|Publication number||US3722704 A|
|Publication date||Mar 27, 1973|
|Filing date||Jul 21, 1971|
|Priority date||Jul 23, 1970|
|Also published as||US3856147|
|Publication number||US 3722704 A, US 3722704A, US-A-3722704, US3722704 A, US3722704A|
|Original Assignee||Castelli Sas Anonima|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (56), Classifications (24)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1 1 Piretti 154] STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS FOR THE COMPOSITION OF DISASSEMBLABLE PIECES OF FURNITURE  Inventor: Giancarlo Piretti, Bologna-via Corticella, Italy  Assignee: Anonima Castelli S.A.S., Bologna,
Italy 22 Filed: July2l, 1971 21 Appl.No.: 164,592
 Field of Search ..211/148, 10, 177; 312/108, 312/107,111, 157 R, 351; 52/594, 593, 284, 285,286, 604, 586; 287/189.36 H, 20.92 D,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 245,162 8/1881 Hallenback ..287/20.92 D 1,108,105 8/1914 Rees 52/284 X 3,370,871 2/1968 Piarotto..... ..287/20.92 R
5/1972 Alster ..312/111 1 3,722,704 1 Mar. '27, 1973 3,667,186 6/1972 Kato ..52/594 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 672,556 10/1963 Canada ..52/594 349,059 11/1960 Switzerland ..52/284 Primary Examiner-Ramon S. Britts Att0rneyKarl F. Ross  ABSTRACT Structural components pieces of furniture comprising a plurality of panels, angle members and closing plates, wherein:
the panels have longitudinal edges including first coupling formation and a complementary coupling formation extending along said longitudinal edge, said first coupling formation of each panel being able to be interfitted with the second coupling formation of another panel designed to be slidably interlocked with the former panel whereby two panels can be interlocked at a right angle;
the angle members, designed to stiffen the connection between two panels and to prevent sliding movements parallelely to their longitudinal edges and provided with means for its fixing to said panels; and
the closing places are each constituted of a board or sheet provided with means adapted to be engaged into the holes provided in the angle members.
4 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHARZ? I975 SHEET 2 OF 4 GIANCARLO PIRETTI ATTORNEY PATENTEDHARZYISYS 3,722,704
SHEET 3 OF 4 7/6 /5 H f ,2, L W l 1 w GIANCARLO PIRETTI INVENTOR BY 961 1 ATTORNEY g qr, J
The present invention relates to structural components which can slidably interfitted and fixedly locked together so as to form pieces of furniture, as
wardrobes, bookshelves, writing-desks with drawers, or the like, which can be assembled without requiring the use of tools, as well as of screws or the like, pieces of furniture which after being assembled can be also readily disassembled.
The structural components of this invention comprise, as main components, a plurality of panels. Each panel along at least one of its longitudinal edges is provided with a profile comprising a first coupling formation and a complementary second coupling formation extending along lines parallel to said edge. Said panels have in general a standard width, while they can have any length, since they may be obtained from a strip having a length multiple of a modular value, from said strip being cut off panels of any desired length. All the panels are similar to each other and can be mutually interlocked by slidably interfitting the male element or rib of one panel and the female element or groove respectively of another panel and constituting said first and second coupling formations respectively of the two panels to be interlocked together. Owing to the particular operative position of said coupling formations which act in planes set at a right angle one to the other and at an angle of 45 to the longitudinal center plane of the panel, two interfitting panels can be interconnected at an angle of 90 with respect to one other; three panels can be interconnected together so as to form a T-junction and four panels can be cross connected to each other. The said panels, so interengaged toeach other, enable to form a plurality of modular box-like elements defining compartments, rectangular in cross section, and which can be superposed and/or juxtaposed along at least one of the three directions, set at right angle to each other, and parallel to the corners of a panel, said compartments having at least two closed sides, formed by said panels.
Two interfitting panels are fastened together by removable angle members provided with means to be engaged into the panel bodies near the junction corner.
Further the structural components comprise plates provided to close one of the open ends of one or more adjacent modular elements, said plates being designed to constitute the roofing, and/or the bottom and/or the rear wall of one or more compartments, and are provided with gripping means or the like to be engaged in seats arranged in said angle members.
By means of the aforesaid structural components pieces of furniture can be composed including inner compartments which have at least an open side. Drawers for said pieces of furniture can also be constructed according to the same principle, the side walls of which are formed by means of said panels, while their bottom can be obtained by means of the aforesaid plates, but they could also be constituted of a crystal sheet or the like which is supported by locking devices inserted in the same seats provided in the angle members, or by other known means.
By using the structural components of this invention pieces of furniture of various designs can be composed,
wherein the panels constitute the carrying structure, while the angle members serve to stiffen the junctions between two interfitting panels and concurrently to prevent any sliding movement of a panel relative to the other in the direction along which extend the first and second coupling formations. The covering plates act as closing members as well as bracing means for the carrying structure owing to their gripping means engaged into the seats provided in the angle members.
