Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20060250052 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/399,612
Publication dateNov 9, 2006
Filing dateApr 7, 2006
Priority dateApr 7, 2005
Also published asEP1872050A1, WO2006107220A1
Publication number11399612, 399612, US 2006/0250052 A1, US 2006/250052 A1, US 20060250052 A1, US 20060250052A1, US 2006250052 A1, US 2006250052A1, US-A1-20060250052, US-A1-2006250052, US2006/0250052A1, US2006/250052A1, US20060250052 A1, US20060250052A1, US2006250052 A1, US2006250052A1
InventorsJohn Davis, Mark Hartstone
Original AssigneeDavis John D, Hartstone Mark G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular furniture subassembly, component therefor and method of assembling a modular furniture subassembly
US 20060250052 A1
Abstract
A modular furniture component that includes a first end provided with an integral connector and an opposite second end adapted to engage a second modular furniture component at and with an integral connector of the second modular furniture component that is identical to the first mentioned connector to thereby, in use, connect the modular furniture component to the second mentioned modular furniture component, to define at least part of a furniture assembly.
Images(39)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(68)
1. A modular furniture component that includes a first end provided with an integral connector and an opposite second end adapted to engage a second modular furniture component at and with an integral connector of said second modular furniture component that is identical to said first mentioned connector to thereby, in use, connect said modular furniture component to said second mentioned modular furniture component, to define at least part of a furniture assembly.
2. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 1 wherein, said component is a panel.
3. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 1 wherein said component defines said first and second ends at two parallel edges thereof.
4. The modular furniture component as claimed in any one of claim 1 wherein said connector includes releasable locking means to interact with a said second mentioned component in a manner to releasably lock said components together.
5. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 4 wherein, said releasable locking means is selected from one of (a) a resiliently flexible tab that includes a barb to releasably snap-fit with a barb receiver provided at the second end of a second mentioned component, to thereby lock said first and second mentioned components together, wherein the second end of said first mentioned component includes a barb receiver identical to said first mentioned barb receiver and (b) a barb receiver to be releasably engaged in a snap-fit manner by a barb of a resiliently flexible tab at a second end of a said second mentioned component to thereby lock said first and second mentioned components together, wherein said second end of said first mentioned component includes a resiliently flexible tab that includes a barb, identical to said first mentioned resiliently flexible tab.
6. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 1 wherein said connector includes one part of a two part male and female connection and the second end of said connector includes the other part of said two part male and female connection.
7. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 1 wherein said connector includes one part of a two part mortise and tenon connection and said second end includes the other part of said two part mortise and tenon connection.
8. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 7 wherein the mortise and tenon connection is a dovetail connection.
9. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 1 wherein the first and second ends are defined by straight sides of said component that have been bevelled to, in one view of said component, define a trapezoidal outline shape, said bevelled edges so bevelled to abut like bevelled edges of second mentioned component once said first and second mentioned components are engaged together.
10. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 1 wherein said component includes at least one aperture therethrough for securing said component, by way of a penetrate fastener, to an identical component placed contiguous therewith.
11. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 1 wherein said component is a flat panel of a quadrilateral plan shape and includes a first pair of opposed sides that define said first and second ends that are each to engage with a second and third like component respectively and a second pair of opposed sides that extend at 90 degrees to and between the first pair of opposed sides, said panel including an outer face side that, in use, will be positioned to face outwardly to said assembly and an inner face side that, in use, will be positioned to face inwardly to said assembly.
12. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 11 wherein said panel includes, adjacent and parallel to each second pair of opposed edges, a channel located at the inner face side of said panel, said channel capable of receiving and locating an edge of a base panel that may optionally engage with said assembly, said base panel including an inner face side and an outer face side, wherein when engaged with said component, a normal of each inner and outer face side of said base panel extends in a plane parallel to a plane passing through a normal of the inner and outer face sides of said component and the normal of each inner and outer face sides of said base panel extends perpendicular to the normal of the inner and outer face sides of said component.
13. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 12 wherein said channel extends between said first pair of opposed edges.
14. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 12 wherein a channel cap is provided that may removably engage the component to provide and overcap to said channel.
15. The plurality of modular furniture components as claimed in claim 1 wherein all said components are identical.
16. The item of furniture comprising a plurality of modular furniture components as claimed in claim 1 wherein all said components are identical and wherein said components are connected to each other by said connectors.
17. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 16 wherein, when assembled, said components define an endless perimeter.
18. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 16 wherein said components are flat panels that, when connected, each have the normal to their plane lying parallel each other.
19. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 16 wherein said plurality of modular furniture components define an endless perimeter about a component defined cavity that has, at the most, two major openings each opening bounded in part by all said components.
20. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 19 wherein said cavity includes only one opening, said cavity bounded by said components and also by a base panel that extends between all said components.
21. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 19 wherein said components are flat panels that, when connected, each have the normal to their plane lying parallel each other and wherein said cavity includes only one opening, said cavity bounded by said components and also by a base panel that extends between all said components, the normal of said base panel extending perpendicular to the normal of each said components.
22. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 16 wherein each said component is a flat panel of a quadrilateral plan shape and includes a first pair of opposed sides that define said first and second ends that are each to engage with a like component respectively
23. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 22 wherein each said component includes a second pair of opposed sides that extend at 90 degrees to and between the first pair of opposed sides, said panel including an outer face side that, in use, will be positioned to face outwardly to said assembly and an inner face side that, in use, will be positioned to face inwardly to said assembly.
24. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 23 wherein said panel includes, adjacent and parallel to each second pair of opposed edges, a channel located at the inner face side of said panel, each said channel of each panel capable of receiving and/or locating an edge of a base panel, said base panel including an inner face side and an outer face side, wherein when engaged with each said channel, a normal of each inner and outer face side of said base panel extends in a plane parallel to a plane passing through a normal of the inner and outer face sides of said each said panel and the normal of each inner and outer face sides of said base panel extends perpendicular to the normal of the inner and outer face sides of each said panel.
25. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 24 wherein a channel cap is provided that may removably engage a said component to provide and overcap to one of its said channels.
26. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 18 wherein four components are connected to each other, a first pair of parallel-upper and lower components and a second pair of parallel side components.
27. The item of furniture as claimed is claim 26 wherein one of said cavity openings is selectively closable by a door that is hinged from said first pair of upper and lower components.
28. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 27 wherein said door is hinged by a hinge located with each of said upper and lower components adjacent one of said side components to define a hinge axis parallel to the plane of a said side components.
29. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 27 wherein said door includes a latch that interacts with at least one of said upper component and lower component and side component to hold said door in a condition closing said one of said cavity openings.
30. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 29 wherein said latch establishes and interference fit with at least one of said upper component and lower component and side component to hold said door in a condition closing said one of said cavity openings in a resiliently resistive manner.
31. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 26 wherein said hinge is defined by two hinge pins that each can locate within an aperture defined in said upper and lower components.
32. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 26 wherein said hinge is defined by two hinge pins that each can locate within an aperture defined in said upper and lower components, each said aperture extending into a respective upper and lower component from a side of said upper and lower component that face each other to allow the each aperture to capture a said hinge pin upon the bringing together of said upper and lower component for assembly of the item of furniture.
33. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 26 wherein each said component includes a shelf mount located intermediate of said first and second ends of said component and by which a shelf can be supported wherein, when assembled, two opposed components of the item of furniture hold said shelf in a manner parallel to the other two opposed components.
34. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 16 wherein a wine rack is secured within said cavity.
35. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 16 wherein a fastening aperture is provided through each said component, said fastening aperture capable of receiving at least one of:
a) a castor to engage at said fastening aperture of said component to allow said item of furniture to be conveniently mobile; and
b) a penetrative fastener that can extend through said fastening aperture and a fastening aperture of a contiguously placed identical component to said component of said item of furniture, to releasably connect said component of said item of furniture with said contiguously placed component.
36. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 35 wherein said castor includes a mounting shaft that can penetrate said fastening aperture to engage a said component.
37. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 35 wherein said penetrative fastener includes a shaft with a shaft head and a free end that can be engaged by a head, said head and said shaft head being of a shape to prevent their passing through said fastening aperture to thereby capture said component to said contiguously placed identical component.
38. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 20 wherein a fastening aperture is provided through each said component, said fastening aperture capable of receiving at least one of:
c) a castor to engage at said fastening aperture of said component to allow said item of furniture to be conveniently mobile; and
d) a penetrative fastener that can extend through said fastening aperture and a fastening aperture of both of (i) a contiguously placed identical component to said component of said item of furniture, to releasably connect said component of said item of furniture with said contiguously placed identical component and (ii) a contiguously placed said base panel that includes fastening aperture.
e)
39. Two of said item as claimed in claim 16 and at least one penetrative fastener wherein each said component includes at least one fastening aperture therethrough, the two items releasably engaged together by said penetrate fastener when a component of one item is placed contiguous a component of another of said items.
40. Two of said item as claimed in claim 20 and at least one penetrative fastener wherein each said component includes at least one fastening aperture there through, and said base panel includes at least one fastening aperture there through, said items releasably engaged together by said penetrate fastener when a base panel of one item is placed contiguous a component of another of said items.
41. A modular furniture component that includes a first end including a connector and an opposite second end adapted to engage a said connector of a second said modular furniture component to thereby, in use, connect said modular furniture component to said second mentioned modular furniture component, wherein said connector includes one part of a two part mortise and tenon connection, and a barbed locking tab to releasably lock said component and said second mentioned component together.
42. The modular furniture assembly, constructed from a plurality of modular furniture components as claimed in claim 1 that are connected to each other by each said connector.
43. The modular furniture assembly as claimed in claim 42 wherein four modular furniture components are connected to each other, each said modular furniture component connected by its connector, each said component connected to two other said modular furniture components, said assembly defining a cavity therebetween, wherein an angle between each said modular furniture component and any modular furniture component to which it is directly connected is substantially 90ー.
44. The modular furniture assembly constructed of a plurality of components as claimed in claim 1 and connected to each other by each said connector.
45. The modular furniture assembly including a plurality of substantially identical modular furniture components as claimed in claim 1 that are interconnected exclusively by said connector that are integral to said modular furniture components.
46. An item of furniture comprising;
four modular furniture components as claimed in claim 1 that are engaged together by their connectors and whereby a cavity is defined that at least in part contains at least one of;
(a) a drawer,
(b) a wine rack
(c) a pigeon hole rack
(d) a shelf, and
(e) a door.
47. The item of furniture as claimed in claim 46 wherein said four modular furniture components are flat panels and extending between all modular furniture components there is a flat base panel whose plane is substantially parallel to the normal of the planes of the modular furniture components.
48. The furniture assembly defining a storage bin, said assembly consisting of at least three and preferably four or more modular furniture components as claimed in claim 1, engaged together and having extending therebetween a base panel, wherein the base panel extends substantially horizontally and transverse the modular furniture components that extend substantially vertically and wherein an upper opening is provided through which the assembly can receive or dispense items via the upper opening.
49. The component as claimed in claim 1 wherein it includes a cladding panel receiving region to receive a cladding panel to be selectively engaged to the modular furniture component, the cladding panel providing an exterior finish to assembly.
50. The component as claimed in claim 49 wherein the cladding panel can be selectively engaged to a modular furniture component.
51. The component as claimed in claim 50 wherein the cladding panel is contiguous said component.
52. The method of assembling a modular furniture assembly from a plurality of components as claimed in claim 1, comprising;
engaging a connecting means provided at a first end of a first modular furniture component with a second substantially identical modular furniture component and repeating with at least one further identical modular furniture component.
53. An item of modular furniture comprising
at least two modular furniture assemblies each constructed from a plurality of modular furniture component that includes a first end provided with an integral connector and an opposite second end adapted to engage a second modular furniture component at and with an integral connector of said second modular furniture component that is identical to said first mentioned connector to thereby, in use, connect said modular furniture component to said second mentioned modular furniture component, to define at least part of a furniture assembly.
54. A modular furniture system comprising;
a plurality of modular furniture components sufficient to define at least two modular furniture assemblies, wherein each component is a flat panel that includes a first end provided with an integral connector and an opposite second end adapted to engage a second modular furniture component at and with an integral connector of said second modular furniture component that is identical to said first mentioned connector to thereby, in use, at least connect a first modular furniture component to a said second modular furniture component and said second modular furniture component to a further modular furniture component of said plurality of modular furniture components, to define one of said two modular furniture assemblies having an endless perimeter and wherein all-component have the normal to their major plane lying parallel each other, each component including at least one fastening aperture therethrough
a penetrative fastener capable of penetrating two of said fastening apertures, one of each of two modular furniture assemblies when two of said modular furniture assemblies are placed adjacent each other in a manner so that a said component of each said assemblies are contiguous each other, said penetrative fastener releasably securing said two assemblies together.
55. The modular furniture system as claimed in claim 54 that also includes cladding panels, each said cladding panel capable of being selectively engaged to a modular furniture component, the cladding panel providing an exterior finish to assembly.
56. The modular furniture system as claimed in claim 55 wherein the cladding panel can be selectively engaged to a modular furniture component.
57. The modular furniture system as claimed in claim 55 wherein the cladding panel is to be engaged, contiguous a said component.
58. The modular furniture system as claimed in claim 54 wherein the cladding panel includes on one major surface thereof a penetrative fastener to is to be engaged with said fastening aperture to thereby engage said cladding panel to a said component.
59. The modular furniture system as claimed in claim 54 that also includes at least one base panels, said base panel to engage and extend between all said components of an assembly to define an assembly with a cavity bounded by said base panel and said components and having one major opening to said cavity.
60. The modular furniture system as claimed in claim 59 wherein said base panel is to extend between all said components of an assembly in a manner so that the normal of said base panel extends perpendicular to the normal of each said components.
61. The modular furniture system as claimed in claim 59 wherein said base panel includes a fastening aperture there through wherein said penetrative fastener is capable of penetrating two of said fastening apertures of two base panels, one of each of two modular furniture assemblies when two of said modular furniture assemblies are placed adjacent each other in a manner so that a said base panel of each said assemblies are contiguous each other, said penetrative fastener releasably securing said two assemblies together.
62. The modular furniture system as claimed in claim 59 wherein said base panel includes a fastening aperture there through wherein said penetrative fastener is capable of penetrating said fastening apertures of said base panels and said fastening aperture of a said component, each being one fastening aperture of each of two modular furniture assemblies when two of said modular furniture assemblies are placed adjacent each other in a manner so that a said base panel of one said assembly and a component of an adjacent said assembly are contiguous each other, said penetrative fastener releasably securing said two assemblies together.
63. A storage box that includes;
four identical side walls of a quadrilateral shape each side wall including;
two parallel and opposed fastening edges, a first of said fastening edges having one part of a two part mortise and tenon joint and a second of said fastening edges having the other part of said two part mortise and tenon joint engaged whereby the fastening edges of each said side wall are releasably engaged together by virtue of said mortise and tenon joint, and
two parallel and opposed free edges
a base panel that is engaged to each of said four side walls at one of said two parallel and opposed free edges to define a cavity with one major opening bounded in part by each of the other of said two parallel and opposed free edges.
64. The modular furniture assembly as claimed in claim 16 as herein described and with reference to the accompanying drawings.
65. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 1 as herein described and with reference to the accompanying drawings.
66. A modular furniture assembly comprising
at least three panels that are identical to each other, each panel including a first and second opposed major surface sides and each including two parallel fastening edges wherein at each said fastening edge there is provided at the first major surface side at least one fastening aperture
a fastening clip that includes two regions, each region including a fastening protrusion to locate into a respective fastening aperture of a first and a second said panels when such panels are positioned with their fastening edges contiguous each other clip said two panels reliably together.
67. The modular furniture assembly as claimed in claim 66 wherein said fastening clip includes a live hinge separating each region.
68. The modular furniture component as claimed in claim 66 wherein all said fastening edges are of an identical configuration.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to modular furniture, and in particular, but not exclusively to modular furniture and related components that can be used to assemble into an item of furniture.

