Friday, 21 November 2014

How To Make Your Own Stylus Pen - 100% Effective & Easy

Make Your Own Stylus Pen With Household Material Which Works Flawlessly

What Is A Stylus ?

Stylus is a great tool for drawing purposes. Samsung's S-Pen is one of the most famous stylus that come to our mind. These are extremely accurate and small. But such pens dont work with normal capacitive screens which almost 99+% devices uses. The reason being that, the screen is designed to ignore anything less than ~1/4cm radius in order to avoid any unwanted touches getting registered. Hence we need to have a stylus with ~1/4 cm radius or greater to have an impression registered.

How Stylus Works? 

Capacitive screens are by far the most sensitive screens out there. A capacitive touchscreen panel consists of an insulator such as glass, coated with a transparent conductor such as indium tin oxide (ITO). As the human body is also an electrical conductor, touching the surface of the screen results in a distortion of the screen's electrostatic field, measurable as a change in capacitance. Different technologies may be used to determine the location of the touch. The location is then sent to the controller for processing. 

In a capacitive screen only conducting materials work- finger, iron/aluminum etc. Our stylus should also be made of conducting materials.

Other Methods Available To Make Stylus

There are lots of methods available on internet to make a stylus pen . I have tried almost every one of these methods.They are;
  1. Using a cotton swab and attaching it to a metal piece. Disadvatage: Swab needs to be wet all the time, and screen gets filled with water soon.
  1. Using an aluminum foil wrapped around pencil or metal container. Disadvantage: Precision is utterly poor, scratches the screen more often, not suitable,
and the list goes on. So far i haven't seen any method to make a permanent , effective stylus pen that wont wet/ tear my screen apart. 
Then i decided to experiment on normal stuffs in our household. In about an hour i found my solution.

The technique i used is - mix a conducting material like graphite ,available in pencil lead with a suitable adhesive/resin binder like fevicol and paste this onto any metal piece, that way it will still be soft (wont scratch) and very much conductive to register on capacitive screen

Finished Stylus : Video

Make Your Own Stylus : Lets Get Started

Things You Need

  • Pencil Lead / Graphite - Get any pencil you have, HB,B,3B,5B, anything you have. I used 5B, as it has a bigger and softer lead with more graphite content.

  • Fevicol / Any Resin Adhesive to act as the binder to bind the graphite powder.

  • Metal container- I Used a metallic 'Pen Refill'. any thin metallic container easy to hold will do. No need to worry if you didn't get anything metallic, we have a work around too.

  • Knife to scrape the graphite from pencil. 

  • Any round metallic object to attach to the tip of refill. If you have a cylindrical metal container of ~1/4cm radius , then no need for this object.

See, all the materials are available in our house. They are really cheap and wont cost you more than 50Rs.
How To Do:

  • Scrape the lead from pencil using a knife, make sure the powder is fine and not coarse,as heavy particles might scratch the surface of screen.

  • Add fevicol to this fine powder and mix thoroughly untill you get a thick black paste. The blacker the paste, the better.

  • Take the metal container or refill and apply this black paste on it. Add a thick layer, then let it solidify. Since fevicol or resin adhesive will shrink more than 50% of its wet volume, you need to apply more of the paste at some intervals, you get the required diameter. 

  • If you didn't get the metal container, just apply the black paste all over the body in normal thickness, this ensure that the material will be conducting. 

  • You can test it at each layer addition, using your device, whether it works okay. If not continue to apply paste on it.

When it solidifies you will have a smooth and highly responsive stylus pen. Use it to navigate , draw , anything you can wih finger, but with better precision and accuracy.

Here is a sample drawing i did on Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using my stylus pen. 

Have fun with your pen. Also check out my Video to see how the finished Pen works on Nexus 7.


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