A plurality of modular box-like elements can be arranged in rows and/or in columns with their open ends positioned as desired. As said open ends are aligned in a same vertical plane, a wardrobe or a shelving can be erected. The presence of drawers is optional and depends on the intended purposes of the pieces of furniture.
Two pluralities of modular elements arranged in columns spaced apart one from the other and associated with an upper board or plate form a writingdesk, optionally provided with drawers. Several modular elements variously connected to each other according to one or more of directions of three Cartesian coordinate axes and having their open ends in coplanar alignment with two of said three direction and arranged in one or more different levels form a book-case or a shelving. Of course, the cited pieces of furniture are given merely by way of example of some of the most common practical embodiments of the invention.
This invention will be hereinafter described in a more detailed manner with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a panel provided with the first and second coupling formations along both the longitudinal edges;
FIG. 2 is the cross section taken along line A-A of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a cross section taken perpendicularly to the interfitting edges of a plurality of panels forming interconnected modular elements;
FIG. 4 is the detail, in an enlarged scale, of the angle disposition of the composition shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a partial vertical cross section of a modular element constituting a drawer, where the panels of this invention form the four side walls of said drawer, said section being taken along the plane passing through the axes of the pins projecting downwards from the bottom plate and designed to be engaged in holes arranged in the stiffening angle members; in broken lines are indicated the optional superposed drawers;
FIGS. 6 to 8 show diagrammatic perspective views of some different compositions.
With reference to the drawings it is to be pointed out that the main structural components for the compositions of pieces of furniture according to this invention are panels which are constituted of rectangular plates 1, the width of which is of a standard value, while their length depends on that of the modular prismatic elements to be composed. Said panels I are preferably made of plastics or other suitable lightly resilient material and have each of the two longitudinal edges shaped as to form a first coupling formation and a complementary second coupling formation, acting respectively in two directions set at a right angle to one other and set at an angle of 45 to the longitudinal center plane of the respective panel. Said coupling formations are preferably obtained in an inserted metallic profile 2 shaped by an extrusion process and fixed to the panel body by suitable means 7 as hereinafter described.
Each profile 2 has two mutually orthogonal flat surfacesforming an angle of 45 with the longitudinal center plane of the panel to which the profile 2 is fixed so that the cross section of an isosceles right-angle triangle where its hypotenuse is in contact with the edge of the panel 1 which the profile 2 is inserted, (FIGS. 2,4 and 5). Thus as two panels 1 are interengaged together the pair of the said flat surfaces are in contact to one other and are placed in bisecting the plane of the dihedral defined by the facing surfaces of two interfitted panels, i.e. the plane of the junction between two interfltted panels coincides with said bisecting plane and therefore provision is advantageously made that the coupling formations are able to act in a direction perpendicular to said plane. Therefore the first coupling formation or male element projects outwards from one of said flat surfaces of the profile 2 and the complementary second coupling formation or female element is arranged into the other flat surface of the same profile 2. Further said male and female elements having complementary configurations are so positioned, that the male element of the profile 2 made integral with one panel 1 mates with the'female element arranged in the profile 2 of the panel 1 designed to be interlocked with the former as they are slidably interfitted. Said coupling formations are so shaped as to prevent the disconnection of the interfitted panels 1 under the effect of stresses substantially perpendicular to the direction along which the panels 1 are caused to slide in order to attain their interfitted arrangement. For such a purpose the female element is constituted by a groove 4 provided with a longitudinal restricted entrance opening 3 and the male element is constituted by a complementary longitudinal projecting rib 6 provided with longitudinal side recesses 5 so as to be able to be slidely received into the groove 3,4 of the panel 1 associated therewith and with the restricted portion defined by the recesses 5 inserted in the restricted orifice 4, this disposition preventing that one panel 1 can move away from the interfitted panel 1. Thus by connecting to each other two, three or four panels 1 so as to meet in a common straight line a corner disposition (FIG. 4), a T-disposition and a cross disposition (FIG. 3) can be obtained. Said panels 1 could only slide in the direction of the longitudinal edges of the interengaged panels, i.e. parallelely to the coupling formations provided in the profiles 2 fixed thereto, in order to prevent said movement, removable members are provided designed to be inserted near the corner where the panels I interfit one to the other, said members being also provided to cooperate in stiffening the connection is constituted of an angle body 8 having two mutually orthogonal vertical surfaces from which outwardly project cylindrical pins 9 having axes placed in planes perpendicular to both the mutually orthogonal surfaces, set at an angle of 45 with respect to the respective surface and turned towards the corner where said orthogonal surfaces meet together.