BACKGROUND

There are many examples of modular furniture that can be assembled from a plurality of distinct components. Examples of patents in the area include:

    • DE19949849葉his document shows panels that have tongues and grooves, but relies on pins to hold the panels together.
    • U.S. Pat. No. 3,836,217葉his shows projections at the edges of panels but requires an edge engagement member that slides over the edges to hold panels together.
    • U.S. Pat. No. 3,583,780葉his document also shows panels that require pins to affix the panels together.
    • EP1022968葉his shows panels that require grooved interconnecting elements that engage with panel edges in order to create the required structure.
    • U.S. Pat. No. 5,588,726葉his shows the use of mortise and tenon edges, but a channel is required in the wall member for a connector that includes the tenons.
    • WO8700406葉his shows a number of panels that include tongues and grooves, but the upper and lower panels are of a different construction to the side panels and are required to connect the side panels together.
    • U.S. Pat. No. 3,885,845葉his shows a mortise and tenon arrangement, but longitudinal pins are required to hold the panels in place.

All of these examples require at least two distinct component parts to be combined to define a component capable of assembly to define a single item of furniture.

Multiple component parts capable of assembly with other components for such a system relatively expensive. It can also make such a system relatively cumbersome to use by a consumer or user in that assembly of the component parts is required prior to the connection of the components to define the item of furniture. In addition inconvenience such as broken parts, losing parts and also accuracy in manufacturing to ensure that component parts can engage conveniently together also arise.

There exists a need for a modular furniture system having components from which an item of furniture can be manufactured or assembled or configured using for example components of a single design.

The reference to any prior art in this specification is not, and should not be taken as, an acknowledgment or any form of suggestion that that prior art forms part of the common general knowledge, or that the information would be found by a diligent search.

It is an object of the invention to provide a modular furniture component and a modular furniture assembly and furniture made therefrom that will overcome or ameliorate problems with components and assemblies available at present, or which will at least provide the public with a useful choice.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly in a first aspect the present invention consists in a modular furniture component that includes a first end provided with an integral connector and an opposite second end adapted to engage a second modular furniture component at and with an integral connector of said second modular furniture component that is identical to said first mentioned connector to thereby, in use, connect said modular furniture component to said second mentioned modular furniture component, to define at least part of a furniture assembly.

Preferably said component is a panel.

Preferably it is a substantially planar or flat panel.

Preferably alternatively said component is a curved panel.

Preferably said component defines said first and second ends at two parallel edges thereof.

Preferably said component is of a it is a quadrilateral shaped panel wherein said first and second ends are defined by two opposite edges of said quadrilateral shaped panel.

Preferably said connector includes releasable locking means to interact with a said second mentioned component in a manner to releasably lock said components together.

Preferably, when connected, the plane of said component may form an angle of substantially 90ー to the plane of said second mentioned component.

Preferably said releasable locking means is selected from one of (a) a resiliently flexible tab that includes a barb to releasably snap-fit with a barb receiver provided at the second end of a second mentioned component, to thereby lock said first and second mentioned components together, wherein the second end of said first mentioned component includes a barb receiver identical to said first mentioned barb receiver and (b) a barb receiver to be releasably engaged in a snap-fit manner by a barb of a resiliently flexible tab at a second end of a said second mentioned component to thereby lock said first and second mentioned components together, wherein said second end of said first mentioned component includes a resiliently flexible tab that includes a barb, identical to said first mentioned resiliently flexible tab.

Preferably said connector includes one part of a two part male and female connection and the second end of said connector includes the other part of said two part male and female connection.

Preferably said connector includes one part of a two part mortise and tenon connection and said second end includes the other part of said two part mortise and tenon connection.

Preferably the mortise and tenon connection is a dovetail connection.

Preferably the first and second ends are defined by straight sides of said component that have been bevelled to, in one view of said component, define a trapezoidal outline shape, said bevelled edges so bevelled to abut like bevelled edges of second mentioned component once said first and second mentioned components are engaged together.

Preferably said component includes at least one aperture therethrough for securing said component, by way of a penetrate fastener to an identical component placed contiguous therewith.

Preferably said component is a flat panel of a quadrilateral plan shape and includes a first pair of opposed sides that define said first and second ends that are each to engage with a second and third like component respectively and a second pair of opposed sides that extend at 90 degrees to and between the first pair of opposed sides, said panel including an outer face side that, in use, will be positioned to face outwardly to said assembly and an inner face side that, in use, will be positioned to face inwardly to said assembly.

Preferably said panel includes, adjacent and parallel to each second pair of opposed edges, a channel located at the inner face side of said panel, said channel capable of receiving and locating an edge of a base panel that may optionally engage with said assembly, said base panel including an inner face side and an outer face side, wherein when engaged with said component, a normal of each inner and outer face side of said base panel extends in a plane parallel to a plane passing through a normal of the inner and outer face sides of said component and the normal of each inner and outer face sides of said base panel extends perpendicular to the normal of the inner and outer face sides of said component.

Preferably said channel extends between said first pair of opposed edges.

Preferably said channel terminates at said first pair of opposed edges.

Preferably a channel cap is provided that may removably engage the component to provide and overcap to said channel.

Preferably said channel can removably receive a channel cap that may removably engage the component to provide and overcap to said channel.

Preferably all said components are identical.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in an item of furniture comprising a plurality of modular furniture components as herein described wherein all said components are identical and wherein said components are connected to each other by said connectors.

Preferably, when assembled, said components define an endless perimeter.

Preferably said components are flat panels that, when connected, each have the normal to their plane lying parallel each other.

Preferably said plurality of modular furniture components define an endless perimeter about a component defined cavity that has, at the most, two major openings each opening bounded in part by all said components.

Preferably said cavity includes only one opening, said cavity bounded by said components and also by a base panel that extends between all said components.

Preferably said components are flat panels that, when connected, each have the normal to their plane lying parallel each other and wherein said cavity includes only one opening, said cavity bounded by said components and also by a base panel that extends between all said components, the normal of said base panel extending perpendicular to the normal of each said components.

Preferably each said component is a flat panel of a quadrilateral plan shape and includes a first pair of opposed sides that define said first and second ends that are each to engage with a like component respectively.

Preferably each said component includes a second pair of opposed sides that extend at 90 degrees to and between the first pair of opposed sides, said panel including an outer face side that, in use, will be positioned to face outwardly to said assembly and an inner face side that, in use, will be positioned to face inwardly to said assembly.

Preferably said panel includes, adjacent and parallel to each second pair of opposed edges, a channel located at the inner face side of said panel, each said channel of each panel capable of receiving and/or locating an edge of a base panel, said base panel including an inner face side and an outer face side, wherein when engaged with each said channel, a normal of each inner and outer face side of said base panel extends in a plane parallel to a plane passing through a normal of the inner and outer face sides of said each said panel and the normal of each inner and outer face sides of said base panel extends perpendicular to the normal of the inner and outer face sides of each said panel.

Preferably said channel extends between said first pair of opposed edges.

Preferably said channel terminates at said first pair of opposed edges.

Preferably a channel cap is provided that may removably engage a said component to provide and overcap to one of its said channels.

Preferably said channel can removably receive a channel cap that may removably engage the component to provide and overcap to said channel.

Preferably four components are connected to each other, a first pair of parallel upper and lower components and a second pair of parallel side components.

Preferably one of said cavity openings is selectively closable by a door that is hinged from said first pair of upper and lower components.

Preferably said door is hinged by a hinge located with each of said upper and lower components adjacent one of said side components to define a hinge axis parallel to the plane of a said side components.

