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Thread: DIY iPad (UPDATE)

  1. #1
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    DIY iPad (UPDATE)

    I'm a little absent from the forum by a number of different reasons. Sorry for that folks.

    Recently I've been curious and interested in how the stylus works.

    The iPad screen has a Capacitive touchscreen that rely on the electrical properties of the human body to detect when and where on a display the user is touching. Because of this, capacitive displays can be controlled with very light touches of a finger.

    In the capacitive touchscreen, a layer that stores electrical charge is placed on the glass panel of the monitor. When a user touches the monitor with his or her finger, some of the charge is transferred to the user, so the charge on the capacitive layer decreases.

    This decrease is measured in circuits located at each corner of the monitor. The computer calculates, from the relative differences in charge at each corner, exactly where the touch event took place and then relays that information to the touch-screen driver software.

    It is just transference of ions to your body, c'est-à-dire, finger, end point. The main electronic event happens on the capacitive screen.

    After some research I came up with a do it yourself stylus solution, that I'd like to show. It is important to emphasize that if you seek, you will find dozens of do it yourself ipad brushes on the web.

    How I did it - Material:

    1. aluminium paper

    2. Wood stick skewer

    3. Tape

    The wood stick is wraped up in a piece of aluminium paper.
    The tips of the aluminium foil exceed the tips of the wood skewer and are lightly bended. Five small tape strips fix the foil in place.
    (see figures and my first iPad dodle, not AR though)

    Just as simple as said! and by the way, if you make an aluminium foil stick only by winding several times the paper, without the wood skewer, it works too.

    I wouldn't waste my time on this homemade stuff? Just try it to give your opinion. There is a nice dedicated thread started by Rowena on stylus...

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    All the best, have all a wonderful 2013
    Last edited by Lima; 01-10-2013 at 02:27 PM.

  2. #2
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    Absolutely fascinating. Aren't human brains amazing?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by copespeak View Post
    Absolutely fascinating. Aren't human brains amazing?
    Thank you, appreciate. This is a very kind comment.

  4. #4
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    What is known about capacitive styluses:

    1: Anything that conducts electricity can be used as a stylus.

    2: Presumably, anything that is marketed as an stylus will be made of a material that conducts electricity.

    Therefore: if it conducts electricity, then it's no different from our finger (human skin also conducts electricity). So, any stylus made out of the right material should work just as well as our finger.

    In the capacitive touchscreen, a layer that stores electrical charge is placed on the glass panel of the monitor. When a user touches the monitor with his or her finger, some of the charge is transferred to the user, so the charge on the capacitive layer decreases.

    This decrease is measured in circuits located at each corner of the monitor. The computer calculates, from the relative differences in charge at each corner, exactly where the touch event took place and then relays that information to the touch-screen driver software.

    Do you wonder why there are so many DIY iPad styllus/brushes alternatives published in the net? Why is it so easy to do it? It really works?

    My guess it is because there is not a revolutionary hightech principle behind the styluses or brushes built by the industry. The functioning of the styllus is very simple, and so, it can be reproduced in many different manners and formats mainly using diferent conductive materials to transmit the negative electric charge of the skin (finger) to the screen. In other words the styllus is just an intermediary object, a carrier interface to convey electrons from the skin to iPad's touchscreen (One of electricity's key concepts is electrical charge. Electrical current is also a key concept, being the flow of electricity from one point to another) . Apple's touch screen technology only reads electrical currents and not pressure, you won't be able to use touch sensitivity!!!

    So styllus functioning ain't a new invention, a break through new technology - needlessly try to improve an already perfectly established concept... Electrical conductance was smartly used by Apple and is used by the many existing DIY improvised styllus ideas that really works in everyday practice.

    Here is a list of some conductive materials used in DIY styllus.

    . antistatic film
    . aluminium paper
    . conductive thread
    . felt tip pen
    . conductive foam
    . 3M "O-Cel-O" "no-scratch" scrub sponge
    . Scotch Brite sponge
    . magnet
    . AAA battery
    . hard plastic capacitive material
    . conductive silicone rubber
    . conductive mylar
    . silver nylon fabric
    . others.

    The industry sells capacitive styluses with appealing descriptions such as Multi function and Stretchable Touch ScreenStylus, Dual Functions Stylus Touch Pen, etc...etc... And they come in beautiful designs, shapes and formats and fancy pointy ends.

    DIY styluses are for the fun-loving experimenters, it will save you some money if you want to play around.

    Someone said: "As an artist, the concept of being able to draw on the screen is of huge value. There are several technologies that try to realize this concept including some tablet PC's and wacom's cintiq series - however often times these solutions are either too bulky for every-day casual use (I'm not going to lug a laptop and a cintiq with me on a bus to sketch for a while) or is not catered to the artist at all - leaving us to just "make due." Here is the problem; The iPad ignores any capacitive touch that is too small to be considered a finger touch. So it got me thinking - is this something that can be hacked around through jailbreaking the ipad? If it could, then a hard-tip fine-point capacitive touch pen is certainly an easy possibility and many artists alike would be insanely happy."

    There are new devices, intelligent pens being developed. Who knows this guy will be happy than.


