Dashing Axe's "Matrix Table" Packs 7,000 LEDs in a Laser-Cut Housing for a Mesmerizing Light Show
YouTuber "Dashing Axe" has shared a coffee table build with a difference: It's hiding 164 feet of addressable LED strips behind a laser-cut cover in order to replicate the "digital rain" effect from The Matrix.
"We aimed at the classics and decided to make a table based on the movie 'The Matrix,'" says the channel's operator of the project, brought to our attention by Adafruit. "A bunch of difficulties and mistakes, 50 meters [164 feet] of addressable LED strip, more than 7,000 smart symbols and, as a result, the table that I've never seen before."
The dripping green "digital rain" that represents the underlying source code of The Matrix in the film, which bears its name is iconic and oft-imitated — usually by hooking something up to a display device like an LCD panel and running a pre-rendered animation or generating the symbols directly.
The Dashing Axe take on the project, by contrast, goes for a more physical approach. The table's upper surface is made of opaque plastic, laser-cut with symbols designed to mimic those used in the film. Behind this, in a custom table housing with ventilation, is a hefty power supply and enough LED controllers to drive over 164 feet of LED strips.
As the animation runs, the LEDs in the table — over 7,000 in total — are brightly illuminated then swept as they fade, creating the "digital rain" familiar to viewers of the film. The display can also be used to render text or simple images — though the "pixels" retain their symbolic shapes owing to the opaque upper layer.
A build video is available on the Dashing Axe YouTube channel, but no technical details had been shared at the time of writing.