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Publication numberUS3586451 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 22, 1971
Filing dateDec 13, 1968
Priority dateDec 14, 1967
Also published asDE1812308A1
Publication numberUS 3586451 A, US 3586451A, US-A-3586451, US3586451 A, US3586451A
InventorsCanton Raimondo
Original AssigneeCanton Raimondo
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Writing instrument
US 3586451 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

7 United States Patent I I I I I I Field of Search ..40l/2933 [56] References Cited FOREIGN PATENTS 1,105,192 6/1955 France 401/33 576,287 4/1958 Italy 401/33 Primary Examiner-Lawrence Charles A!10rneyRoben E. Burns ABSTRACT: In a writing instrument with multiple writing members actuated by a singlepushbutton, the writing member selected is brought into work position by an eccentric pusher in the lower part of the instrument and a shaft connected to a pushbutton freely mounted in the bore of the eccentric pusher.

PATENTEH JUNE? :97:

SHEET 1 BF 4 PATENTEU JUN 2 2157| SHEET 2 OF 4 WRITING INSTRUMENT The present invention relates to a writing instrument such as a pen or pencil having a tip which can be selected from within a housing by a pusher or other singleactuating means. It is concerned in particular with a ballpoint-pen with different colored points, each of which can be brought as desired, into a projected operating position by a sliding pusher positioned at the end of the said pen. A particular object of the invention is to provide a simple and reliable means for bringing the selected point into alignment with an eccentric opening in the lower part of the body of the pencil or pen, and then to push it into its operative or retracted position by means of a single pushbutton.

It has already been suggested to provide pens or pencils with multicolored writing points having at their lower end an orifice which is eccentric with respect to the axis of the said pens or pencils, and which include a rotating barrel having radially disposed housings for the cartridges or refills equipped with the writing tips.

The known pens and pencils have been designed to give a rotary movement to the said barrel by means or a single rotating pushbutton mounted at the rear end of the pens or pencils in order to bring the selected writing point in alignment with the eccentric orifice, and to permit axial movement of the pushbutton to drive said point into a projected operating position where it projects outside the said orifice. The retraction of the writing tip is also obtained by pressure on the pushbut- 1011.

However, these designs have not been commercially exploited because some of them require an abnormally large increase in the diameter of the writing instrument, and because the intermediate means allowing the retraction and the projection of the selected writing tips are complex or fragile, as are the means which oppose the translational movement of the tips which are not selected. For example, to oppose such translational movement a shoulder has been provided inwardly at the lower part of the body of the pen, so that the writing tips not selected contact this shoulder. In the case of ball points, the contact of the ball points against the shoulder can bring about the flow of ink which will lead to spots and to a deterioration of the balls.

The present invention proposes to avoid all these drawbacks.

According to a first characteristic, the writing members are partially housed in a drum mounted slidably and rotatably in the body of the writing instrument in such a way that each of the said members is in contact with the or the several adjacent writing members.

According to another characteristic, the selected writing member is brought into operating position by an eccentric pusher maintained in the axis of the outlet opening of the writing instrument and the shaft connected to the pushbutton is mounted freely in the bore of the said eccentric pusher. Also, the bore of the body of the writing instrument has a circular shoulder spaced from the outlet of the writing instrument and opening aligned with the path of the selected writing member, said shoulder forming a stop for complementary shoulders on the remaining nonselected writing members near their writing tips.

According to another preferred feature, the writing instrument is equipped with retracting means for the selected writing member comprising: a helical spring compressibly mounted between the sliding and rotating drum and a shoulder inwardly of the body of the said instrument, and a stop device on each writing member, the said stop device sliding in the drum and contacting an inner shoulder in the drum.

Preferably, the projecting and retracting device of the selected writing member is essentially composed of a ring rotatably mounted on the shaft and integral with the pushbutton, said ring comprising on its periphery pins having laterally opposite slopes which cooperate with ramps located on either side of the said rotatable ring when the latter is pushed forward.

Embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example, reference being made to the figures of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. I is a cross-sectional longitudinal view of a ballpoint pen having two cartridges according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross section taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a detailed view of the front end of the body of the pen according to FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show respectively the compression spring and the rotating sliding drum.

FIG. 7 shows the different elements constituting the projecting and retracting device for the writing members.

FIG. 8 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a ballpoint pen having four cartridges.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the separate elements of the retracting and push device for the cartridges shown in FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the drum and of the means for guiding the cartridges shown in FIG. 8.

FIG. I] is a view similar to FIG. 8, and shows one of the writing members in a projected operating position.

FIG. 12 is a cross section taken along line 12-12 of FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a schematic view of the retracting system shown in FIG. 8.