Preferably said door includes a latch that interacts with at least one of said upper component and lower component and side component to hold said door in a condition closing said one of said cavity openings.

Preferably said latch establishes and interference fit with at least one of said upper component and lower component and side component to hold said door in a condition closing said one of said cavity openings in a resiliently resistive manner.

Preferably said latch is a pin that locates with a catch of one of said upper component and lower component and side component to hold said door in a resiliently resistive manner in a condition closing said one of said cavity openings.

Preferably said latch locates with a pin of one of said upper component and lower component and side component to hold said door in a condition closing said one of said cavity openings in a resiliently resistive manner.

Preferably said door includes a handle at or proximate an edge of the door distal from the hinged edge of said door.

Preferably said hinge is defined by two hinge pins that each can locate within an aperture defined in said upper and lower components.

Preferably said hinge is defined by two hinge pins that each can locate within an aperture defined in said upper and lower components, each said aperture extending into a respective upper and lower component from a side of said upper and lower component that face each other to allow the each aperture to capture a said hinge pin upon the bringing together of said upper and lower component for assembly of the item of furniture.

Preferably each said hinge pin is integrally formed with said door.

Preferably alternatively each said hinge pin can also be inserted into a respective aperture of said door.

Preferably said aperture of each said upper and lower components is located adjacent one of the first and second ends of each said component.

Preferably there are two said apertures, one each located adjacent each of said first and second ends.

Preferably each said component includes a shelf mount located intermediate of said first and second ends of said component and by which a shelf can be supported wherein, when assembled, two opposed components of the item of furniture hold said shelf in a manner parallel to the other two opposed components.

Preferably said shelf mount is an aperture into which a mount of or for a shelf can engage.

Preferably said shelf mount is a lug that can push into and be supported by an aperture of said component, defining said shelf mount of said, said lug protruding from said component sufficiently to allow said shelf to engage therewith by locating on top of said lug.

Preferably each said component includes two shelf mounts each spaced equal distance from said first end of said component.

Preferably said or each said shelf mounts is located midway between said first and second ends of said component.

Preferably a wine rack is secured within said cavity.

Preferably a fastening aperture is provided through each said component, said fastening aperture capable of receiving at least one of:

    • a) a castor to engage at said fastening aperture of said component to allow said item of furniture to be conveniently mobile; and
    • b) a penetrative fastener that can extend through said fastening aperture and a fastening aperture of a contiguously placed identical component to said component of said item of furniture, to releasably connect said component of said item of furniture with said contiguously placed component.

Preferably said castor includes a mounting shaft that can penetrate said fastening aperture to engage a said component.

Preferably said penetrative fastener includes a shaft with a shaft head and a free end that can be engaged by a head, said head and said shaft head being of a shape to prevent their passing through said fastening aperture to thereby capture said component to said contiguously placed identical component.

Preferably a fastening aperture is provided through each said component, said fastening aperture capable of receiving at least one of:

    • a) a castor to engage at said fastening aperture of said component to allow said item of furniture to be conveniently mobile; and
    • b) a penetrative fastener that can extend through said fastening aperture and a fastening aperture of both of (i) a contiguously placed identical component to said component of said item of furniture, to releasably connect said component of said item of furniture with said contiguously placed identical component and (ii) a contiguously placed said base panel that includes fastening aperture.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in two of said item as hereinbefore described and at least one penetrative fastener wherein each said component includes at least one fastening aperture therethrough, the two items releasably engaged together by said penetrate fastener when a component of one item is placed contiguous a component of another of said items.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in two of said item as hereinbefore described and at least one penetrative fastener wherein each said component includes at least one fastening aperture there through, and said base panel includes at least one fastening aperture there through, said items releasably engaged together by said penetrate fastener when a base panel of one item is placed contiguous a component of another of said items.

Preferably fastening of assemblies together is achievable once a modular furniture component of at least two assemblies are placed contiguous each other (preferably parallel in a planar sense) to then allow a fastener to engage said modular furniture components together.

Preferably in a single condition a plurality of assemblies can be stacked one on top of each other and/or one adjacent each other.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in a modular furniture component that includes a first end including a connector and an opposite second end adapted to engage a said connector of a second said modular furniture component to thereby, in use, connect said modular furniture component to said second mentioned modular furniture component, wherein said connector includes one part of a two part mortise and tenon connection, and a barbed locking tab to releasably lock said component and said second mentioned component together.

Preferably said second end includes the other part of said two part mortar and tenon connection.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in a modular furniture assembly, constructed from a plurality of modular furniture components as hereinbefore described that are connected to each other by each said connector.

Preferably four modular furniture components are connected to each other, each said modular furniture component connected by its connector, each said component connected to two other said modular furniture components, said assembly defining a cavity therebetween, wherein an angle between each said modular furniture component and any modular furniture component to which it is directly connected is substantially 90ー.

In a further aspect the present invention consist in a modular furniture assembly constructed of a plurality of components as hereinbefore described connected to a modular furniture assembly as hereinbefore described.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in a modular furniture assembly including a plurality of substantially identical modular furniture components as hereinbefore described that are interconnected exclusively by said connector that are integral to said modular furniture components.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in an item of furniture comprising;

four modular furniture components as hereinbefore described that are engaged together by their connectors and whereby a cavity is defined that at least in part contains at least one of;

(a) a drawer,

(b) a wine rack

(c) a pigeon hole rack

(d) a shelf, and

(e) a door.

Preferably said four modular furniture components are flat panels and extending between all modular furniture components there is a flat base panel whose plane is substantially parallel to the normal of the planes of the modular furniture components.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in a furniture assembly defining a storage bin, said assembly consisting of at least three and preferably four or more modular furniture components as hereinbefore described, engaged together and having extending therebetween a base panel, wherein the base panel extends substantially horizontally and transverse the modular furniture components that extend substantially vertically and wherein an upper opening is provided through which the assembly can receive or dispense items via the upper opening.

Preferably it includes a cladding panel receiving region to receive a cladding panel to be selectively engaged to the modular furniture component, the cladding panel providing an exterior finish to assembly.

Preferably the cladding panel can be selectively engaged to a modular furniture component.

Preferably the cladding panel is contiguous said component.

Preferably a plurality of cladding panels are available for mixing and matching of cladding panels with modular furniture components.

Preferably said cladding panels can receive an image.

Preferably said image may be printed onto said cladding panel.

Preferably said image may be adhesively applied as a film to said cladding panel.

Preferably said cladding panel includes apertures therethrough to define indicia by said apertures of said cladding panel.

Preferably said cladding panel can be used to define said base panel.

Preferably said cladding panel is snap lockable to a said modular furniture component.

Preferably said cladding panel is quadrilateral in shape.

Preferably the perimeter of said cladding panel is substantially contiguous with the perimeter of said modular furniture component when engaged therewith.

Preferably said cladding panel is substantially planar and substantially parallel with the preferred planar nature of the modular furniture component with which it is engaged.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in a method of assembling a modular furniture assembly from a plurality of components as hereinbefore described, comprising;

engaging a connecting means provided at a first end of a first modular furniture component with a second substantially identical modular furniture component and repeating with at least one further identical modular furniture component.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in an item of modular furniture comprising

    • at least two modular furniture assemblies each constructed from a plurality of modular furniture component that includes a first end provided with an integral connector and an opposite second end adapted to engage a second modular furniture component at and with an integral connector of said second modular furniture component that is identical to said first mentioned connector to thereby, in use, connect said modular furniture component to said second mentioned modular furniture component, to define at least part of a furniture assembly.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in a modular furniture system comprising;

a plurality of modular furniture components sufficient to define at least two modular furniture assemblies, wherein each component is a flat panel that includes a first end provided with an integral connector and an opposite second end adapted to engage a second modular furniture component at and with an integral connector of said second modular furniture component that is identical to said first mentioned connector to thereby, in use, at least connect a first modular furniture component to a said second modular furniture component and said second modular furniture component to a further modular furniture component of said plurality of modular furniture components, to define one of said two modular furniture assemblies having an endless perimeter and wherein all component have the normal to their major plane lying parallel each other, each component including at least one fastening aperture therethrough

a penetrative fastener capable of penetrating two of said fastening apertures, one of each of two modular furniture assemblies when two of said modular furniture assemblies are placed adjacent each other in a manner so that a said component of each said assemblies are contiguous each other, said penetrative fastener releasably securing said two assemblies together.

