How to Create LEDEdit Layout using AutoCAD Software

In both the LEDEdit and LEDEdit-K versions, we discussed how to use the auto layout creator to create panel-like layouts and how to use the manual layout creator to create non-regular layouts. In this tutorial, we'll go over how to use AutoCAD software to create any design of the custom LED layout you want and wire it outside of the LEDEdit software. Before proceeding, please download and install AutoCAD 2007 or a later version. I'll show you how to accomplish it in both the LEDEdit and the LEDEdit-K versions.

As previously said, please install the AutoCAD software. In this post, I'll be using AutoCAD 2007, although you may use a later version.

Design Custom LED Layout

The Plan

In this tutorial, I'll use a circle-shaped custom LED layout as an example, but you may use whatever shape you choose. Before we begin, we must develop a design plan. That's what I came up with.

Custom LED Layout plan
Custom LED Layout plan

The LED lines are equally spaced, and each LED line has a series of equally spaced LEDs. When drilling the board for LED placement, please provide adequate space for drilling holes when inserting LEDs into the lines. The board's outline represents the panel's edge.

Dimensions

The dimensions we use in AutoCAD do not represent the actual physical product dimensions. Consider this a scaled mockup of the actual product built for simulation during LED programming. Create your own custom LED layout dimensions. It should be neither too large nor too small.

OK, enough chit-chat; let's get started. Start your AutoCAD software.

AutoCAD workspace mode selection menu
AutoCAD workspace mode selection menu

1- Click OK after selecting AutoCAD Classic from the workspace option (the phrase “AutoCAD Classic” may change in future versions). In the top bar, click “Format” and then “Units“. Select “inches” from the “insertion scale” drop-down list in the Drawing units box and click “OK“.

AutoCAD Drawing units window
AutoCAD Drawing units window

Create LED References

Circle tool - Custom LED Layout
Circle tool

2- Select the “Circle Tool” from the toolbox and click anywhere in the workspace to place the circle's center. If you're satisfied with the size of the circle, move your mouse cursor away from the center and click left.

Creating a circle - Custom LED Layout
Creating a circle

3- Double-click on the circumference of the circle to show the circle's properties. Change the geometry settings as follows:

  • Center X = 0
  • Center Y = 0
  • Center Z = 0
  • Diameter = 1
Circle Properties - Custom LED Layout
Circle Properties 

Pixel LED Effects Download Pack: 7000 Effects

  • Files: 7000+
  • Size: 23 GB
  • Formats: SWF, TOL, AVI, MP4, and GIF
Array tool - Custom LED Layout
Array tool

4- Now that we've created our first LED reference, I'd want to create a line of LED references down the (−) X axis. Select the circle if it is not already chosen. Choose “Array Tool” from the right-hand modification menu. Check “rectangular array” in the Array menu and change the following settings. And then click “OK“.

Array settings - Custom LED Layout
Array settings
  • Rows: The number of rows on the Y axis (one in my case because I'm looking for a line).
  • Columns: The number of columns on the X axis (In my case, 15 because I need 15 more for X).
  • Row offset: Offset along the Y axis, or distance between each row (in my example, 1.0000 because no rows exist).
  • Column offset: Distance between each column or offset along the X axis (In my case, minus is to change the direction, and 4.0000 is the distance between each led reference center).
  • Angle: The array's angle (In my instance, it's zero).

Here is the result. The -X axis has 15 LED references.

Array of LED references - Custom LED Layout
Array of LED references

Creating The Circle

5- Select the “Array” tool from the edit bar on the left by clicking on the second circle. Check the “Polar Array” radio button in the “Array” settings and change the setting as shown below. Then click “OK“.

Polar Array settings - Custom LED Layout
Polar Array settings
  • Center Point: The center of the items to be duplicated lies around their X and Y coordinates. (In my instance, the x and y axes are both zero).
  • Total Number of Items: The number of copies for each angle fill value In this example, it is 15; you may change it to a different value if you want. More items mean less space between them and the possibility of overlap. When there are fewer items, there are fewer details.
  • Angle to Fill: The angle at which items should be distributed (in my case, 360 because I want the items to be distributed around a full circle).