FIG. 14 is a partial view of a modification.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an example of an anchoring and guiding member which can be used in the modification of FIG. I4.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 1 to 7, there is shown a writing instrument comprising a ballpoint pen comprising two cartridges equipped with writing points, said cartridges preferably containing different colored inks. It is evident, as will be seen later, that such a writing instrument could comprise a greater number of cartridges or writing means other than ball points.

The illustrated pen consists essentially of a body in two parts 1 and 2 which screw on one another. The front part I has an outlet orifice Ia for the point of the selected cartridge, and this orifice has an axis which is off center with respect to the central axis of the body of the pen. In the body, and more precisely in the half part 2, a drum 3 is rotatably and slidably mounted. Cartridges Ca-Cb are housed partially by their rear ends in said drum and are positioned in tangential contact in order to reduce as much as possible the radial volume of the cluster of cartridges. Drum 3 can slide axially on cartridges Ca-Cb or make them turn about the central axis of the pen. As can be visualized, this arrangement permits a very substantial reduction in the diameter of the writing instrument by comparison with various instruments heretofore proposed.

The rotation of the drum is controlled by rod 4 fastened by any known means to an actuating member such as a pushbutton 5 projecting at the rear end of the writing instrument.

By manually turning the pushbutton 5, which can have markers on its periphery corresponding to the arrangement of the cartridges inside the pen, it is possible to bring the selected cartridge (cartridge Ca according to FIG. 1) into alignment with the axis of the orifice la.

To bring the writing point into operative position, that is to say projecting outside orifice la, there is provided an eccentric pusher 6, which has a suitable length and is mounted on shaft 4. This eccentric pusher 6 is maintained permanently in axial alignment with the eccentric orifice la by washer 7 fixedly mounted in the body of the writing instrument and having an opening corresponding to the profile of the said pusher 6. According to this arrangement, rod 4 can freely turn in the bore of the eccentric pusher 6.

By pushing on the pushbutton 5, the eccentric pusher is brought forward and engages the rear end of the selected cartridge to push it in such a way that its writing tip will project outside the eccentric orifice la.

It will be noted that in this movement rod 4, which has one or several driving fingers 4a, pushes drum 3 which slides on the nonselected cartridges (cartridge Cb in the example of FIG. I). To prevent longitudinal movement of these nonselected cartridges, a circular shoulder lb is provided in the bore of the part I of the body of the pen and at a suitable distance from the orifice, said shoulder having an opening disposed in the path of the selected cartridge in such a way as to allow the free passage thereof to its projected position, in which the writing tip projects outside the said orifice.

In a particularly advantageous manner this shoulder lb is given a reduced width allowing the passage of the writing tip proper P, but forming a stop against which bears a shoulder Cl on said point at a predetermined distance from its writing tip. This shoulder C] can be formed by the edge of the cartridge, in which the writing tip has been introduced. According to this embodiment, when the selected cartridge of the pen is in its projected position, it will be understood that the nonselected cartridges do not have their tips in contact with a shoulder, which could cause the flow of ink leading to leaks or spots, or could cause wear of the said balls or tracing tips. On the contrary, the nonselected cartridges are arranged in the body of the pen without their balls being in contact with said body.

The projecting cartridge is maintained in the projected position by any known projecting device, or by a projecting device which will be described later.

By way of example of a known projecting device, there can be used a system comprising two rings 8-9 with peripheral pins cooperating with ramps. Ring 8 has on its periphery pins or longitudinal flutes which are sloped at one end, and the ring 8 can be moved angularly under the pushing force of the peripheral pins on ring 9, mounted fixedly on the pushbutton 5, (FIG. 7). The peripheral pins of ring 8 can either contact the bottom of a tooth (in the projected position) in the front part of a series of flutes 10 made inwardly to the rear part of body 2, or can contact the bottom of grooves made between the flutes 10 (corresponding to the retracted position of the writing tip).

To return the selected cartridge from the projected posi tion, it suffices to push on the pushbutton 5, which through the intermediary of the pins to ring 9 causes the freeing of the flutes at the sloping extremity of ring 8 and a slight angular staggering said ring 8. The action of the helical spring 11 mounted compressibly between a shoulder to provided inside the body and drum 3, pushes back the drum while driving the selected cartridge which is equipped for this purpose with a stop and guiding member which will be described later. The shoulder lc can be formed advantageously at the edge of the threaded end of body 1.

The withdrawal of drum 3 causes the ascent of the projecting device itself, the pins of ring 8 engaging in the bottom of grooves provided between flutes 10.

It will be noted that by positioning the cluster of cartridges in such a way that none of these is aligned with eccentric pusher 6, the later, when the pushbutton 5 is pushed, will only drive drum 3 which will slip on these cartridges, all of which will be pushed against shoulder lb. Spring 11 will remain compressed for the return of the drum, and the pushbutton will remain depressed in the body until it is brought back rear wardly by slight pressure for a new selection.

