US 3256031 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 14, 1966 M. 1. FILLWEBER 3,256,031
COUPLING STRUCTURE Filed July 31, 1963 INVENTOR.
MARCELLUS l. FILLWEBER ATTORNEYS United States Patent Filed July 31, 1963, Ser. No. 298,848
3 Claims. (Cl. 287-119) My invention relates to coupling structures for connecting the shank of toothbrushes or the like to actuating members or rod members of power units.
An object of my invention is to provide a quick connection and disconnection for a toothbrush or the like and an actuating member adapted for moving the toothbrush or the like.
Another object is the provision of a unique arrangement for assembling and disassembling a toothbrush or the like to a power unit adapted to move the toothbrush or the like through an orbital path or other movement during use of the toothbrush or the like.
Another object is the provision for the easy and quick mounting of a toothbrush or the like to the end of a rod member upon which the toothbrush or the like is to be mounted.
Another object is the provision of a novel structure for quickly and easily connecting a toothbrush or the like to an actuating member and arranging for holding the toothbrush or the like to the actuating member and also permitting the ready disconnection or withdrawal of the toothbrush or the like from such actuating member.'
Another object is the provision of an ingenious structure arranged for providing improved results in a novel and highly useful manner.
Other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the following description and claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a power unit and a toothbrush mounted thereon through the use of 'my coupling arrangement;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged elevational view showing the details of my coupling arrangement;
Patented June 14, 1966 own toothbrush but may all use the same power unit for actuating the toothbrushes. For this purpose, it is desirable that the toothbrushes be readily connected and disconnected from the actuating member 12 of thepower unit 11. My invention is particularly directed to a unique coupling arrangement for effecting such ready connection with and disconnection from the actuating member of the power unit of anindivi-dual toothbrush.
The toothbrush illustrated has a brush-carrying portion 17 and a shank 16. This shank 16 has an enlarged butt end in which there is an opening or socket 18 extending axially from the end of the shank 16 as illustrated. This socket 18 has a surrounding wall defining the socket 18. The surrounding wall is thickened on one side to provide the thickened wall portion 21 extending longitudinally along a side of the socket. The material of the shank 16, including the wall surrounding the socket, is of suitable molded plastic which is relatively rigid but having some small measure of resiliency. There are many plastic materials available having the desired characteristics. The thickened wall 21 has two slits 19 extending therealong parallel to the axis of the socket 18 and which extend from the free end (lower end in the drawing) upwardly to the closed end of the socket 18. These slits 19 leave a prong or finger 20 dependent upon the shank 16 and disposed along one side of the socket. The resiliency of the plastic material is such that the finger 20 may resiliently flex upon its lower free end being moved out- FIGURE 3 is a sectional view through the coupling arrangement taken through the line 33 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a view taken at 180 of the view shown in FIGURE 2 and shows the back of a toothbrush and the actuating member to which it is engaged;
FIGURE 5 is a detailed sectional view illustrating the interconnection of the parts at one step in the process of interconnecting the parts of my coupling arrangement;
FIGURE 6 is a detailed sectional view showing the arrangement of the parts after the coupling has been completed and the toothbrush and actuating member are interconnected;
FIGURE 7 is a cross-sectional view taken through the lines 7-7 of FIGURE 5; and
FIGURE 8 is a cross-sectional view taken through the line 88 of FIGURE 6.
In FIGURE 1 of my drawing, I show a power unit indicated generally by the reference character 11. This power unit 11 may be similar to the power unit shown and described in detail in my companion application being concurrently filed herewith. Extending from the forward end of the power unit 11 there is an actuating member or rod member 12 which is driven by the power unit 11 so as to move the terminal or free end of the actuating member 12 in an orbital path as described in said companion patent application.
In the use of such power-driven toothbrushes, it is desirable to have the toothbrushes readily replaceable and to have a number of different toothbrushes which may be used on the same power unit. In this manner, diiferent members of the family or household may each have their wardly by manual force but at the same time the finger 20 tends to resume its normal disposition within the outline of the wall surrounding the socket, that is, resume the normal position illustrated in FIGURES 2, 3, 6 and 8. There is formed on the lower end of the finger 20 on the side thereof facing the axis of the socket 18, a boss or detent 22. This boss or detent projecting inwardly from the free end of the finger 20 has rounded or sloping upper and lower sides of the general contour illustrated in the drawing. The inner side of the finger 20 is substantially straight and parallel to the axis of the socket 18 except for the inward projecting boss or detent 22.
