US 3260241 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 12, 1966 H. BROSS 3,260,241
WRITING TOOL Filed March 15, 1965 :J Sneets-Sheet .L
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WRITING TOOL Filed March 15, 1965 2 Sheets-$heet 2 5a(b) FIG. 14
elmut Brass 3: df/ajlggii 5 llzzor ny United States Patent 20 Claims. el. 120-42413 The present invention relates to a writing tool which is provided with one or more lead or ink carriers, for example, ball-point refills, which are movable in the casing of the tool, and with a mechanism for advancing and retracting such a lead or ink carrier through or from the front opening of the casing, and in which this mechanism comprises an actuating member which is adapted to be manually depressed for moving the carrier forwardly and to be retracted by the action of a spring.
Most of the writing tools of this type are provided with an actuating member consisting of a pin which projects from the rear opening of the casing and, when depressed, acts either directly or through an intermediate member upon the lead or ink carrier, for example, a ball-point refill. The casing of any of these writing tools contains a metal coil spring which is tightened when the actuating member is depressed and returns the latter to its original position when the lead or ink carrier is released from its writing position. A mechanism of this type has several disadvantages. One of these disadvantages is the fact that the joint between the rear end of the casing and the actuating pin which projects therefrom to the outside necessarily forms a shoulder or the like which always detracts considerably from the smooth appearance of the casing, especially of a ball-point pen. Furthermore, the need of the mentioned coil spring in any of these writing tools increases its cost of manufacture and assembly, it also makes it more difiicult for the user to exchange refills, and
entails the danger that during such exchange the spring might be lost and the entire writing tool would therefore become useless.
It is an object of the present invention to overcome the above-mentioned disadvantages by providing the actuating member with an extension, preferably of a hollow cylindrical shape, which consists like the actuating member itself of an elastic plastic material and extends in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the writing tool. This extension of the actuating member forms a spring by being provided with suitable slot-shaped apertures in its wall which are made of such a shape and are disposed adjacent to each other in the longitudinal direction of the casing in such an arrangement that, when the necessary pressure is exerted upon the actuating member, it will be moved for the necessary distance for advancing the lead or ink carrier, for example, a refill of a ball-point pen, to the writing position and also for retracting the same from this position completely into the casmg.
A preferred feature of the invention consists in producing the actuating member and the spring member so that both together form one integral element which facilitates the assembly of the writing tool considerably and thus reduces the cost thereof.
Another feature of the invention consists in the fact that the actuating member as well as the spring member no longer have to form elements separate from the easing, but may now form a part of the casing. Since no separate actuating pin or the like has to project front the casing, there does not have to be any shoulder between these two parts which detracts from the smooth appearance of the writing tool. The spring member between the main part of the casing and the actuating mem- Patented July 12, 1966 ber may then either form or appear to be a continuation of the casing, and the cross-sectional dimensions of this spring member may conform to the shape of the two adjoining casing parts so that it forms a unitary part of the casing both structurally as Well insofar as its appearance is concerned,
The concept of the present invention may, however, also be applied in those writing tools in which an actuating pin projects as a separate element from the rear end of the casing. The spring member may then be structurally the same as previously described and integral with and directly adjoining the actuating pin or with an intermediate part between the actuating pin and the lead or ink carrier, that is, with an axial extension of these parts which is preferably made of a hollow cylindrical shape.
The present invention may also be applied entirely independently of the shape and construction of the device for arresting the lead or ink carrier in the Writing and retracted positions. Therefore, various conventional devices for this purpose may be combined with the mechanism according to the invention.
When in the description of the invention it is spoken of slot-shaped apertures, this term is not to be considered as a limitation of the shape of these apertures, although they are preferably designed so that their length in the peripheral direction is greater than their axial width. In any event, it is their purpose to permit the actuating member to carry out the longest possible stroke in view of the length of the spring member. The slots may also be made so that the web remaining in the slotted part forms a continuous spiral. If the extension of the actuating member which is provided with these apertures is made of a flat shape, the apertures may be designed and arranged so as to form a zigzag-shaped spring which is disposed within one plane.
