarter of the cylinder ,which then later will be combined with 3 other quarters to the full cylinder. Next steps in the design process are:

    • mounting of the LED stripes
    • connection of the quarters
    • cable guiding

    Also started to model the matrix in P5.js to do some animation simulation.

  • Github

    makeTVee03/08/2019 at 16:03 0 comments

    Finally added the source code to my GitHub.

    Just the test code from the video ;-)

  • Software simulator

    makeTVee10/28/2018 at 14:51 0 comments

    As in my previous LED matrix project, I am using a pygame based simulator for testing the python code on the PC. Code will follow soon on Github.

  • LED assembling

    makeTVee10/24/2018 at 14:07 0 comments

    Here are some more pictures from the LED assembling:

  • Matrix body

    makeTVee10/24/2018 at 05:54 0 comments

    Matrix was designed with Fusion360 and cutted with a laser cutter out of thin cardboard.

    It is splitted into two parts to simplify LED assembling and cabeling.

    Height is 18 cm, diameter is 20 cm

View all 6 project logs

  • 1
    Source code

    Source code added to my Gihub.

View all instructions

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seliger wrote 05/18/2021 at 18:22 point

Hi you told me on youtube to contact you here for a plan and instruction for a big matrix cylinder.

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makeTVee wrote 05/24/2021 at 14:48 point

oh, missed this, added you to the project, so let's discuss via dm

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engineer2you wrote 01/22/2020 at 03:50 point

i really love this, i'm going to use your case design, but using nodeMCU instead of Rapsberry Pi

Is it ok if i use your case design and post in public?

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makeTVee wrote 01/22/2020 at 07:53 point

That's why we are here ;-) There is also an instructable to this project:

So if you use the design, please insert a clear reference/link to this project and insert links to the used files (e.g. case design) instead of just copying them to your project.

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engineer2you wrote 01/22/2020 at 09:25 point


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chris wrote 03/16/2019 at 10:44 point


This is really cool - I'd love to have a go building one as well...

Will you be including a wiring diagram?

Have you the cutting file for the frame? 

I'm kinda new to this so please forgive me if I break some social norm by asking.

Thank you 

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makeTVee wrote 03/16/2019 at 13:14 point

No problem, that's why we are here ;-)
I have written an instructable with cutting file and schematic:

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chris wrote 03/24/2019 at 10:15 point

many thanks. 

This is now in the list. 👍👍👍

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lance.mcnulty wrote 03/15/2019 at 18:43 point

This is one of the most beautiful projects I have ever seen done with a Pi.

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makeTVee wrote 03/16/2019 at 06:13 point

Thank you!

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philip jh wrote 03/12/2019 at 23:00 point

hello.  prety impressive project.  im interested in the music thats palying. would you be kind enough to tell me the name and sourse wishes
philip jhwest melbourne

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makeTVee wrote 03/13/2019 at 06:21 point

The song is from the YouTube audio lib called "Clover 3"

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Kate Farrell wrote 02/23/2019 at 17:24 point

Brill!! I love it!

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penumbriel wrote 10/26/2018 at 12:00 point

What have you used as a light diffuser? Paper ?

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makeTVee wrote 10/26/2018 at 14:06 point

it is a veneer paper called microwood:

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davedarko wrote 10/24/2018 at 06:56 point

wow, looks beautiful!

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