July 23, 2015 | By Simon

Although there have been a number of stylus designs on the market geared towards a tablet users for quite a few years now, the options and quality of each have varied dramatically.  While more premium stylus designs - such as those designed by Wacom - demand close to $100, many have found success using cheap or free stylus designs that many companies have been giving out for free similar to free pens.  

However, while many people can ‘manage’ with a generic stylus for performing common tasks, many designs have left a lot to be desired for those who use drawing tools creatively and require different levels of sensitivity or control from their writing instruments compared to the average user.  Among others who have been exploring the potential for a better stylus design for creatives includes David Craig, an architect and designer who has just launched the result of his research in the form of the Scriba on Kickstarter.  

Designed around the natural movements made by your hand with a unique flexible body and dynamic squeezing feature, the Scriba is able to respond to even the most subtle of touches to make digital creative projects more natural.  

“What sets Scriba apart is a seemingly simple idea for a new type of stylus,” explains Craig on the Kickstarter page.  

“The stylus should be designed around the user, rather than merely adapting a historic form that evolved to contain pencil lead or ink.”

The design of the Scriba, which was sculpted around the human hand, features a unique form that was designed for intuitive use and to complement the hand’s natural movement and grip.  The result is an experience that feels natural when creating various strokes including both construction lines and outlines as well as more detailed strokes such as those used for shading.  

Since the Scriba design doesn’t feature any buttons, it is instead activated by a squeeze of the body, which Craig says has an unprecedented half inch (12mm) of movement that lets you almost feel what you are drawing.  Through squeezing the stylus, the user is able to adjust the line weight smoothly and precisely using the body of the stylus rather than pressure applied to the small rubber tip.  

Although the final manufactured Scriba is crafted from a single mold of high-quality polymer, the Scriba’s design was optimized to feel as natural as possible for a human hand using 3D printing and an iterative design process that started with a simple hand sketch.  

“We wanted a stylus that would perform better so we set about creating our own,” explains Craig.  

“From the initial sketch, (I) created a model using using open source software Blender. To understand what it meant to carry this kind of a tool with (me) all the time, (I) created a simple 3D print (to carry) around in (my) pocket for six months! “

With the 3D printed prototype in his pocket, Craig was constantly reminded to pull it out and obtain user feedback wherever he went.  During this time, he researched and talked to as many creative professionals and iPad users as he could in order to better refine the industrial design and ultimately, the user experience.  

“We asked hundreds of designers, illustrators, artists, architects, animators, mobile workers, hobbyists and tablet users to tell us what really mattered to them,” says Craig.   “Their feedback was phenomenal and provided really valuable input for the development of Scriba as well as some great suggestions for future functionality and products.”

With over $25,000 raised so far towards his goal of just over $72,000 with three weeks left to go in his campaign, Craig and the rest of his development team are off to a phenomenal start.  

“We’ve come a long way and learned an unbelievable amount in a short period of time,” adds Craig.  

“We now need you to help us in progressing the next stage and to bring Scriba to market … your support will enable us to make the necessary commitments with our preferred suppliers for minimum order quantities in order that they can commence tooling with immediate effect.”

For those interested in an early-bird purchase, a Scriba is currently being sold for $72 over on Kickstarter.   

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

 

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