Here is the result:

Polar Array result - Custom LED Layout
Polar Array result

6- The method must now be repeated for the remaining LED references. Choose one at a time and go to the previous (05th Step) stage. In polar array settings, make sure the X and Y values of the center point are zero and the angle to fill is 360. All you need to change is the “Total Number of Items” text box because as we go ahead and to the left, the circle becomes bigger and bigger, implying that the space between items grows bigger and bigger. As a result, we must raise the “Total Number of Items” as we go. You may select any value you like. Instead of pressing “OK” after altering the settings, click the “preview” button. This will show the result of your setting change. If you are satisfied with the outcome, click “Accept“. If you are satisfied with the findings, click “Modify” and change the “Total Number of Items” value to your liking. Throughout the design, try to keep an equal distance between each LED reference.

Array preview - Custom LED Layout
Array preview

Here's what it looks like after you've done it for all 15 LED references (the number in red represents the total number of items in each circle):

Final result
Final result

Wiring the LEDs

We have completed our custom LED layout design. It's now time to connect them all together. Here is my wiring plan.

LED Wiring plan
LED Wiring plan
Line Tool
Line Tool

To make connections simpler, we need to change the snap settings. From the tool, select the line tool. At the bottom, you'll see various buttons. By clicking on these buttons, you may enable and deactivate the features, as shown in the image below.

Line tool features
Line tool features
OSNAP
OSNAP

Right-click the “OSNAP” button and select “Settings“, then make the changes listed below and click “OK“.

OSNAP Settings window
OSNAP Settings window

7- From the toolbar, select the “Line” tool and click on the center of the first LED to be connected, then the center of the second, then the third, then the fourth, and so on. Until the very last LED, It is worth noting that the LEDs are listed in series. After you've made your last connection, press the “Enter” button on your keyboard to quit the tool.

Misplaced point recover
Misplaced point recover

Don't worry if you mistakenly click somewhere other than the center of the circle; just right-click and select “undo” from the drop-down list, then continue connecting.

Discontinuing the line: If you're sick of connecting up every LED reference at once, just press “Enter” on your keyboard to continue the line anywhere. Then, choose the line tool once more, making sure to select from the last place where you stopped the line by clicking the center of the previous circle you wired.

Discontinuing the connection
Discontinuing the connection

Here is the result after wiring the LED references:

Result after wiring
Result after wiring

8- We now need to connect it to a port label. I can connect this LED arrangement to a single port on my controller without any problems since the 856 LEDs used in this example are fewer than the 2048 LEDs that may be connected to each port on my controller. However, if you connect more LEDs than your controller can handle, you must rename the LEDs and connect them to a different port. However, you must take into account the number of ports your controller has. For further information, please see the user manual for your controller.

Text tool
Text tool

9- Select the “Multi line text tool” from the toolbar, click on the blank area next to the first LED reference, press “0” on your keyboard, “,” then “0” once again, and then “Enter” to complete the action. By typing “1” in the text size area, you may change the font size to 1 inch. Now click “p1” (which stands for port 1) in the text type and press “OK“.

Port 1 label
Port 1 label

10- The custom LED layout must now be connected to the port label. Click the “Line Tool” from the toolbar, then the first LED reference point, the connecting point for the text labels, and lastly press “Enter“.

Connecting the port to the custom LED layout
Connecting the port to the custom LED layout
Result of the connection - Custom LED Layout
Result of the connection

If you must use more than one port, create labels for each port and connect them to the LED reference set as follows: “p” stands for port, and the number after the latter “p” represents the port number to which it is connected.

Multi-port layout labels - Custom LED Layout
Multi-port layout labels

The final result of the layout:

Final custom LED layout
Final custom LED layout

11- We've now created our layout and connected it to the port label. Go to “File” and select “Save As” from the drop-down menu. In the “Store As” window, go to the location where you wish to save the file and name it by typing it in the “File Name” text box, then select “AutoCAD 2007 DXF (*.dxf)” from the “Files of Type” drop-down list, and click “Save“.

