Transform a Soda Can Into a Multi Touch Stylus (iPhone/iPod Touch/any Smartphone)




I searched on Google "multi touch stylus" and clicked on the first result that came up.  It was a link to Amazon; the product was called "iClooly Multi Touch Stylus Pen for iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and other Mobile Devices (2nd Version)", and it was a whopping $14.95!  Well, I wouldn't buy a stylus for that price - it's just not worth it.  So, I thought of a way to make my own out of a soda can and some other supplies.  It doesn't take very long either; don't get tricked by the number of steps there are.

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Step 1: Materials and Supplies

You will need for this project:

- an empty soda can
- scissors
- duct tape (could be substituted with electrical tape)
- ruler (optional)
- pencil (optional)
- can opener
- paper towel (optional)
- metal file (optional)

Step 2: Rinse the Can

Rinse the can, so you don't have to go through the trouble of having a sticky workspace. Get as much water out of the can as you can.  It doesn't have to be completely dry yet.

Step 3: Take the Top Off

Using your can opener, take the top off of the soda can.  You might want to take off the tab first, as I had to do that or the can opener would not budge.  At this point, you can empty more water.

Step 4: Cut Off the "neck"

Cut a slit at the top until it slopes out to the main body of the can.  Then, make a 90-degree turn and cut straight ahead until you cut off the whole "neck".  Now, you can use the paper towel that you dumped water on earlier to wipe the whole can dry.

Step 5: Cut Straight Down

Cut straight down the body until you get to the bottom.  Then, make a 90-degree turn and cut forward again.  You will end up with a long aluminum strip with a label on the back.  Cut the strip in half.  You might prefer to sand down the edges, but I didn't need to. 

Step 6: Roll It Up!

Take one half of the strip and roll it; because this will be the "body" of the stylus, you need to decide how thin or thick you want it to be.  Feel free to cut off parts of the strip if it is too thick for you.

Step 7: Tape It Up!

Of course, you will need to keep it still, so get some duct tape to keep the stylus together; so it doesn't roll back into the shape of the can. About 1/8 or 1/6 of a strip will be good enough to keep it together.  Cut off any bits of tape that are sticking out.  You could sand out the top and bottom of the body to make it even, but you don't have to.

Step 8: The Tip

Measure the diameter of the stick and remember the measurement.  Using the rest of the can, cut out a strip of metal that is as wide as the diameter of your stick, and as long as the diameter multiplied by 6.  So, in my case,  the strip would be 1cm wide and 6cm long.  Fold the strip in half (hamburger), open the fold, and cut through the fold.  You should have two strips.

Step 9: The Tip (part 2)

Use one of the strips and place the middle of it on one end of the body of the stylus.  Push the sides in so they fold onto the body.  Then, press the middle of the strip lightly.

Step 10: Taping the Tip

Chop off a piece of duct tape that's about 6cm.   Cut the tape in half (keeping the length the same).  Tape the tip to the body by wrapping one of the pieces of tape around the ends and the stylus.

Step 11: Taping the Tip Again

Thread the other strip of metal through the small gap in between the taped-down strip and the stylus.  Then, fold it in and tape it just like in step 10, with the remaining piece of duct tape.

Step 12: Security Reinforcements (optional)

Cut another half-piece of duct tape that's about 6cm long and wrap half of it around the bumpy edge of the tape that you just applied.

Step 13: The Spikes at the Other End

You need to cover the other end, as it is not safe nor attractive.  Take a 2cm x 2cm square and place it on top of the other end.  Fold the corners in onto the body of the stylus and fold the sticky ends together.  Take the other half of the duct tape that you cut off in step 12 and wrap it around the end.  I can't really explain it; take a look at the pictures.

Step 14: Finalizing

Finally, you are done!  Test it out, it should work.  I will post a video of it working later, as Youtube is not letting me upload for some reason.  Here a couple of pictures of it functioning in the meanwhile.

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    3 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice, but it's not very attractive. I almost voted for it in the holiday gifts...