The terminal portion of the actuating member 12, which is moved by the power unit 11, is constructed to fit within the socket 18 so as to hold the shank 16 in substantial alignment with the axis of the actuating member 12. The butt end of the shank 16 having the socket 18 is the female portion of the coupling and the terminal portion of the actuating member 12 constitutes the male portion of the coupling. The terminal portion of the actuating member 12 has a longitudinal groove 13 extending therealong parallel to the axis of the member 12. This groove 13 extends from the free end of the member 12 a distance therefrom. The side walls of the groove 13 are substantially parallel to each other and are dimensioned to accommodate therebetween the width of the finger 20 carried by the shank 16'. The major portion of the 'bottom wall of the groove 13,is straight and disposed parallel to the axis of the actuating member 12. At the free end or terminus of the member 12, the bottomwall is included at an angle from this major portion to the axis'of the member 12 to provide a camming surface 15. This camming surface 15 is sloped as illustrated in the drawing.
At the distant end of the groove 13, that is, farthest removed from the free end where the camming surface 15 is located, is a dwell or recess 14 extending radially inward toward the axis of the member 12. The depth of the dwell 14 is greater than the depth of the groove 13 along its intermediate extent between the dwell 14 and the camming surface 15. 7
When the toothbrush is entirely separated from the actuating member 12, it may be readily assembled to the actuating member 12 by moving the toothbrush axially relative to the actuating member 12 so as to cause the male portion of the actuating member 12 to be aligned with and to enter the socket 18 of the shank 16. Upon the boss 22 engaging the camming surface 15 and the movement of the toothbrush and actuating member toward each other, the finger 2%) is resiliently flexed from the position shown in FIGURE 3 to the position shown in FIGURES 5 and 7, the boss 22 riding up the camming surface and along the straight major portion of the 'bottom Wall of the groove 13. Continued movement of the shank 16 and actuating member 12 together causes the boss 22 to slide along with the finger flexed until the boss 22 meets and enters the dwell 14, that is, until the boss 22 enters the dwell 14 as illustrated in FIGURES 6 and 8. In this position, the boss 22 is interlocked. with the dwell 14 and thus holds the shank 16 to the actuating member 12 with suflicient strength to hold them together against accidental withdrawal or separation.
By reason of the sloping wall of the dwell 14 as illustrated in the drawing and the sloping contour of the boss 22 as illustrated in the drawing, a camming action is provided when the shank 16 is axially moved away from the actuating member 12 so as to permit the boss 22 to ride up out of the dwell 14 and on to the straight major portion of the groove 13. This withdrawal of the boss 22 from the dwell 14, however, is resiliently resisted by reason of the resilient action of the finger 20 biasing or urging the free end of the finger 2t) inwardly so as to hold the boss 22 within the dwell 14.
By reason of the arrangement shown, the toothbrush may be readily connected and disconnected by a quick axial movement of the toothbrush relative to the actuating member. It does not take any additional movements, such as by having to manually raise the end of the finger 20 either when engaging or disengaging the toothbrush from the actuating member. Both the mounting and the dismounting of the toothbrush is readily accomplished with a minimum of effort and with assurance of proper interfit with suificient holding of the parts together as to prevent accidental disconnection or separation.
Although the drawing and description refer to a toothbrush mounted on an actuating member, it is to be understood that other devices may be mounted upon such a member as member 12 with the use of a structure embodying my invention. The toothbrush and power unit are referred to in this disclosure for the purpose of illustrating a concrete embodiment of the invention.
The present disclosure includes that contained in the appended claims, as well as that of the foregoing description.
Although this invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only byway of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
What is claimed is:
1. A coupling arrangement for securing toothbrushes and the like to an elongated actuating member comprising the combination of a shank for the toothbrush or the like having an opening extending axially thereof from an end of the shank, said shank surrounding said opening having a wall of molded plastic relatively rigid material, said wall on a side of said opening having spaced slits therein extending from said end of the shank to provide between said slits a finger dependent upon said shank and having a free end adjacent the said end of the shank, the material of said finger being such that the finger may resiliently flex from the normal disposition thereof in the outline of said wall upon said free end being moved radially outward and to resume said normal disposition, said free end of the finger having a detent portion extending radially inward thereof into said opening, and a terminal portion of said actuating member having a longitudinally extending groove disposed along a side thereof from the free end of the said terminal portion, said groove having a bottom wall and spaced side Walls shaped andsized to snugly receive said finger to restrain relative rotation of said shank and actuating member, said bottom wall at said free end being inclined at an angle to the axis of said terminal portion from said free end radially outwardly to provide a camming surface adapted to engage and move radially outwardly the said detent portion of said finger upon said terminal portion being inserted into said opening in said shank and the resilient flexing of said finger, said bottom wall at a longitudinal distance from said free end of the terminal portion having a dwell formed therein extending radially inward from the plane of said bottom wall for accommodating said detent portion upon the same sliding along said bottom wall to the location of said dwell and thence radially inward from the plane of said bottom wall into said dwell by relative axial movement of the said shank and said terminal portion toward each other and the resilient action of said finger, the depth of the groove intermediate said camming surface and dwell being such that the detent portion when outwardly flexed by the detent portion engaging said camming surface may slide along the bottom wall in said plane and directly therefrom radially into said dwell and be resiliently locked in said dwell by the resiliency of said finger to secure the said shank to said terminal portion; said detent portion and dwell having opposed camming surfaces disposed to permit said detent portion to slide up out of said dwell and said finger resiliently flexed outwardly upon relative axial movement of the shank and terminal portion away from each other.
2. Coupling means for connecting the actuating rod member of a power unit and the shank of a toothbrush or the like, comprising, in combination, a female portion on the end of said shank and a male portion on the end of said rod member adapted to be selectively interconnected, said female portion having an axially disposed socket extending from the end of the female portion and said male portion being formed to be accommodated in said socket to maintain the male portion and female portion in alignment, the wall of the female portion outwardly of said socket being slit to form a longitudinally disposed finger normally disposed in the outline of said wall about said socket, said finger being dependently connected to said female portion and being resiliently flexible to permit the free end thereof to swing radially outward from its said normal disposition, the free end of said finger having a boss extending radially inward therefrom into said socket, said male portion having a longitudinally extending groove disposed along a side thereof from the free end of the male portion, said groove having a bottom wall and spaced side walls shaped and sized to snugly receive said finger to restrain relative rotation of said shank and actuating member, the major portion of said bottom Wall being disposed substantially parallel to the axis of said male portion, said bottom wall at the free end of the male portion being inclined radially inwardly and forwardly from said major portion to provide a camming surface leading from said free end to said major portion, said bottom wall at a longitudinal distance from said camming surface at the opposite end of said major portion being relieved radially inward to form a dwell spaced from said free end and having a greater depth than said groove, the arrangement of finger, boss, camming surface, major portion of the bottom wall and dwell being such that upon axial movement of the male portion and female portion toward each other the boss is cammingly moved by said camming surface to resiliently flex said finger, the boss is moved along said major portion of the bottom wall, and under the resilient action of the finger the boss is moved radially and directly inwardly in said dwell to hold the female portion on said male portion.
3. Coupling means as defined in claim 2 and in which said boss and the dwell are so contoured that the engaging opposed surfaces thereof are inclined to provide that upon axial movement of the male portion and female portion away from each other the said boss is cammingly moved radially outwardly of the dwell directly to said major portion of the bottom wall to flex said finger against the resiliency thereof, whereby the said male portion and female portion may be separated.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 753,096 2/1904 Osteen 285-319X Bongiovonni.
Messina 285-303 Bell.
Glaza et al. 15-176 Siebert 2877 Phaneuf 15-176 Moret 15-145 CARL W. TOMLIN, Primary Examiner. V 10 I. B. TALTON, D. W. AROLA, Assistant Examiners.