From the previous description it is evident that, in order to realize the concept of the invention, it is necessary to make the actuating member or the hollow cylindrical extension thereof which forms the spring member of a plastic which possesses sufficient elasticity. Such plastics are so well known in the art that they do not need to be especially identified or described. They may consist, for example, of any of the numerous polyamides.
The various features and advantages of the present invention will become more clearly apparent from the following detailed description thereof which is to be read with reference to the accompanyingdrawings which illustrate the invention merely by way of example, and in which:
FIGURE 1 shows a longitudinal section of a ball-point pen in which a part of the wall of the casing is designed to act as a spring and the rear end of the casing directly behind this spring part forms the actuating member which is to be depressed so as to operate a so-called ball mechanlsm;
FIGURE 2 shows a longitudinal section of a mechanical pencil in which the lead is held within a tubular holder, the front end of which is provided with clamping jaws:
FIGURE 3 shows a side view of a ball-point pen according to the invention;
FIGURE 4 shows a cross section which is taken along the line IV-IV of FIGURE 3;
FIGURES 5 and 6 show developments of the spring parts of the casing in which the apertures are made of two different shapes;
FIGURE 7 shows a side view of the spring part of a casing in which the apertures have the same shape as those in FIGURE 6, but extend for a greater distance in the peripheral direction and are differently arranged relative to each other;
FIGURE 8 shows a cross section which is taken along the line VIII-VIII of FIGURE 7;
FIGURE 9 shows a partial longitudinal section of a ball-point pen according to the invention which is provided with two refills;
FIGURE 10 shows a detail view of a part of the ballpoint pen according to FIGURE 9;
FIGURE 11 shows a cross section which is taken along the line XIXI of FIGURE 9;
FIGURE 12 shows a partial longitudinal section of a ball-point pen in which the spring according to the invention is provided on an extension of the actuating pin;
FIGURE 13 shows a longitudinal section of a twocolor ball-point pen in which the spring which is associated with each refill is likewise provided on an extension of the actuating member which projects from the rear end of the casing;
FIGURE 14 shows an enlarged detail view of a part of the ball-point pen according to FIGURE 13;
FIGURE 15 shows a cross section which is taken along the line XV-XV of FIGURE 13;
FIGURE 16 shows a cross section similar to that of FIGURE 15 of a modification of the spring arrangement; while FIGURE 17 shows in cross section a fractional view of the casing wall of the ball-point pen according to FIGURE 13.
i The writing tool according to the invention as illustrated in FIGURES 1 to 3 comprises a casing which is made of an elastic plastic and consists of the parts 1 and 2 which are movable relative to each other, and an intermediate spring section 3 which merges smoothly with the two parts 1 and 2. All three parts 1, 2, and 3 may be integral with each other and may be produced in a very simple manner by injection molding. The spring section 3 is formed by providing the wall of the casing between the parts 1 and 2 with apertures 4 which may be made of different shapes and different arrangements relative to each other, as illustrated in FIGURES 5 to 8.
The apertures 4 in the spring section 3 as illustrated in FIGURE 5, which corresponds to that as provided in the casing as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, are of a rectangular shape and are arranged in several parallel rows, and the apertures in the adjacent rows are peripherally offset at an angle of 90 to each other. Each individual aperture has a length amounting to slightly less than 180. When the rear end part 2 of the casing which serves as an actuating member is pressed forwardly, the webs intermediate the apertures 4 will be compressed and bent so that the length of the spring section 3 will be reduced. When the pressure upon the rear end part 2 is released, these webs snap back to their original shape because of the inherent elasticity of the plastic material so that the actuating member 2 will also be returned to its original position.
The spring section 3, as illustrated in FIGURE 6, which may correspond to that of the casing as shown in FIG- URE 3 differs from the spring section according to FIGURE 5 by the shape of the apertures 4 which in this case are diamond-shaped. A casing of this shape has been found to be especially suitable since it permits the spring section to be compressed and expanded for a considerable distance, even though it has a relatively short length. The length of these apertures 4 in the peripheral direction of the casing is therefore preferably greater than their width in the axial direction of the easmg.