At the zones of the panels I, where said angle members 8 have to be secured to the panels 1,]similarly inclined holes 10 are arranged in said panel 1 into between two interfitted panels 1. Each of said members which the pins 9 can be inserted with a light friction, as the angle member 8 is caused to approach the corner, formed by the two interfitted panels 1, moving in a direction perpendicular to said corner, while maintaining said angle member 8 equally spaced apart from the facing surfaces of the two interlocked panels 1 (FIGS. 3 and 4). The angle members 8 are also provided with at least a hole 11, having the axis parallel to both the mutually orthogonal surfaces of the member 8 and designed to receive and resiliently lock a pin 13 outwardly projecting from a plate 12 designed to close one of the open ends of one or more of modular elements constituted by two, three or four panels I. Said plate 12 near each of its angles has the said projecting pin 13. Of course, in the case wherein a single plate 12 is designed to close a plurality of interconnected modular elements, said plate 12 will have greater length. Further in this case the plate 12 can be placed only outside of said elements so that it must have longer pins 13, enabling -to reach the holes 11, while as a plate 12 is used to close a side of a single modular element, it could be also embedded between the wall of the panels 1 forming this modular element. The pins 13 are preferably shaped as a double cone having a central restricted portion and the holes 11 have a substantially complementary form so that the pins 13 can enter through the holes 11 with a lightly deformation, owing to the fact that the plates 12, as well as the pins 13 are made of plastics. Thus the pins 13 can be fixed into the holes 1 1 with a light friction (FIG. 5), afterwards the plates 12 are stably positioned.
As has hereinabove been stated, by the use of panels 1, modular elements of a rectangular cross section can be constructed which can in turn be variously combined so as to obtain a plurality of juxtaposed and/or superposed compartments so as to compose pieces of furniture, of different designs, as, for instance, a wardrobe or shelving (FIG. 6), a writingdesk (FIG. 7) and a book-case (FIG. 8). All the open ends of all or of a number of compartments may face one of the directions of three axes parallel to the corners of the modular elements. In the case where the modular elements are formed with four panels 1, they may also constitute independent units which can be connected to each other by screws inserted in holes 16 (FIGS. 1 and 2) which could also have different positions, if staggered or angularly turned dispositions of the modular elements are desired.
By the use of the structural components of this invention also drawers 14 can be composed; for such a purpose four interfitting panels 1a of a same height are used to form the side walls of the drawer 14, said walls being stiffened by the insertion of lower angle members 8, on which is placed a plate 12, the pins 13 of which will be engaged into the holes 11 of said members 8. Of course, said plate 12 could also be substituted with a sheet of crystal or any other suitable material, on which pins could be fixed similar to the pins 13, even if other locking means, if desired, could be used.
1. Anassembly of structural components for carrying out disassemblable pieces of furniture comprising a plurality of panels, angle members and closing plates, wherein:
a. the panels have at least one of their longitudinal edges so shaped as to form a first coupling formation and a complementary coupling formation extending along said longitudinal edge and which are operative respectively in planes set at a right angle to one other and at an angle of 45 with respect to the longitudinal center plane of the respective panel, each of said edge portions comprising two mutually orthogonal surfaces set at an angle of 45 to the panel walls respectively, one of said surfaces being provided with an outwardly projecting rib forming the first coupling formation and the other with a complementary groove forming the second coupling formation, said first coupling formation of each panel being able to be interfitted with the second coupling formation of another panel designed to be slidably interlocked with the former panel whereby two panels can be interlocked at a right angle each of said panels having holes formed in at least one side surface thereof adjacent said longitudinal edge;
. the angle members, designed to stiffen the connection between two panels and to prevent sliding movements parallelely to their longitudinal edges comprise two mutually orthogonal outer surfaces from which extend pins designed to be engaged in said holes in the panel surfaces, said pins having axes set at an angle of 45 with respect to said walls and turned towards the corner where said orthogonal surfaces meet, while the axes of all said pins are set in one or more planes perpendicular to said corner, in said angle member being further arranged at least one hole having the axis parallel to the right angled corner of said angle member; and
c. the closing plates are each constituted of a board or sheet provided near their corners with means adapted to be engaged into the holes provided in the angle members.
2. An assembling according to claim 1, wherein the longitudinal edges of the panels comprise two mutually orthogonal surfaces set an angle of 45 to the panel surfaces, and parallel to the longitudinal edges of said panel, from one of said orthogonal surfaces a longitudinal rib outwardly projects provided with side longitudinal recesses, while into the other of said mutually orthogonal surfaces is arranged a longitudinal groove of a shapeadapted to mate with the said rib, when a first coupling formation of one panel has been slidably, interfitted into the second coupling formation of another panel.
3. An assembly according to claim 1, wherein the structural components are made of plastics, while the edges of the panels are constituted of metal profiles shaped by a drawing process or the like and inserted by suitable means along the longitudinal edges of the panels.
4. An assembly according to claim 1, wherein the holes arranged in the angle members and designed to receive the pins projecting from the closing plates have a central restricted portion and the pins designed to be inserted in said holes have a double-coned complementary form with a central annular recess.
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|U.S. Classification||211/183, 52/592.2, 403/384, 403/231, 211/188, 312/108, 52/284|
|International Classification||A47B47/04, A47B47/00, F16B12/02, A47B87/00, A47B87/02|
|Cooperative Classification||A47B87/0284, A47B47/0041, A47B47/047, A47B47/0091, A47B87/005, F16B12/02|
|European Classification||A47B47/00H4, A47B87/02D, F16B12/02, A47B87/00D, A47B47/04E, A47B47/00W|