Preferably that also includes cladding panels, each said cladding panel capable of being selectively engaged to a modular furniture component, the cladding panel providing an exterior finish to assembly.

Preferably the cladding panel can be selectively engaged to a modular furniture component.

Preferably the cladding panel is to be engaged, contiguous a said component.

Preferably the cladding panel includes on one major surface thereof a penetrative fastener to is to be engaged with said fastening aperture to thereby engage said cladding panel to a said component.

Preferably the penetrative fastener of said cladding panel is integrally formed and projects above a major surface of said cladding panel.

Preferably said cladding panels can receive an image.

Preferably said image may be printed onto said cladding panel.

Preferably said image may be adhesively applied as a film to said cladding panel.

Preferably said cladding panel includes apertures therethrough to define indicia by said apertures of said cladding panel.

Preferably said cladding panel can be used to define said base panel.

Preferably said cladding panel is snap lockable to a said modular furniture component.

Preferably said cladding panel is quadrilateral in shape.

Preferably the perimeter of said cladding panel is substantially contiguous with the perimeter of said modular furniture component when engaged therewith.

Preferably said cladding panel is substantially planar and substantially parallel with the preferred planar nature of the modular furniture component with which it is engaged.

Preferably that also includes at least one base panels, said base panel to engage and extend between all said components of an assembly to define an assembly with a cavity bounded by said base panel and said components and having one major opening to said cavity.

Preferably said base panel is to extend between all said components of an assembly in a manner so that the normal of said base panel extends perpendicular to the normal of each said components.

Preferably each said component is of a quadrilateral plan shape and includes a first pair of opposed sides that define said first and second ends that are each to engage with a first and second like component respectively.

Preferably each said component includes a second pair of opposed sides that extend at 90 degrees to and between the first pair of opposed sides, said panel including an outer face side that, in use, will be positioned to face outwardly to said assembly and an inner face side that, in use, will be positioned to face inwardly to said assembly.

Preferably said base panel includes a fastening aperture there through wherein said penetrative fastener is capable of penetrating two of said fastening apertures of two base panels, one of each of two modular furniture assemblies when two of said modular furniture assemblies are placed adjacent each other in a manner so that a said base panel of each said assemblies are contiguous each other, said penetrative fastener releasably securing said two assemblies together.

Preferably said base panel includes a fastening aperture there through wherein said penetrative fastener is capable of penetrating said fastening apertures of said base panels and said fastening aperture of a said component, each being one fastening aperture of each of two modular furniture assemblies when two of said modular furniture assemblies are placed adjacent each other in a manner so that a said base panel of one said assembly and a component of an adjacent said assembly are contiguous each other, said penetrative fastener releasably securing said two assemblies together.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in a storage box that includes;

four identical side walls of a quadrilateral shape each side wall including;

    • two parallel and opposed fastening edges, a first of said fastening edges having one part of a two part mortise and tenon joint and a second of said fastening edges having the other part of said two part mortise and tenon joint engaged whereby the fastening edges of each said side wall are releasably engaged together by virtue of said mortise and tenon joint, and
    • two parallel and opposed free edges

a base panel that is engaged to each of said four side walls at one of said two parallel and opposed free edges to define a cavity with one major opening bounded in part by each of the other of said two parallel and opposed free edges.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in a modular furniture assembly as herein described and with reference to the accompanying drawings.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in a modular furniture component as herein described and with reference to the accompanying drawings.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in a modular furniture assembly comprising

at least three panels that are identical to each other, each panel including a first and second opposed major surface sides and each including two parallel fastening edges wherein at each said fastening edge there is provided at the first major surface side at least one fastening aperture

a fastening clip that includes two regions, each region including a fastening protrusion to locate into a respective fastening aperture of a first and a second said panels when such panels are positioned with their fastening edges contiguous each other clip said two panels reliably together.

Preferably said fastening clip includes a live hinge separating each region.

Preferably all said fastening edges are of an identical configuration.

Further aspects of the invention, which should be considered in all its novel aspects, will become apparent from the following description given by way of example of possible embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a modular furniture assembly,

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the assembly of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a plan view of one possible embodiment of a modular furniture component,

FIG. 3 a is a plan perspective view of the modular furniture component of FIG. 3,

FIG. 3 b is a bottom perspective view of the modular furniture component of FIG. 3,

FIG. 3 c is a perspective view of two furniture components prior to being engaged together showing in more detail the preferred dovetail connectors,

FIG. 3 d is a close up view of the dovetail connectors of two components,

FIG. 4 is an end view of the first end of the modular furniture component of FIG. 3,

FIG. 5 is a cross-section through line A-A of the modular furniture component of FIG. 3,

FIG. 6 is a cross-section side view of the modular furniture assembly of FIG. 1,

FIG. 6 a is an enlarged view of area D of FIG. 6, showing a tab of a first modular furniture component engaging a second modular furniture component,

FIG. 7 is a partially exploded view of a modular furniture assembly and associated cladding panels,

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a number of modular furniture assemblies connected together to form an assembled item of furniture,

FIG. 8A is a front perspective view of a furniture assembly wherein a fastening bracket is shown,

FIG. 8B is a rear perspective view of that of FIG. 8A including the fastening bracket,

FIG. 9 is a plan view of the furniture item of FIG. 8,

FIG. 9A illustrates a number of assemblies 100 engaged to each other in a configuration different to that shown with reference to FIG. 9,

FIG. 9B is an alternative perspective view of the structure shown in FIG. 9A, both showing the engagement of assemblies 100 in a manner to allow for the resulting structure to define a table support structure with which a table top can be engaged,

FIG. 9C shows a wine rack insert for a cavity of an assembly, as a further example of the versatility of the invention,

FIG. 10 shows a cross-section view through cutting line A-A of FIG. 9,

FIG. 11 is an enlarged view of area B of FIG. 10,

FIG. 12 is an exploded perspective view of a fastener that includes a fastening pin and cap,

FIG. 13 is a plan view of a base panel,

FIG. 14 is a bottom view of the base panel of FIG. 13,

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a modular furniture assembly with cladding panels and one open face,

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of an assembly provided with a shelf,

FIG. 17 is a partially exploded view of the assembly of FIG. 16,

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an assembly provided with a door,

FIG. 18A illustrates an exploded view of an assembly wherein the base panel and door panel are included,

FIG. 18B illustrates a method of assembling of the assembly that includes for example the backing or base panel and door which may be a two step process, the first involving the connection of two adjacent components together and then the connection of the two other adjacent components together whereupon a sliding assembly can engage all components together including the backing panel and door to define an assembly,

FIG. 18C is a perspective view of a door including the provision of a hinge pin and also locking pins and handle,

FIGS. 18D-F show variations to a door shown in FIG. 18C,

FIG. 19 is an enlarged cross-section view of a connection between the door and a modular furniture component of FIG. 18,

FIG. 20 is a partially exploded view of an assembly provided with a drawer system,

FIG. 21 is a cross-section front view of an assembly of FIG. 20,

FIG. 22 is an exploded perspective view of a hexagonal assembly,

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of a triangular assembly,

FIG. 24 is a perspective view of an assembly for use as a bin,

FIG. 24A is a perspective view of an assembly wherein casters are provided to one of the modular furniture components,

FIG. 24B is an alternative perspective view showing the casters,

FIG. 25 is an exploded view of an assembly wherein a backing panel is provided to allow for the assembly to act as a bin or other item of furniture in combination with or without further assemblies,

FIG. 25B shows channel detail for engagement by a base or backing panel or cladding panel,

FIG. 26 is a perspective view of an alternative configuration of a cladding panel,

FIG. 26B is a perspective and partial cross sectional view through a furniture component 200 with which a cladding panel is engaged showing the interaction between the protrusion of the cladding panel and the opening or aperture of the furniture component,

FIG. 27 is a perspective view illustrating how a cladding panel 11 may be engaged to a furniture component 200,

FIG. 28 shows a furniture component 200 wherein the channel 581 has a dust cover provided to it, and

FIG. 29 illustrates an alternative configuration of components 501 that can be assembled together to define a furniture assembly having similar application as that of the more preferred form as described with reference to FIGS. 1-28.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The term 吐urniture used herein is intended to have a broad meaning, and in particular includes for example but not exclusively, office furniture such as shelving, partitioning, book cases, storage bins and filing systems and the like.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show, a modular furniture assembly 100 according to one possible embodiment of the present invention.