FIGURES 7 and 8 show another modification of the apertures 4 which are likewise diamond-shaped, but have each a peripheral length of about 270 and are offset at an angle of 180 to each other.
As already mentioned, the casing part 2 as shown in FIGURES l to 3 forms the actuating member of the writing tool for pushing the ball-point insert or refill or the lead holder 5 forwardly and for retracting the same. The ball-point pen as illustrated in FIGURE 1 is further provided within the spring section 3 with a core member 6 which also extends into the adjacent casing parts 1 and 2 and is movable in the axial direction and serves as a support for the spring section 3 and the actuating member 2. This core member 6 which is positively connected to the actuating member 2 prevents the spring section 3 and the actuating member 2 from being bent relative to the main part of the casing. At its front end, the core member 6 is provided with slits so as to form resilient tabs 7 which clamp the insert 5 so tightly that the core member 6 will be taken along when the actuating member 2 is depressed or released either against or under the action of the spring section 3. For arresting the insert 5 in the forward writing position and in the retracted position, the ball-point pen according to FIGURE 1 is provided with a so-called ball mechanism which consists of a heart-shaped cam 8 on the part of the core member 6 which is inserted into the casing part 1 and of an annular groove 10 in the inner side of a sleeve 9 which is screwed into the casing part 1. A ball 11 engages into the cam 8 and also into the annular groove 10. When the actuating member 2 is depressed, ball 11 is moved along the cam 8 and thereby passes into the locking position in which it arrests the insert 5 in the writing position. When the actuating member 2 is again depressed, ball 11 is forced to move out of its first locking position and then passes along the cam 8 into its other locking position in which the insert 5 is retracted into the casing 1 when the actuating member 2 is released. Since the ball mechanism and its function is of a type which is known as such, it does not need to be described in further detail.
In the mechanical pencil as illustrated in FIGURE 2, the lead holder 5 extends through the spring section 3 and its rear end is secured to the actuating member 2, for example, by being screwed into the same. The lead holder 5 therefore also forms the support of the spring section 3 and the actuating member 2 and prevents them from being bent relative to the main front part of casing 1. FIGURE 2 illustrates clearly the simplicity of the entire mechanism according to the invention which in this case consists of a single element.
It may at this point be added that in those cases in which the inherent elasticity of the plastic material as used for the spring member 3 is not suificient for retracting the ball-point insert or refill from the writing position to the rest position, it is possible to provide additionally a coil spring which is loosely wound around the insert and acts upon a flange on the latter. However, such a construction has no longer the advantage of the embodiments of the invention as previously described that by omitting the coil spring which is usually provided in the casing of a ball-point pen, it is possible to facilitate the assembly of the pen considerably.
FIGURES 9 to 11 illustrate the application of the invention to a ball-point pen with two refill inserts 5a and 5b. The casing 1 is of a similar construction as that described with reference to FIGURES 1 to 3. The rear part 2 of the casing and the spring section 3 are, however, in this case divided by two diametrically opposite slits 12 into the parts 2a, 2b and 3a, 3b, respectively. The supporting member 6 likewise consists of two centrally divided sections 6a and 6b which are connected to each other by a dovetail joint which permits the two sections 6a and 6b to be shifted longitudinally relative to each other and also holds them in engagement with each other. The casing parts 2a and 2b are connected to the supporting parts 6a and 6b so as to be protected from being bent outwardly. For this purpose, the inwardly bent edges of the parts 2a and 2b facing the slits 12 engage into corresponding grooves along the outside of the supporting parts 6a and 6b. Parts 2a and 6a and 2b and 611, respectively, are positively connected to each other so that, when the actuating member 2a or 21) is moved forwardly or retracted under the action or against the action of the spring section 3a or 3b, the insert 5a or 5b is taken along. The rear ends of inserts 5a and 5b are for this purpose gripped in clamping sleeves 14a and 1412 which are connected to the front ends of the supporting parts 6a and 6b. Each supporting part 6a and 6b is provided with a radially resilient projection which cooperates with a locking aperture 16 or 17, respectively, on the casing part 1. These locking apertures are located in corresponding positions directly above each other and permit the projections 15 to engage alternately into them so as to arrest the inserts 5a and 5b in their writing or rest positions, respectively. The manner of operation is so clearly evident from FIGURES 9 to 11 that a further description thereof is unnecessary.
