DIY iPad Stylus

So this is how I typically do things… I get an idea, like, for instance, I say “Hmmm, I know a few companies sell a stylus for the iPad, for those times you don’t want to use your finger, I should check that out” and I did, and then I came across this Make video called Collin’s Lab: DIY iPad Stylus and think, “Hmmm, I have a pen, conductive foam, and some wire… I’ll make my own!” So I did…

DIY iPad Stylus

Here’s the result. I used a Pilot G2 pen (as they are my favorite) and I ended up using the Dremel to widen the tip of the pen a bit so the conductive foam could fit through the hole, and I also used the drill press to put two small holes in the barrel of the pen for the wire to go through. (I wanted to avoid using tape as Collin did.) I actually drilled right through the rubber grip and into the pen. The end of the wire then got pushed through the rubber grip, through the pen barrel, and got pulled tight inside the pen. You can see some of the excess wire near the middle of the pen. You can also see an extra hole near the tip, as I drilled all the way through with the drill press. I won’t call that a mistake, as I was still figuring out how I was going to make it all work at that point. I tend to do that… plan as I go.

Here’s a close-up of the tip, where you can see the hole that the wire feeds out of. You can see the tip created with the conductive foam. I’m not 100% happy with the tip. I don’t know if there are different hardnesses of conductive foam, but this seems too soft. I also probably could have used a bigger piece of foam, but it ripped while inserting it, so I just left it as is was.

So… does it work? Yes!

DIY iPad Stylus

Here’s a really bad drawing I made using the stylus and Doodle Buddy on the iPad. The whole process of making this probably took 20 minutes, and I did already have all the tools and materials on-hand.

P.S. I like making things.


Holiday Make-a-thon (Time Lapse)

As we often do here at RasterWeb!/2XL Networks, we made a time lapse video… this one is from the Holiday Make-a-thon that was held at Bucketworks recently…

Some of thing things that were made: LED ornaments, handmade wrapping paper, recycled bags, popsicle stick ornaments, and lots and lots of art… Oh there was also knitting, and at least one maker worked on a YBox. There’s probably a lot I missed, but then I was busy making things as well. It was great to see kids and adults working side by side creating things, hopefully we can do it again.

Thanks to Bucketworks for hosting the event, as well as sponsors Milwaukee Makerspace, and UberDorkCafe.

Oh, and if you missed it, don’t worry, I hear they may be planning another one soon

You can also see this video at or view an MP4 version.


Holiday Make-a-thon


Join us on Friday, November 26th, 2010 for a Holiday Make-a-thon!

This will be a family-friendly event where you can avoid the crowds obsessed with getting the deal of the century on the latest must-have geegaw and actually make something that you can give as a gift this holiday season (or keep for yourself!)

The event is co-sponsored by Bucketworks, Milwaukee Makerspace, and UberDorkCafe. We’re asking for a $5 donation per family, and we’ll provide some snacks & drinks. (Feel free to bring something to share as well.)

make a thing!

So what will you make? We’ve selected a number of electronic kits if you want to try your hand at soldering/building. (And those Makerspace guys will teach you to solder and help you along the way, so don’t be scared if this is your first electronic kit.) Choose from the following SparkFun Electronics kits: Sapphire Bracelet, Diamond Bracelet or Ruby Bracelet for $49.95, It’s a Through-Hole Christmas, Charlie Brown! for $17.95, Simon Game for $24.95, Lectro Candle Kit for $9.95, and Terror-Min for $9.95. (Order your kits NOW so you get them in time.)

If electronics isn’t your thing, you can try to knit a coffee cup cozy or a scarf with Ashe, or try your hand at making Germ Soap (from American Science & Surplus on 6901 West Oklahoma Ave.) or go green and turn plastic bags into a sturdy one-of-a-kind messenger bag with Natali from the UberDorkCafe. (See video.)

We’ll also have James Carlson reading a story (book TBD) and Sam Dodge taking family portraits.

You don’t have to RSVP on The Facebook, but you can if you want… and you can see who else will be there.

(Hmmm, who knows? Maybe I can show people how to make an Arduino Powered Twitter Monkey…)

Update: See a time lapse video of the event.



What have I been up to?

Well, I built a panoramic head for my camera…

Panoramic Head

…then I took some pictures with it, stitched them together, and made this panorama…

Lake Street

…then I put it into a Flash player so you could spin around in it!

I’ve also been using a Nodal Ninja (a really nice panoramic head which I highly recommend if you’ve got the cash) and digging into panoramas and panoramic photography, and stitching and viewing software…

I used to do a lot of QuickTime experiments (3D objects, etc.) about 14 years ago, so I have a certain fondness for this sort of thing…

If PhotoCampMilwaukee2 happens, I’d love to share what I know about this stuff.

Update: See the project page for more photos and info.



Fact: Kids love nunchucks! Sure, some kids are into swords or maybe even throwing stars, but all kids love nunchucks…

Now you’re saying “Hold on there Mr. Maniac! Nunchucks ain’t safe!” To which I say, you just need to make them safe. Oh sure, you could just go out an buy Rubber Foam Nunchucks from, but what fun is that? Wouldn’t you rather spend time with your children making your own (safe) nunchucks? Of course you would! What parent wouldn’t?

Nunchucks Nunchucks

We can easily assemble kid-safe nunchucks out of some old cardboard tubes and some cord. The trickiest part is just tying the knot. Once you’ve got two pair put together, you’re ready for battle – I mean FUN! Let the kids solve their differences the way they do in kung-fu movies. Or get in on the game, and show the kids who the real martial arts master in the family is. These kid-safe nunchucks are just the answer to the often asked question: “How can I beat my sibling without hurting them too badly?”

(Disclaimer: Don’t be an idiot and hurt yourself or someone else…)