Where reference herein is made to a furniture assembly it is to be appreciated that the assembly may on its own define an item of furniture such as the bin shown in FIG. 24 or may, in combination with other assemblies, be used to create a structure that defines an assembled item of furniture such as for example that shown in FIG. 10. Accordingly, the assembly 100 may be used on its own as an item of furniture, or, as is described further below, may be combined with further components and/or assemblies 100 to create more complex items.

As best seen in FIG. 2, the assembly 100 may be constructed exclusively from a plurality of substantially identical modular furniture components, generally referenced 200. No additional connectors or fasteners are required to connect the components 200 of the assembly 100 together, as the components 200 may be interconnected by means of integral connectors, as is described further below. Each of the components is able to be made identical to the other components used to define the assembly 100 as shown in FIG. 1.

Referring next to FIGS. 3 to 5, a modular furniture component 200 according to one possible embodiment of the present invention may be a substantially square or rectangular or trapezoidal panel having at least one face side 1 that is preferably flat. It may be provided with some surface detailing as is illustrated in FIG. 3 b and have reasonable thickness, but is generally a flat panel. The component 200 has a first end or edge 2 and a second end or edge 5 at where connection with like components. The assembly 100 of components 200 as shown in FIG. 1 in its bare form has two open ends bounded by the free edges 206 and 207 of each of the components 200. The free edges 206 and 207 extend between the first end 2 and second end 5 of each component.

A first end 2 of the modular furniture component 200 is provided with a connector 300. Each aspect of the connector 3 is preferably integrally formed with the modular furniture component 200.

The component is preferably made from a moulded material such as a plastic. The connector preferably includes a releasable fastener component that includes a tab 3 with a protruding barb 4. The barb 4 may act as a lock to releasably lock the tab 3 into engagement with a second modular furniture component 200. The tab and barb may alternatively be disposed at the second end 5 of a modular component.

FIG. 6 shows a cross-section side view of a modular furniture assembly 100 such as that illustrated in FIG. 1. FIG. 6 a shows a tab 3 and barb 4 of a first modular furniture component 201 releasably engaged with an aperture 7 or recess in a second component 202.

Referring in particular to FIGS. 3 b and 4, the first end 2 of the modular furniture component 201 includes a connector 300 that preferably includes a mortar and tenon type connectors 8 adapted to interengage with complimentary mortar and tenon type connectors 8 at the second end 5 of a second substantially identical component 202. The mortar and tenon connectors 8 are preferably of a dovetail type.

With reference to FIG. 3 c, there is shown a first component 201 and a second component 202. The first component 201 includes a first end 2 and a second end 5. The second component 2 includes a first end 2A and a second end 5A. The first end 2 of component 201 engages with second end 5A of component 202. The dovetail features 219 of the second end 5A of the second component 202 are of a complimentary shape to the dovetail features 220 of the first end 2 of the first component 201.

The dovetails 219 and 220 engage together to lock the components 201 and 202 together. Locking together may prevent movement in directions +Y and +Z and −Y and −Z. Movement is also prevented in the +X direction but not in the −X direction other than by the optional tab 3 and its barb 4 when employed. As can be seen with reference to FIG. 3 c, the assembly direction is in the +X direction resulting in a pushing together of the second component 202 with the first component 201 in a direction that is parallel to the plane of the first component 201 that lies in the XZ plane. The dovetails 220 of the first component 201 are presented to allow for a sliding engagement of the dovetails 219 of the second component 202 in the +X and −X direction.

With reference to FIG. 3 d, there is shown the releasable fastener to clip together adjacent components 201 and 202. The fastener includes the tab 3 that carries a barb 4. The tab 3 is of a resiliently flexible nature in the +Y and −Y direction. This slight flexibility allows for the barb to resiliently move in these directions to facilitate the fastening and releasing of the tab 3 with the aperture 7 defined by the adjacent second component 202. The aperture 7 is provided by the second component 202 to allow for the barb 4 to locate therewith and retain the second panel 202 with the first panel 201 in a releasable manner. A person can, through the aperture 7, access the barb and tab to push the tab in the −Y direction to thereby move the tab to a condition allowing separation of the component 201 from the component 202. The tab is preferably elongate in nature and extends parallel to the direction of sliding engagement of the component it is disposed from, with a second component.

In the most preferred form the tab and barb are provided intermediate of the inward and outward facing sides of the component 201 (and 202 at its first end 2/2A) so that when the two adjacent components are assembled together, the tab and barb are positioned in a non-obstructive and non-visible location. Likewise the aperture 7 with its retention surface 7A that is engaged by the barb 4, is located between the interior and exterior sides of the component so that it is also located in a position of non-obstruction (and when a cladding panel is engaged, of a non-visible nature).

Referring next to FIGS. 5 and 7, the second face side 9 of the modular furniture component 200, opposite the face side 1, may be flat. Preferably it may be provided with one or more ribs 10 to increase the stiffness of the component 200.

The components assembled together to define an assembly, such as the four components shown in FIG. 1, have each of the face sides 1 and 9 extending substantially parallel to the X direction as shown in FIG. 1. None of the components 200 to define the assembly 100 extend to have the planes of the face sides 1, 9 in a direction that is perpendicular to the X direction.

In some embodiments a cladding panel 11 (preferably of flat thin sheet) may be removably connectable to the second face side 9 of each modular furniture component 200 by suitable means. In a preferred embodiment the panel 11 is provided with protruding lugs 30 that engage corresponding apertures 31 or recesses at the second face side 9 of a modular furniture component 200. Panels 11 may be available in a variety of colours so as to allow the user to decorate an assembled item of furniture in the colour of their choice. In some embodiments a cladding panel 11 may have advertising, branding or other indicia printed on them (not shown). In a still further embodiment a panel 11 may be made from a material that is suitable for use with erasable felt pens or whiteboard markers, such as are known to the art. In some forms the cladding panels may include cut outs which define indicia. The cut outs allow for the material of the furniture component 200 to be seen therethrough. The panel 11 may be of metal or plastic or paperboard or of multi layer.

With reference to FIG. 26 there is shown an alternative form of cladding wherein the cladding panel 11 has square corners rather than recessed corners.

The cladding panel, on the same side providing the protruding lugs 30, may be provided with secondary lugs 604 for locating with features of a furniture component. In particular the secondary lugs 604 can locate into the openings or apertures or rebates, that are defined as aperture 12 in the figures. Alternatively the cladding panel 11 may not include the protruding lugs 30 but does include the secondary lugs 630.

