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Make a free iPad stylusLearn how to make a capacitive stylus pen with spare parts that you can use on an Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android smartphone or tablet.
-Touchscreens offer an awesome and simple way to navigate and interact with your tablet or smartphone except when they don't. When it comes to detail controls something like drawing or writing, it can be really useful to have a pen, but not just any pen will work since it's not a matter of pressure, but an issue of electric conduction. You can buy a compatible stylus for as little as $5, but what if you need something right now. Well, in this CNET how to, I'm gonna show you how to make a touchscreen pen that's essentially free assuming that you boss will the other way if you raid the supply closet. So, here's what you'll need. You need a pen, a paper clip, and a sponge. Now, make sure that pen is one of those that you can pull apart. You also need 3 tools; pliers, scissors, and a drill. First step, pull the pen apart and remove the ink cartridge. Keep it around though, you will need it later. Next, slice a little rectangular wedge off of the sponge. You can be squeezing of chunk of this through the barrel of the pen, so make sure it's small enough to get in, but thick enough to stay put. Any sponge should do as long as it has a little moisture in it and you can always test it up by using it directly on your screen. Next step, drill a whole into the pen barrel. The hole needs to be big enough for the paper clip to get through. Now, shove the sponge through the barrel so that it pokes out of the tip. Then, put the pen back together and finally flatten up the paper clip and poke one end of it into the whole that you made just so that it's jabbing the sponge and the wrap the rest around the barrel. So long as your hand is in contact with the metal, I will carry an electric charge through the sponge and through the screen. Now, won't work if the sponge is completely dried out though, but a drops of water should get you back in business. So, there you go a DIY capacitive stylus you can use at any tablet or smartphone. It's not pretty, but the price is right. It's easy to customize and you can make one in just a few minutes. For cnet.com, I'm Donald Bell.