To reload the writing instrument, it suffices to unscrew element 1 to remove the cartridges.

The fixing of the cartridges in drum 3 is effected, for example, by means of the device shown in FIG. 10.

According to FIG. 10, drum 3 has in its front part a first chamber 3a receiving the rear extremity of the cartridges which are positioned in a cluster, or in tangential contact. This chamber has a crossv section which corresponds to the number of cartridges with which the instrument is provided.

The drum has, in its rear part, a second chamber 3b communicating with chamber 3a and formed by a cylindrical bore. Inwardly, the wall of chamber 3b has longitudinal flutes or grooves 3c for guiding the cartridges or the guiding and stop means on the said cartridges. Drum 33 also has, on its rear extremity, slight nicks 3d peripherally distributed for the reception of fingers lla on rod '5 and corresponding in position with the said flutes 30. It will be noted (FIG. 9) that washer 7 or a circular shoulder provided inwardly in body 2 also has, on its front side nicks 7a which are peripherally distributed, the eccentric passage 7b being provided between two nicks 7a. When the fingers 4a rest simultaneously in nicks 3d of the drum and nicks 7a, there is an alignment of an eccentric pusher 6 with the selected cartridge.

It should be emphasized that this precise positioning is obtained automatically, since the fingers 4a always rest in nicks 3d of the drum in order to rotate the same, while under the urging of spring 11 they engage automatically with nicks 7a. There is thus provided a thickness of finger 4a which corresponds substantially to the combined thickness of a nick 3d and a nick 7a.

I The guiding and stopping means, one embodiment of which has been given simply by way of example, are constituted by sleeves 12 (FIG. 10), which have sector-shape cross sections, said sleeves having cylindrical shanks 12a for fitting in the rear extremities of the cartridges.

In order to consolidate the assembly, there has been provided a longitudinal slot or groove 12b in each cylindrical shank 12a, as shown in FIG. 15. When a shank 12a has been introduced in the rear extremity of a cartridge, the elasticity of the material causes the radial expansion of the said shank. This slot 12b allows also the passage of air, thereby facilitating the flow of the ink.

After introducing the cartridges equipped with their guiding and stopping means, the latter contact a supporting area, defining the bottom of chamber 3b, by shoulder lZc. This supporting area is adjacent the bore of chamber 30. It is seen, then, that when a selected cartridge has been advanced into the projecting operating position, the return of the drum controlled from pushbutton 5 automatically causes the retraction of the said cartridge.

There has been illustrated also, in particular in FIG. 9 and in FIG. 13, an advantageous example of an embodiment of the projecting and retracting device for the selected cartridge.

This device is essentially constituted by a ring 13 rotatably held on shaft 4 which is, in turn, mounted on pushbutton 5. The said ring has on its periphery a suitable number of pins 13a having laterally oppositely inclined sides l3b-l3c. These sloping sides cooperate with ramps MAIS located on both sides of the said rotating ring 13, while the same is pushed to the front for the operation of the projecting and retracting device. These sloping sides can be made at the end of rings or sleeves fixedly mounted at the rear part of the body of the pen. Preferably, however, these ramps are molded directly on the inner wall of the body of the pen. When the writing point is retracted, the pins are in the bottom of grooves iii-1b made longitudinally on the periphery of the rear ring, or between nicks molded directly in the body of the pen. Pressure exerted on pushbutton 5 drives ring l3 and frees pins 13a from grooves 15b. At the end of the movement, the pins contact ramps 14 provided on the rear periphery of the front washer which can, for example, be ring 7 fixedly mounted and serving as a guiding member for eccentric pusher 6, these ramps being however advantageously molded directly in the body of the pen. By sliding on ramps 14, the pins give a slight angular staggering to ring 13.

By releasing pushbutton 5, the action of spring 11 transmits, through the intermediary of drum 3, a return movement to ring 33 which is mounted on the pushbutton, and pins lSla contact sloping sides i5 which cause a second angular staggering of the said ring 33. However, the pins remain in contact with ramps 15, each bottom of what constitutes a nick, and the selected cartridge is thus held in the projected position.

To retract the selected cartridge, a new pressure is exerted on the pushbutton 5 to free pins 13a from the bottoms of ramps 15, and the said pins enter at the end of the movement into contact with ramps l4, by their opposite sloping side, on which they slide while slightly angularly shifting ring 13.

By releasing the pushbutton 5, the action of spring 11 gives a return movement ro ring 13, and pins 130 contact a second ramp 150, by their sloping sides 13b which shifts said ring angularly. Pins 13a are thus brought in front of the grooves or slots b, and ring 13 can freely slide towards the bottom of the body of the pen while allowing the extension of spring ll and retraction of the cartridge previously projected.