AutoCAD save as window
AutoCAD save as window

12- Close the AutoCAD software and run the LEDEdit or LEDEdit-K software.

Importing LED Software

If you are using LEDEdit-K versions

12.1 To start a new project, click “File” and then “New“, then select your controller and click “OK“. For additional information on project creation, please refer to the tutorial's “Starting a New LEDEdit Project” section.

Import dxf
Import dxf

12.2 From the left-side panel, click the “Import dxf” icon. Click “OK” after selecting the file you created in the browse window. Select the settings as indicated in the image below when you see the DXF file settings option. Change the scale of the imported file by dragging the scaling slider, then click “OK“.

dxf file settings
dxf file settings

How many LED references have been successfully imported will be shown in the message.

Import successful message
Import successful message

You will see a message similar to this if there are connection issues.

Import failed message - Custom LED Layout
Import failed message

If you see a message similar to the one above, click “OK”, and Notepad will open, displaying the locations where connections failed.

Note pad - failed connection locations
Note pad – failed connection locations

Close it and then zoom in on the custom LED layout with your mouse wheel to view the led references for failed connections in violet and the led references for successful connections in yellow, with blue lines connecting them.

Connection failed location -Zoomed
Connection failed location -Zoomed

To open the .dxf file in AutoCAD, double-click it after making a note of those locations. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in or out on the areas where your connections broke, then click here to select the connections that are currently there, erase them by selecting “Erase“, and then recreate the connections by choosing the line tool from the toolbar and clicking in the centers of the circles. To stop using the line tool, press enter. To save the file, do this action at each location where a connection has failed and press “Ctrl+S“. (follow steps 11 and 12). Return to step 12.1 and continue from there.

remaking failed connections - Custom LED Layout
remaking failed connections
Successfully imported layout - Custom LED Layout
Successfully imported layout

12.3 Import the dxf file successfully and start programming the layout. Please refer to and continue from the section titled “Recording a Video or an Animation” in my First LEDEdit-K tutorial.

Programming the Custom LED Layout
Programming the layout

If you are using LEDEdit versions

13.1 To start a new project, click “File” and then “New“, then select your controller and click “OK“. For additional information on starting a new LEDEdit project, please see the “Starting a New LEDEdit Project” section of my first LEDEdit tutorial.

13.2 In the top bar, click “Project Config” and then “Import (.dxf)“. This menu will be shown. Check the box next to “Not an accurate attachment” and then click “OK“. A window titled “Open File” will appear. Browse and select the file you created, then click “OK“.

Import dxf file settings
Import dxf file settings

13.3 If you successfully imported the file, you will receive a message similar to this: “The number of unsuccessful imports is zero“. Click “OK“.

Import successful message
Import successful message

13.4 If you get a message that says: “Failed lights are greater than zero” or anything similar,

Import failed message
Import failed message

13.5 Click “OK“, use your mouse wheel to zoom in on the layout, and scan for white LED references. These indicate that connections failed there.

Failed LED references - Custom LED Layout
Failed LED references

Make a note of those locations, then visit and double-click the .dxf file to reopen AutoCAD. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in or out on the areas where your connections broke, then click here to select the connections that are currently there, erase them by selecting “Erase“, and then recreate the connections by choosing the line tool from the toolbar and clicking in the centers of the circles. To stop using the line tool, press enter. Press “Ctrl” + “S” to save the file after doing this for each location where a connection failed (follow steps 11 and 12). Then continue from step 13.1.

remaking failed connections - Custom LED Layout
Remaking failed connections

Import the dxf file successfully and error-free, then start layout programming (please refer to and continue from the sub-section titled “Recording a Video or an Animation” in my LEDEdit Tutorial).

Oh hi there It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pixel LED Effects Pack: 7000 Effects for LEDEdit & More