Referring next to FIGS. 8-11, an item of furniture 400 may be created by connecting two or more assemblies 100 together to define furniture structures 400. Referring in particular to FIG. 11, each of the components 200 may be provided with one or more apertures 12 through which suitable fasteners may be passed in order to allow two adjacent components 200 to be fastened together. Such fastening together is preferably with the face sides 1 of a component 200 facing inwards and the second face sides 9 of adjacent assemblies facing each other. The fastener preferably includes a fastener pin 13. The apertures 12 may include recessed portions 12 a adapted to accommodate a head 13 a of the pin or a suitable pin lock such as a cap 14, so that the head 13 a and cap 14 do not protrude beyond the aperture 12 and preferably mount flush with each face side 1 and 9 of a component.

FIG. 12 illustrates a preferred embodiment of a pin 13 and cap 14. The pin 13 is configured to engage and fasten to the cap 14 in a turning manner such as by a シ turn.

With reference to FIGS. 8A and 8B, there is shown a fastening bracket 117 that can be secured to the assembly 100. In the preferred form the fastening bracket 117 is secured to a component 200 such as by way of a machine screw or bolt or similar. Alternatively a push fit arrangement may facilitate the engagement of the fastening bracket 117 with the furniture component 200. For example apertures or upstands may be provided to the edges 206 and 207 of the component with which a fastener arrangement 118 can be provided for securing the fastening bracket 117 to the assembly 100. The fastening bracket 117 can be used to allow for the assembly 100 to be secured to a building structure or other stable structure. For example where the assembly forms part of a total assembly of furniture assemblies 100 that is relatively high, some support at the top of the stack of assemblies 100 will need to be provided. The fastening bracket 117 can allow for a person to screw or otherwise fasten the structure of assemblies to a wall adjacent to which the structure of assemblies is provided. A plurality of apertures may be provided along or by the fastening bracket 117 to allow for some adjustability in the location of the fastening bracket and the related fasteners to be provided. The fastening bracket may also be used for the purposes of suspending the assembly 100 from a wall or ceiling or similar without any additional support from below.

Further apertures 15 may be provided to allow the component 200 to be fastened to a wall with a screw or similar fastener. The apertures 15 may alternatively be used to engage other components such as, for example, draw slides or rails, as is described below.

Referring next to FIGS. 13 and 14, a base panel 16 may be incorporated to engage with an assembly 100 such as that shown in FIG. 1 to create an assembly 500, illustrated in FIG. 15. The assembly 500 defines a single open side; for example a cube with one face. The base panel 16 may engage and abut the free edges 107 of each of the components 200. The base panel 16 includes a perimeter lip 601 that can locate into slots 581 of a component 200. Such slots 581 preferably extend between the first and second ends 2, 5 of a furniture component 200. The base panel, like the component 200, may provide cladding receiving detail to secure cladding of the same kind as that for the components. A base panel 16 may include reinforcing webs 603 similar to the reinforcing webs provided to the component 200. A variation to the base panel 16 is shown with reference to FIG. 25 wherein a panel 571, without reinforcing webs is shown for engagement with the furniture components 200. A second base panel (not shown) may be added on the opposite side of the assembly 500 to close the open face to define an enclosed cube.

The base panel 16 may include apertures 17 or recesses adapted to engage casters 119, so that mobile items of furniture may be created. The casters may also be adapted to engage apertures 12 in the modular components 200.

With reference to FIGS. 24A and 24B, casters 119 are shown to be engaged to the apertures 12 of the modular furniture components 100/200. A push fit with preferably a releasable snap locking feature is the manner in which the casters 119 can be located to a modular furniture component and/or to the base panel 16. The elements of the casters 119 that protrude into the apertures 12 and/or 17 are of a kind so as to not extend into the cavity 561 of the assembly. This ensures that the cavity remains un-intruded by the casters thereby allowing the cavity to provide for space usable by the likes of the drawers/doors and similar as herein been described. The elements of the casters 119 that protrude into the aperture 12 and/or 17 may receive additional fastening elements to fasten the casters in place. Such fastening elements may be a threaded arrangement or may be as per the cap 14. In the most preferred form each component 100 includes four apertures 12 for receiving the casters. The same apertures may be used for receiving the penetrative fasteners such as the pin/cap arrangement for fastening adjacent assemblies 100 together as hereinbefore described.

Where reference herein is made to apertures, it will be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that such apertures may in some circumstances be a through bore or may be a blind aperture.

Referring next to FIGS. 16 and 17, the interior volume of an assembly 500 such as that illustrated in FIG. 15 may be divided into two compartments by provision of a shelf 18. The shelf 18 may be supported on suitable pegs 19 that engage apertures 20 of each component 200 or recesses provided by each modular furniture component 200.

As seen in FIGS. 18 and 19, an assembly 600 may be provided with a door 21. The door 21 may be provided with protruding lugs 21 a adapted to rotatably engage complimentary recesses 22 or apertures provided in the subassemblies 200. Alternative hinges may be provided.

With reference to FIG. 18A, there is shown an alternative configuration of a door 21 that has separate rather than integrally formed protruding lugs 21A to define the hinges. In addition the door may include lugs 21B that may be integrally formed or preferably assembled as shown with reference to FIG. 18A, with the door. With reference to FIG. 18C, the lugs 21B are preferably of a shorter kind than those lugs 21A that define the hinge or pivot axis of the door 21. The lugs 21B act as catches to catch the door in a closed condition, with a complimentary or interactive feature of one or two opposite (upper and lower) components 200 or side components of the assembly. The lug or lugs 21 can catch with for example a recess 21C of opposed components 200 so as to resiliently hold the door 21 in a closed condition. Alternatively the lug or lugs are provided by the component(s) and recess by the door. An alternative form of clipping the door in a closed position is shown with reference to FIG. 18D-18F. With reference to FIGS. 18D-18F a door 21 is shown that includes a handle 529 that can be grasped by the hand of a person. Incorporated as part of the handle or as part of the door from which the handle extends, there may be a clip 528 that can locate with an edge surface protrusion recess or the like of the side component 200 of FIG. 18F. This can ensure resilient closure of the door can be maintained until sufficient force supplied by a user to pull the door open. The door may include a lock.

Construction of any of the assemblies described with reference to for example FIGS. 1, 15, 24 and 25, may occur in a manner as described with reference to FIG. 18B. With reference to FIG. 18B, two sets of a pair of adjacent components 100 are assembled. These are then assembled with the other pair of components 100 in a sliding manner as shown in FIG. 18B. The backing panel 16/571 and the like can then be captured by the components as they are engaged together. The backing panel may be captured within the channels 581 and any door 21 that may be provided can have its protrusions to define the pivot axis engaged with apertures of the upper and lower components.

FIGS. 20 and 21 show an assembly 700 provided with a drawer system. The drawers 23 are provided with outwardly extending flanges 24 along the upper edges of their sides 25. The flanges 24 slidably engage rails 26 defining longitudinal slots, which are attached to the inside of the subassembly 700, preferably by engagement of protruding lugs 27 provided on the rails 26 with suitable recesses 28 or apertures provided on each modular furniture component 200.

Alternatively the upper drawer may be supported on a shelf of a kind as shown for example with reference to FIG. 17. The lower drawer may merely be supported on the lower most component 200. In this alternative configuration a two upper and lower drawer configuration may be provided or a dual upper and lower drawer configuration may be provided where on each level, two or more dependent drawers are supported by the shelf and/or the lower most furniture component.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, in one embodiment the planes of the first and second components 200 are at an angle of substantially 90ー, preferably with the face sides 1 on the inside of the assembly formed by the two components 200. FIG. 22 shows an exploded view of an assembly 800 of an alternative embodiment in which each modular furniture component 900 is adapted to engage a similar modular component 900, such that the adjacent modular furniture components are at an angle of substantially 60ー. This embodiment may be useful for forming substantially hexagonal assemblies 800. FIG. 24 shows a three sided assembly 1000 according to a further possible embodiment. In still further alternative embodiments (not shown) the modular components may connect together so as to form assemblies with any suitable number of sides.

While the examples of the modular furniture components of the present invention described herein have all been substantially square, further embodiments are envisaged in which the modular furniture components are rectangular.