As already mentioned it is also possible to apply the invention in those cases of ball-point pens or mechanical pencils in which a separate actuating pin is provided which projects from the rear end of the casing. The spring member according to the invention is then provided on an extension of the actuating pin or on a push member which is provided between the actuating pin and the ball point insert or the lead holder.
An embodiment of the invention of the type as described above is illustrated in FIGURES 12 to 17. The writing tool as shown in FIGURE 12, Which may, for example, form a two-color ball point pen, comprises a casing which consists of two parts 18 and 19 which are screwed together and in which the actuating pin 20 is mounted so as to be movable in the axial direction. The actuating pin 20 is provided with a hollow cylindrical extension which is provided with apertures 4 so as to form a spring member 21 in the same manner as previously described. This spring member 21 engages upon an annular shoulder 22 which is provided on the innner side of the casing part 18. The rear end of the refill 5 is inserted into a bore in the actuating pin 20 and clamped therein so tightly that the parts 5 and 20 are positively connected to each other and the refill 5 will therefore be taken along when the actuating pin 20 is moved. For arresting the refill in its writing and retracted position, a so-called ball mechanism is again provided similarly as shown in FIGURE 1 for which, however, any other of the many mechanisms may be substituted which are known for this purpose. The manner of operation of this mechanism is evident from FIGURE 12 and needs no further description. It has the advantage that the retracting spring and the actuating pin form a single element, whereas prior to the invention a separate spring element in the form of a metal coil spring had to be provided which rendered the construction as well as the assembly of such a ball-point pen rather complicated and expensive. The invention also avoids the disadvantage of former ball-point pens that the coil spring was sometimes improper-1y inserted or even lost during the change of refills.
FIGURE 13 illustrates the mechanism as described with reference to FIGURE 12 as being applied to a twocolor ball-point pen. The actuating pin is split longitudinally so as to form two actuating members 20a and 20b. Each of these actuating members is provided with an extension 23a and 23b, respectively, in which the apertures extend so as to form a zigzag-shaped spring member which lies within one plane (FIGURE 14). The two spring members 23a and 23b again engage upon an annular shoulder 22 on the inner side of the casing. As shown in FIGURES l5 and 16, these extensions 23a and 23b and the spring members thereon are disposed so as to lie adjacent to the central plane of casing 24 and to engage with each other substantially within this plane. The refills 5a and 5b therefore 'lie between the spring members 23a and 23b and the casing 24. As illustrated in FIGURES 14 and 15, the spring extensions 23a and 23b may be provided with projections 23 and 23" by means of which the spring members may be guided on the refills. FIGURE 16 illustrates a modification according to which the spring extensions 23a and 23b are guided by engaging with their longitudinal sides into grooves 25 which are provided in the inner side of the casing.
The part of the mechanism which serves for arresting the refills in the writing and retracted positions may be of any desired construction and may also be of the alternating type in which, when one actuating member, for example, the member 200, is depressed so as to move the refill 5a to its writing position, the other refill 5b is positively moved from its writing posit-ion to its retracted position, that is, entirely into the casing.
FIGURE 13 merely indicates by way of example a locking device in which each actuating member is provided with a projection 26a or 26b, respectively, which cooperates with apertmres 27 and 28 in the wall of the casing, as shown in FIGURE 17.