It should be noted that ramps 14 and 15-15:: have peaks which are shifted slightly with respect to one another.

In a modified embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, there is disclosed a simplified embodiment of the means for driving and rotating the cartridges. According to this embodiment drum 3 has been eliminated and spring 11, which has been made larger serves as a single holding means for the cartridges which are bunched therein. The said spring is compressively housed between shoulders 1c and shoulder 12c of the rear part of the driving and guiding means 12.

It will be understood that the rotary movement is obtained through fingers 4a mounted at the front end of rod 4, the said fingers introducing themselves between grooves 12d which are provided between the said members 12. In a modified embodiment, drum 3 can be mounted with rod 4 which is itself mounted on pushbutton 5. In this case the fingers 4a are connected to the rear periphery of the said drum.

The novelty and the advantages of the present invention appear clearly-from the description and the drawings. It should be emphasized further that these include a better employment of the radial space within the body of the writing instrument, allowing:

a decrease in the external diameter of the instrument;

the possibility of using refills or large length cartridges in particular in the case of ball points;

simplified and reduced cost of manufacture;

the use of a single spring for the operation of the mechanism; and

the elimination of the dangers of spotting or ink leakage by the suspended assembly of cartridges inside the body of the writing instrument.

It is understood that the invention is not meant to be limited to those embodiments which have been more particularly shown and described, but on the contrary, it encompasses all modifications thereof.

What I claim is:

1. In a writing instrument including a body portion having a pushbutton opening at its rearward end, and having an eccentrically disposed orifice at its forward end for slidably receiving a writing tip ofa selected one ofa plurality of writing members held within the instrument, the combination comprising,

a pushbutton retractably mounted in said opening, a drum rotatably and slideably mounted in said body portion for holding a plurality of writing members, means connecting said drum to said pushbutton for rotating said drum upon rotation of said pushbutton, said drum having a first chamber at its forward end for receiving the rear portions of said writing members and having a second chamber in communication with said first chamber, said second chamber having a cylindrical bore and having guiding means therein for guiding said writing members, and eccentric pusher means connected to said pushbutton for actuation thereby to push the writing tip of one of said writing members through said orifice when said one writing member is aligned with said orifice by rotation of said pushbutton and drum.

2. A writing instrument as set forth in claim 1, in which said guiding means comprises a sleeve having a sector-shaped cross section and a cylindrical shank.

3. In a writing instrument including a body portion having a pushbutton opening at its rearward end, and having an eccentrically disposed orifice at its forward end for slidably receiving a writing tip ofa selected one ofa plurality ofwriting members held within the instrument, the combination comprising,

a pushbutton retractably mounted in said opening, a drum rotatably and slideably mounted in said body portion for holding a plurality of writing members, rotating means connecting said drum to said pushbutton for rotating said drum upon rotation of said pushbutton, and eccentric pusher means connected to said pushbutton for actuation thereby to push the writing tip of one of said writing members through said orifice when said one writing member is aligned with said orifice by rotation of said drum, wherein said eccentric pusher means has an axial opening therethrough and said rotating means includes a rod fixed to said pushbutton and received through said opening in said eccentric pusher means, said rod having means connected to its forward end for engaging and rotating said drum upon rotation of said fixedly connected pushbutton and rod.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4115015 *Apr 11, 1977Sep 19, 1978Ancos Co., Ltd.Retractable pen with internal tip seating
US4498047 *Nov 29, 1982Feb 5, 1985Custom Automation Designs, Inc.Integrated circuit mounting apparatus
US6705868Mar 18, 1998Mar 16, 2004Purdue Research FoundationApparatus and methods for a shape memory spring actuator and display
US7018209Dec 30, 2003Mar 28, 2006Purdue Research FoundationApparatus and methods for a shape memory spring actuator and display
US8322938Dec 4, 2012Youngtack ShimMulticolor writing tools and methods
US8534944Nov 7, 2012Sep 17, 2013Youngtack ShimMulticolor writing tools and methods
US9254706Aug 7, 2013Feb 9, 2016Youngtack ShimMulticolor writing tools and methods
US20050069842 *Dec 30, 2003Mar 31, 2005Schleppenbach David A.Apparatus and methods for a shape memory spring actuator and display
US20110200380 *Aug 18, 2011Youngtack ShimMulticolor writing tools and methods
WO2009070166A1 *Nov 29, 2007Jun 4, 2009Mika Jeanne MMulti-purpose pen
Classifications
U.S. Classification401/33, 401/110
International ClassificationB43K24/00, B43K24/10
Cooperative ClassificationB43K24/10
European ClassificationB43K24/10