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Here's a cheap and easy way to make your own capacitive stylus

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Here's a cheap and easy way to make your own capacitive stylus
“If you see a stylus, they blew it.” This famous quote belongs to none other but Steve Jobs who was adamantly opposed to styli on tablets. And we can’t agree more - if a tablet or a phone requires you to use a stylus with it, this limits the user interaction a great deal. Yet there’s another scenario - where the stylus is not absolutely necessary but rather augments the user experience. For drawing for example. That’s one reason why you might want to get a stylus.

But what is a capacitive stylus? Usually it’s not a super-sophisticated piece of technology. In order for a stylus to work with capacitive displays it needs to transport the static electricity of your finger to the display. There’s plenty of cheap options out there, so keep on reading and get ready as today we’ll teach you how to make a capacitive stylus in just a couple of minutes and spending almost no money at all on it. 

One disclaimer. This is more of a project for the fun-loving experimenters rather than for professionals or artists who’d be better off with a more solid stylus. But it will save you the long time waiting for an online order and save you some money if you just want to play around.

So with no further ado, here’s what you’ll need to make your own stylus:

- a pen
- a sponge (Scotch Brite sponge to be sure it’ll work)
- craft wire

1. Take the ink out of the pen. Drill a hole near the end of the pen.
2. Cut the sponge in small wedges. Place a wedge at the tip of the pen.
3. Cut around 6-inches of wire. Fold a part of it at 90 degrees. Insert it into the hole near the end of the pen. Make sure it touches the wedge.
4. Wrap the rest of the wire around the pen.
5. To use the stylus, make sure your fingers/hand touches the wire that’s wrapped around the pen. And voila, ready!

You can play around and experiment with other conductive materials - a cotton swab instead of the sponge, but make sure that in either cases both need to be moist in order for the thing to work. Check out the picture below to see how it all looks like and share your progress in the comments.


Here's a cheap and easy way to make your own capacitive stylus

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7 Comments
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posted on 19 Mar 2012, 10:17 1

1. jbash (Posts: 339; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)


nifty

posted on 19 Mar 2012, 10:26 10

2. davecann2 (Posts: 460; Member since: 15 Mar 2011)


Kinda cool but... I'd rather spend the few dallors and buy one.

posted on 19 Mar 2012, 10:32 3

3. McLTE (Posts: 622; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


I see nowhere in the original article that the scotchpad is required to be moist.. looks like it's conductive without moisture.

Definitely a fun little craft project.. I think I'll give this a try with my kids. Since they always want to borrow my phone for games, they will get a kick out of this, and it will help keep my screen more clean as well!! :)

posted on 19 Mar 2012, 10:50

4. MATOZ (Posts: 71; Member since: 10 Aug 2011)


Other point the news forgot:

"You need at least two things; a faucet or glass of water to do this stylus works."
But in case of emergency you can use your mouth to moist it !

heeee, heee ...

posted on 19 Mar 2012, 12:18

5. savien808 (Posts: 59; Member since: 27 Aug 2011)


ebay people!you can get 5 or more for 2$ or less + free shipping!

posted on 19 Mar 2012, 14:20 2

6. tobin_o (Posts: 6; Member since: 21 Feb 2012)


Nice solution in a pinch, but I'd put down money for a Sammy Note (phone or tablet) if I thought I might ever need a stylus. Hell, even if I didn't, I'd still get one :)

posted on 19 Mar 2012, 20:47 1

7. Arpad (Posts: 39; Member since: 05 Jan 2012)


Man..... he is just BEGGING to get SUED!

This is an outrage! How can this man steal and copy innovation from those poor and innocent companies!

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