Although my invention has been illustrated and described With reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, I wish to have it understood that it is in no way limited to the details of such embodiments but is capable of numerous modifications within the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus fully disclosed my invention, what I claim 1s:
1. A writing tool comprising a casing having an opening in its front end, as least one rod-shaped lead or ink carrier axially slidable within said casing, an actuating member on the rear end of said casing, and a spring member of a resilient plastic secured to said actuating member and forming an axial extension thereof and adapted to be compressed when said actuating member is depressed to move said carrier forwardly within said casing and also adapted to act upon said carrier to retract the same when said actuating member is released.
2. A writing tool as defined in claim 1, in which at least said actuating member and said spring member consist of plastic and are integral with each other.
3. A Writing tool as defined in claim 1, in which said spring member has a tubular shape.
4. A writing tool as defined in claim 1, in which said spring member is provided with at least one aperture for increasing its resilience.
5. A writing tool as defined in claim 1, in which said spring member is provided with a continuous spiral slot for increasing its resilience.
6. A writing tool as defined in claim 1, inwhich said spring member is provided with a plurality of apertures for increasing its resilience.
7. A writing tool as defined in claim 6, in which said apertures are elongated and extend in the peripheral direction through the wall of said spring member and form several rows substantially parallel to each other in the axial direction of said spring member.
8. A writing tool as defined in claim 7, in which each of said rows is stormed by two slot-shaped apertures extending in the peripheral direction, each of said apertures having a peripheral length of slightly less than 180' so as to leave intermediate webs.
9. A writing tool as defined in claim 8, in which the apertures in each row are peripherally offset at an angle of relative to the apertures in the adjacent row.
10. A writing tool as defined in claim 7, in which said apertures are diamond shaped and the apertures in each row are peripherally offset relative to the apertures in the adjacent row.
11. A writing tool as defined in claim 1, in which said spring member is interposed between said casing and said actuating member and is rigidly secured to and forms an axial extension of said casing.
12. A writing tool as defined in claim 11, in which said spring member is tubular and provided with a plurality of elongated apertures extending in its peripheral direction through its wall for increasing its resilience, and a core member axially slidable within said spring member and also extending for a certain distance into said casing and said actuating member for supporting said spring and actuating members.
13. A writing tool as defined in claim 12, in which said core is rigidly secured at one end to said actuating member and having means on its other end for removably securing said lead or ink carrier thereto.
14. A writing tool as defined in claim 11, in which said spring member is tubular, said lead or ink carrier extending axial ly through said spring member and its rear end being secured to said actuating member.
15. A writing tool as defined in claim 14, in which said spring member is axially slidable on said rod-shaped carrier, said carrier forming a core for preventing said spring and actuating members from being bent relative to the main'par-t of said casing.
16. A writing tool as defined in claim 1, in which said spring and actuating members form an integral element axially slidable within said casing, the rear end of said actuating member projecting from the rear end of said casing, and the front end of said spring member engaging upon an annular shoulder on the inner Wall surface of said casing.
17. A Writing tool as defined in claim 1, in which said spring and actuating members are split substantially in half longitudinally so as to form two separate parts, and a separate rod-shaped lead or ink carrier connected to each of said parts, said carriers adapted to be alternately moved within said casing by said parts.
18. A Writing tool as defined in claim 17, in which said spring member is tubular, and two core members within said spring parts for supporting the same and slidable axially along each other and relative to said spring parts and each rigidly secured to one of said actuating parts.
19. A writing tool as defined in claim 16, in which said spring and actuating members are split substantially in half longitudinally so as to form two separate parts axially s-lidab le relative to each other within said casing, said spring parts having a substantially fiat shape, and two of said rod shaped lead or ink carriers within said casing and their rear parts being disposed between said spring parts and the wall of said casing, the rear ends of said carrier being removably secured to said actuating parts.
20. A writing tool as defined in claim 19, in which each of said spring parts in provided with apertures of such a shape and disposed relative to each other in such a manner as to (form a zigzag-shaped spring.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,147,740 9/1964 Bross 120-42113 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,177,959 4/ 1959 France.
LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner.