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Electronics news

A miniature sphere made of flexible circuit boards

The Mini Sphere is a baseball-sized globe with 945 LEDs that replicate the capabilities of the Sphere in Las Vegas, but stands on a table.

By comparison, the Sphere in Las Vegas has 81,300 m² of floor space and its wraparound LED screen contains 1.23 million LED pucks, each with 48 diodes. Bugeja's mini-sphere contains 945 LEDs and 305 capacitors on four-layer flexible circuit boards with a diameter of 6 cm.

The Bugeja sphere does not rotate, the flexible PCBs do. The developer described the various iterations it took to create the final Mini Sphere. As with real development, each version of the prototype fixes bugs and helps show better assembly techniques. For example, due to the temperature and humidity of the environment, Bugeja found that the glue on the flexible circuit board could lose its tackiness over time. Fortunately, a short baking process before applying it to the surface improves adhesion.

The cost to build a Mini Sphere is $250. Watch the Mini Sphere Build video to learn more about the process and materials: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jjg6-xT6rJg.