    An answer to Mr. Akey

    “Did you find that your brush took on the characteristics of what that brush would do in the real world -- making on the iPad a similar kind of mark as on a paint canvas? In other words, did the nature of the mark change when you changed the kinds of brushes from a bristle to sable? Or did they all just make a sort of similar contact point like the finger might? “

    This is a real paint brush adapted as an styllus that is highly conductive by means of the incorporated strip of aluminium paper. Its function is simple and precise, much the same as the function of any styllus. It can be used with iPad, iPhone, IPod and other capacitive touchscreen gadget.

    iOS recognizes a capacitive touchscreen input as a circular mark and not as a brush stroke. The only natural sensation produced when using this aluminium paper strip brush is the soft bending of the bristles when painting, a lot of fun to feel as if using a real brush and not the finger. It also works nicely with the other iPad functions, apps, Safari, etc... Cool this interaction, although the brush is only permeating electrons from the skin to the screen by means of the aluminium strip.

    So Mr. AKey, no , the behavior is the same, they all just make a sort of similar contact point like the finger, no matter the shape of the brush and its size. By the way, it is the same with all kinds of styluses we can think of. That means that there is no conformation to the shape (flat or round) of this aluminium strip brush, but also there is no conformation to the shape of the ball pen styluses or other smart active pointy ends of any styllus. It is the skin touch input energy and how the capacitive screen grasps this information for software processing, and this is precoded .

    In summary, the DIY "Aluminium Paper Strip Brush" shown here is simple, funcional and cheap. So, why not giving a try to it? Are you Curios?

    The photos show how I'm doing it. Enjoy
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  5. #5
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    And please see these small movies.


  6. #6
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    Continuing...


  7. #7
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    Hi Dr. Lima! Wow! Bravo!!!!!

    Finally I got the iPhone Artrage App tried this tool out. Brilliant! I used the tin foil wrapped around the shaft of a soft fairly narrow round tipped brush and it works really well. The aluminum foil is flexible enough to not interfere at all with the feel of the brush, so it feels as if I'm using a brush. Plus the tip is small enough to fit neatly into the iPhone's tiny rectangular screen.

    My finger had been such a dull experience that I had to seek out some kind of stylus. I tried one from the store with a round rubbery tip which worked pretty well even though it was still a little big for my uses. But your solution is pretty amazing and it cost nothing at all because I had those things sitting around the house. I didn't expect it to work so well. But it really does.

    My only concern is that it may scratch the screen over time. But I neither felt nor saw any bad effects on the screen itself. I have a fairly light touch with it anyway, for fear of tearing the narrow aluminum foil strip owing to the size of the brush itself. I picked a brush that was fairly small -- a Number 2 M.Grumbacher 4720-R Bristlette -- a cheap soft brush with a nice long handle which I could trim down if desired. But I sort of like the length for the familiar balance of holding it since I'm an old school traditional painter and my hand was trained to use this kind of brush.

    The foil is so "invisible" -- it's light and very flexible. And I wrapped the foil in a sloppy test manner and it still worked great. So I will cut and wrap and tape (tape is not really necessary is it) a proper job on it.

    I'm going to try this out with a whole painting on the iPhone just to see if I can forget I'm using a tiny electronic device. I did my first experiments yesterday with a commercial stylus and it was getting easier and easier to use as I familiarized myself with this simplified ArtRage mini-program. I have a feeling I am going to really like it.

    Thanks so much my friend! You're very creative indeed! A proper MacGyver!!!! (see older USA television - a hero who thought on his feet and put together clever things with whatever was at hand (like duct tape and a Swiss Army Knife and paper clips etc) to solve the problem and save the day. . .) Awesome, MacLima!

    Oh, I just used the Wacom tablet as a simple background -- no connection to this experiment.
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    Last edited by D Akey; 02-10-2013 at 08:46 AM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  8. #8
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    Hi there, thanks for your words Sir.

    The scratch problem:
    dozens and dozens of pages says that it scratches:
    dozens and dozens of pages says it doesn't scratches.

    I am in the middle, have not seen any scratch, so far.

    Akey, I've made several brushes, about 10 or 12, just for the fun and fine tune.

    OBS.: with time, the contact screen portion of the aluminium paper gets a little dirt. I clean it with a cottonet embeded in alchool. In some cases I just glued another small piece of aluminium on top of it.

    Thanks again.

    PS.: I don't use the fingers anymore.

  9. #9
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    This is brilliant - and many thanks for starting this post!!!
    ... AND for having done the research to find out how it all works.
    You really have inspired me and got me wondering what I could try out....I love having the freedom to invent something to suit my own needs!
    Mmmmm, you have really have got me thinking here - and if I have any epiphanies I shall post them here

    Quote: "So it got me thinking - is this something that can be hacked around through jailbreaking the ipad? If it could, then a hard-tip fine-point capacitive touch pen is certainly an easy possibility and many artists alike would be insanely happy."
    I heartily agree with this, it would be a fabulous possibility!!!
    Last edited by Rowena; 02-12-2013 at 04:38 AM.
    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. (Mark Twain)

  10. #10
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    Rowena, thank you for your words. Glad that this work has inspired you. We'll all be waiting your next move.
    Regards.

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