By joining adjacent modular furniture components together, multiple assemblies may be joined to create larger structures, such as TV stands, coffee tables, office space dividers, pigeon holes, garage shelving, video/CD storage and the like. Various combinations of assemblies may also be provided, and connected together, some with doors, some with shelves etc.

FIG. 9C shows a wine rack insert for a cavity of an assembly, as a further example of the versatility of the invention.

With reference to FIG. 24, there is shown four modular furniture components 200 that have been engaged together to define a cavity 561. The cavity has an opening defined by perimeter edges 562 of each of the modular furniture components 200 and has at the opposite end of each of the modular furniture components a closure panel 571 provided. The closure panel 571 (also referred to as a base panel) extends between the perimeter edges of the modular furniture components 200 to close the opposite end of the otherwise double open ended cavity 561. The closure panel 571 closes one of the openings to the cavity 561. The closure panel 571 is preferably planar and extends preferably parallel to the normal of the generally planar furniture components 200. The closure panel 571 can engage with the furniture components 200 so as to lock therewith.

FIG. 25 shows an exploded view of this variation of the furniture assembly wherein the closure panel 571 is positioned for engagement within a channel or channels 581 provided at an edge of each of the furniture components 200. With reference to FIG. 25B, there is shown the channel 581 and the closure panel 571 engaged together. The channel 581 includes a recess or opening 605 into which a lug 607 of the closure panel 571 can locate. The closure panel 571 can push fit the lug 607, into the aperture 605 of the channel 581. A similar releasable locking of the base panel 16 may occur with the components 200. However alternatively no such lug 607 and apertures 605 to facilitate releasable locking of the closure panel 571 or the base panel 16, may be provided. The furniture assembly so defined (like that of FIG. 15 having a base panel 16) that includes the closure panel 571 can be used as a bin wherein the closure panel 571 extends substantially horizontally and is below the upper opening 608 of the cavity 561 defined by the perimeter edges 565 of the furniture components 200. In the mode as a bin, the furniture assembly can receive the likes of toys or LPs or CDs or other items. Assemblies so defined can also be interconnected adjacent each other in a like manner as hereinbefore described. Like the furniture assemblies as hereinbefore described, cladding panels 11 can engage parallel with each of the furniture components 200 to clad the exterior of the furniture assembly. Indeed a cladding panel 11 may be used to define the closure panel 571.

With reference to FIGS. 9A and 9B, there is shown an alternative configuration of a furniture structure 400 consisting of a number of assemblies 100 engaged together. In the configurations shown with reference to FIGS. 9A and 9B, a furniture component 200 of an assembly 100 does not engage with a furniture component 200 of an adjacent assembly but rather with the base panel 16 of an adjacent assembly 100. Accordingly each cavity opening of the structure 400 faces in a different direction to the openings of the cavities of the adjacent assemblies 100. In this manner assemblies 100, have fasteners extend through apertures 12 of a component 200 of one of the assemblies and through the apertures 17 of the base panel 6 of the adjacent assembly. Accordingly the apertures 17 and the apertures 12 are defined in their respective component 100/16 in the geometric ally similar spacing. This allows for alignment of the apertures 17 and 12 to occur to allow the fastener and in particular the fastener pin 13 to extend. In this manner the assemblies 100 can be connected together to define a structure 400 different to the structures shown with reference to FIGS. 8 and 9 and 10 in that the openings to the cavities are facing in different directions rather than in the same direction.

With reference to FIG. 28 there is shown a furniture component 200 wherein the channel 581 has been closed by a dust cover 610. The dust cover 610 closes the longitudinal opening to the channel 581 in a manner so that dust and debris, cannot become lodged within the channel 581. The dust cover 610 is preferably removable from the channel 581 but can releasably lock therewith. A snap fit or friction fit or interference fit arrangement may be utilised.

With reference to FIG. 29, there is shown furniture components 501 that include a first end 502 and second end 503. Each of the first and second end can engage with first and second ends of an adjacent furniture component 501 in a manner to allow for such interconnectivity to define an item of furniture such as the cube (with two opposed cavity openings) shown in FIG. 29. Each of the components 501 is preferably panel shaped and is preferably identical. Each of the components 501 includes a bevelled edge defining the first and second ends 502 and 503. The bevelled ends angle inwardly so that for example when viewed in direction AA with reference to FIG. 29, the side view of the panel is substantially trapezoidal in shape. The bevelled edges are preferably 45 degree bevels so that they can locate with corresponding 45 degree angled bevels of adjacent panels to form a square or rectangular form of assembly. If an alternative form of furniture is to be defined such as a triangular shape for example shown with reference to FIG. 23, the bevels at the first and second ends 502 and 503 will need to be angled less or more than 45 degrees. For any form the components 501 are preferably all of an identical shape. Connectors 506 may be provided to fasten adjacent panels together. Each of the panels or components 501 include an exteriorly positioned aperture or blind hole 506 that is preferably set down into a surface rebate 507 of the exterior most surface 508. The recess or rebate 507 can accommodate part of the connector 506 being that part 509 that carries a protrusion 510 for locating into the aperture or blind recess 506 of the component 501. In the most preferred form the connector 506 carries two such protrusions 510 separated by a live hinge region 511. The live hinge region 511 allows for the connector 506 to be bent to for example 90 degrees to allow for a first of its protrusions 510 to locate into an aperture 506 of one panel and the other of its protrusions 510 to locate into an aperture 506 of an adjacent panel 501. The recess 507 ensures that a flush mounting of the connector 506 with each of the components 501 occurs. As seen with reference to FIG. 29, each end 502 and 503 preferably includes two apertures or blind recesses 506 and corresponding rebates 507 so that at each end, two connectors 506 can engage. The connectors will ensure that the adjacent components 501 are fastened together in order to define a furniture component having substantial structural integrity. Each of the components 501 may be provided with detail of a kind as described with reference to the most preferred form of the invention described in FIGS. 1-28 and may include provisions for attaching cladding panels, for attaching casters, for attaching drawers and doors and the like and also for interconnecting assembled furniture components with adjacent furniture components to define bookshelves, storage cabinets, filing cabinets and the like.

Where in the foregoing description, reference has been made to specific components or integers of the invention having known equivalents, then such equivalents are herein incorporated as if individually set forth.

Although this invention has been described by way of example and with reference to possible embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that modifications or improvements may be made thereto without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8113600 *Sep 4, 2009Feb 14, 2012Target Brands, Inc.Storage and organization system with stackable shells
US8162368 *Mar 27, 2009Apr 24, 2012Carnevali Jeffrey DVehicle console having molded end parts
US8186776 *Sep 4, 2009May 29, 2012Target Brands, Inc.Storage and organization system and connectivity of the components therein
US8430254 *Mar 20, 2009Apr 30, 2013Steven C. KunisPortable modular closet insert and method of using the same
US8573716 *May 25, 2012Nov 5, 2013Target Brands, Inc.Storage and organization system and connectivity of the components therein
US8651593Sep 23, 2011Feb 18, 2014Lara BezichHybrid modular furniture and storage container unit
US20100237031 *Mar 20, 2009Sep 23, 2010Kunis Steven CPortable Modular Closet Insert And Method Of Using The Same
US20120021400 *Jul 23, 2010Jan 26, 2012Artapower International Group LimitedMulti-direction board and accessory interlock system
WO2010009410A1 *Jul 17, 2009Jan 21, 2010Kreikemeier John EWater retention/detention structure
WO2013110129A1 *Jan 25, 2013Aug 1, 2013Binder Way Pty LtdFile storage cabinet
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/107, 312/257.1
International ClassificationA47B43/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B47/042, A47B87/0292, F16B12/26
European ClassificationA47B87/02D1, A47B47/04A, F16B12/26
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 5, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: CUBEE MARKETING LIMITED, NEW ZEALAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:DAVIS, JOHN DAVID;HARTSTONE, MARK GREGORY;REEL/FRAME:018070/0262
Effective date: 20060516