DIY Soft iPhone and iPad Stylus

As much as we all love finger painting, drawing is often more precise and comfortable when using a marking tool.  It’s exciting to see capacitive multi-touch screens become the norm, but the range of stylus options is still pretty limited.

Current iPhone and iPad drawing tools fall into two camps: foil sticks and wet wands.  Foil sticks are pretty straight forward to make.  Just grab a sheet of aluminum and roll/crumple it into a pencil shape.  The only problem is that the part that touches the screen is hard and needs to be pretty large, requiring the user to write at a very specific angle.  On the other side, wet wands use a soft, wet element to interact with the screen, such as a sausage or a q-tip.  They work well for a while, but either need to be frequently rehydrated or start to go bad.

We’ve been experimenting with conductive foams and fabrics in search of a middle ground.  Fortunately, it’s quite easy to make a soft, conductive writing tool using some pretty basic materials.  All you need is a pencil, an anti-static sock (such as this one, with X-Static in the foot area which contains conductive silver thread), and some patience to cut and sew it all together.

See the detailed step-by-step instructions in our Soft iPhone and iPad stylus instructable.

April 8th, 2010

18 Comments »

18 Comments on “DIY Soft iPhone and iPad Stylus”

  1. 1 Click World News » Blog Archive » DIY Soft iPhone and iPad Stylus said at 11:36 am on April 9th, 2010:

    [...] Adam Kumpf from the design firm Teague in Seattle demonstrates a DIY soft conductive stylus for use with an iPhone, iPad, or any other device with a capacitive touch screen. We've been [...]

  2. 2 DIY Soft iPhone and iPad Stylus | Products & Tech News said at 11:53 am on April 9th, 2010:

    [...] Adam Kumpf from the design firm Teague in Seattle demonstrates a DIY soft conductive stylus for use with an iPhone, iPad, or any other device with a capacitive touch screen. We've been [...]

  3. 3 Tweets that mention dsLabs » Blog Archive » DIY Soft iPhone and iPad Stylus -- Topsy.com said at 12:28 pm on April 9th, 2010:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Best Software. Best Software said: dsLabs » Blog Archive » DIY Soft iPhone and iPad Stylus http://bit.ly/cCi13O [...]

  4. 4 lifekludger - disability : technology : life » Blog Archive » Soft Sock Stylus for Touch screens said at 10:13 am on April 10th, 2010:

    [...] Over on Instructables is how to make a stylus out of anti-static socks for use on capacitive type touch screen devices – ala iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad etc. The stylus was the creation of dsLabs. [...]

  5. 5 xepp magazine » DIY Soft iPhone and iPad Stylus said at 11:19 am on April 11th, 2010:

    [...] Adam Kumpf from the design firm Teague in Seattle demonstrates a DIY soft conductive stylus for use with an iPhone, iPad, or any other device with a capacitive touch screen. We’ve been [...]

  6. 6 Will the ipad be able to be used like a wacom tablet in photoshop? | Apple On The Longtail said at 12:49 am on April 12th, 2010:

    [...] dsLabs » Blog Archive » DIY Soft iPhone and iPad Stylus [...]

  7. 7 Kolumne: Gemischte Gefühle said at 7:06 am on April 17th, 2010:

    [...] Genug Gefühlsduselei, harren wir der Dinge, die da kommen! Apropos Ausharren: Seitdem Autodesk mit AutoCAD R12 die Mac-Plattform fallen ließ, sind der Gerüchte viele und der Wunsch vieler Macianer nach einem Comeback stark gewesen. Eventuell ist Rettung jetzt zum Greifen nahe. Jedenfalls wenn man diesem Beitrag Glauben schenken darf. In der Zwischenzeit gibt es aber von Autodesk handfesteres: das Sketch Book Pro für das iPad. Wer mit dem iPad nicht wie ein Kindergartenkind (oder eine Katze) Fingermalen möchte, für den gibt es die folgende Lösung: [...]

  8. 8 dsLabs » Blog Archive » Physical Touchscreen Knobs said at 4:09 pm on April 20th, 2010:

    [...] [...]

  9. 9 dsLabs » Blog Archive » Making as Thinking @ PSSIGCHI said at 11:05 pm on April 22nd, 2010:

    [...] DIY Soft Touchscreen Stylus [...]

  10. 10 The DIY Soft Stylus by DS-Labs opens the door to some very… - Some Random Dude said at 3:52 pm on May 10th, 2010:

    [...] DIY Soft Stylus by DS-Labs opens the door to some very compelling possibilities. Perhaps we will soon have an [...]

  11. 11 How To Make An Ultra Cheap DIY iPad Stylus « Netputing said at 7:34 pm on May 11th, 2010:

    [...] The solution is genius. It will probably set you back about $2 if even that. [...]

  12. 12 How To Make An Ultra Cheap DIY iPad Stylus « JoostTeam said at 7:36 pm on May 11th, 2010:

    [...] The solution is genius. It will probably set you back about $2 if even that. [...]

  13. 13 DIY Soft iPhone and iPad Stylus « The tech telecom and all said at 9:35 pm on May 19th, 2010:

    [...] Adam Kumpf from the design firm Teague in Seattle demonstrates a DIY soft conductive stylus for use with an iPhone, iPad, or any other device with a capacitive touch screen. We’ve been [...]

  14. 14 Iphone | Gustavera's Blog said at 1:15 am on June 1st, 2010:

    [...] do DS Labs criou uma solução barata: bastam um lápis e uma meia velha para você ter uma stylus. O vídeo no site mostra o improviso em ação – e parece funcionar muito [...]

  15. 15 Faça uma ‘caneta stylus’ caseira usando lápis e meia velha « NetSySoft said at 6:36 pm on July 15th, 2010:

    [...] DS Labs criou uma solução barata: bastam um lápis e uma meia velha para você ter uma stylus. O vídeo no site mostra o improviso em ação – e parece funcionar muito [...]

  16. 16 Akcwli said at 3:15 am on November 8th, 2010:

    My friend Catherine reminded me that you can use your tongue to take a picture so you don’t have to take your gloves off. Faster and easier than carrying and using a stylus!

  17. 17 RainyDayInterns said at 6:15 pm on March 9th, 2011:

    Here is our version only that it is an iPad brush:
    http://www.rainydaymagazine.com/RDM2011/Home/March/Week2/RDMHomeMar0911.htm#DIY_iPadBrush

    We are currently looking for better fibers, but the concept is sound.

    Sincerely,
    RainyDayInterns

  18. 18 The DIY Soft Stylus by DS-Labs opens the door to some very… — Some Random Dude said at 5:45 am on October 2nd, 2011:

    [...] days agoFiled UnderTumblrTaggedDIYDS-Labspossibilitiesstubby fingersstylus The DIY Soft Stylus by DS-Labs opens the door to some very compelling possibilities. Perhaps we will soon have an [...]


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