Title:
Die-cutting system for a jigsaw puzzle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A two-dimensional puzzle using a backboard is made by leaving a first side of the backboard uncovered, placing an image on a second side of the backboard. A die is pressed to the first side of the backboard such that the die presses through the backboard and cuts the image to form two or more pieces that, when properly assembled, form the image.



Inventors:
Enko, Frederick A. (Westfield, MA, US)
Application Number:
09/760381
Publication Date:
07/18/2002
Filing Date:
01/16/2001
Assignee:
ENKO FREDERICK A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/10; B26F1/40; (IPC1-7): A63F9/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fish & Richardson P.C.,JOHN F. HAYDEN (601 Thirteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20005, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method for making a two-dimensional puzzle using a backboard, the method comprising: leaving a first side of the backboard uncovered; placing an image on a second side of the backboard; and pressing a die to the first side of the backboard such that the die presses through the backboard and cuts the image to form two or more pieces that, when properly assembled, form the image.

2. The method of claim 1 in which the backboard comprises cardboard.

3. The method of claim 1 in which placing the image on the second side of the backboard comprises gluing a sheet of material including the image to the second side of the backboard.

4. The method of claim 1 in which a first puzzle piece comprises a projecting portion and a second puzzle piece adjacent to the first puzzle piece comprises a recessed portion.

5. The method of claim 4 in which the projecting portion of the first puzzle piece is cooperative with the recessed portion of the second puzzle piece such that the first and second puzzle pieces interfit and releasably interlock.

6. The method of claim 1 in which placing the image on the second side of the backboard comprises rendering the image directly onto the backboard.

7. A two-dimensional jigsaw puzzle formed by a process comprising: leaving a first side of the backboard uncovered; placing the image on a second side of the backboard; and pressing a die to the first side of the backboard such that the die presses through the backboard and cuts the image to form two or more pieces that, when properly assembled, form the image.

8. The puzzle of claim 7 in which the backboard comprises cardboard.

9. The puzzle of claim 7 in which placing the image on the second side of the backboard comprises gluing a sheet of material including the image to the second side of the backboard.

10. The puzzle of claim 7 in which a first puzzle piece comprises a projecting portion and a second puzzle piece adjacent to the first puzzle piece comprises a recessed portion.

11. The puzzle of claim 10 in which the projecting portion of the first puzzle piece is cooperative with the recessed portion of the second puzzle piece such that the first and second puzzle pieces interfit and releasably interlock.

12. The puzzle of claim 7 in which placing the image on the second side of the backboard comprises rendering the image directly onto the backboard.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This invention relates to a die-cutting system for a jigsaw puzzle.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Jigsaw puzzles are popular forms of entertainment. In general, a jigsaw puzzle is a set of irregularly shaped pieces that, when properly assembled, form a picture. A level of difficulty associated with a jigsaw puzzle may be varied with the number of pieces, the number of different cuts used to make the pieces, and the dimensionality of the puzzle.

SUMMARY

[0003] In one general aspect, a two-dimensional puzzle is made from a backboard by leaving a first side of the backboard uncovered and placing an image on a second side of the backboard. Then, a die is pressed to the first side of the backboard such that the die presses through the backboard and cuts the image to form two or more pieces that, when properly assembled, form the image.

[0004] Implementations may include one or more of the following features. For example, the backboard may include cardboard. The image may be placed on the second side of the backboard by gluing a sheet of material including the image to the second side of the backboard. The image may be placed on the second side of the backboard by rendering the image directly onto the backboard.

[0005] A first puzzle piece may include a projecting portion and a second puzzle piece adjacent to the first puzzle piece may include a recessed portion. The projecting portion of the first puzzle piece may be cooperative with the recessed portion of the second puzzle piece such that the first and second puzzle pieces interfit and releasably interlock.

[0006] The die-cutting system of making the two-dimensional puzzle produces assembled puzzles in which the boundaries of individual pieces are less noticeable. This results in improved image quality in the assembled puzzle, which is beneficial, for example, when the puzzle is to be displayed.

[0007] Other features and advantages will be apparent from the description, the drawings, and the claims.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a die-cutting system for manufacturing jigsaw puzzles.

[0009] FIGS. 2A-2D are cross-sectional views of the die-cutting system of FIG. 1.

[0010] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a jigsaw puzzle manufactured using the die-cutting system of FIG. 1.

[0011] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an improved die-cutting system for manufacturing jigsaw puzzles.

[0012] FIGS. 5A-5D are cross-sectional views of the die-cutting system of FIG. 4.

[0013] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a jigsaw puzzle manufactured using the die-cutting system of FIG. 4.

[0014] FIG. 7 is a top view of a die that may be used in the die-cutting systems of FIGS. 1 and 4.

[0015] Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0016] Referring to FIG. 1, a prior die-cutting system 100 for forming two-dimensional puzzles includes a die 105 and a base 107. Once formed, the two-dimensional puzzle includes two or more irregularly-shaped pieces that, when properly assembled, form a visual rendering such as a picture. The base 107 includes a backboard 110 and an image 115 formed on, or adhered to, one side of the backboard 110. The die 105 is positioned on the print side of the base 107 such that the die 105 is first pressed into the image 115, and then pressed into the backboard 110.

[0017] The die 105 is made of thin strips of material (such as, metal) shaped into intricate patterns and fastened to a base (not shown). The edges of the die material on the exposed side of the die 105 are sharpened to cut the print 115 and the backboard 110 when pressed into the image 115 and backboard 110, so as to form the puzzle.

[0018] The backboard 110 is made of any well-known material that permits die cutting. For example, the backboard 110 may be made of cardboard, sponge, or any soft board. The image 115 may be a visual rendering on a pliable material, such as, for example, paper or plastic, or may be rendered directly on the backboard 110. When formed on paper, plastic, or some other material, the image 115 may be applied to the backboard 110 using, for example, glue or any suitable adhesive.

[0019] FIGS. 2A-2D show an enlarged cross-section of the die-cutting system 100 is shown in various stages in which the die 105 is pressed into the base 107 to form adjacent pieces of a two-dimensional puzzle. Adjacent pieces 200, 205 are formed from a cut due to a segment 210 of the die 105 pressing into the base 107. However, as the die 105 is pressed into the base 107, the pressure of the die 105 crushes the image 115. Because of this, the puzzle pieces are accentuated relative to the image 115, as shown in FIG. 3. After the die 105 has cut the base 107, the two-dimensional puzzle is complete.

[0020] Referring to FIG. 4, an improved die-cutting system 400 for forming two-dimensional puzzles includes a die 405 and a base 407. The base 407 includes a backboard 410 and an image 415 adhered to, or printed on, one side of the backboard 410. The die 405 and base 407 have attributes comparable to those described with respect to die 105 and base 107 of FIGS. 1, 2A-2D, and 3.

[0021] Referring also to FIGS. 5A-5D, adjacent pieces 500, 505 are formed from a cut due to a segment 510 of the die 405 pressing into the base 407. The die 405 is positioned on the backboard side of the base 407 such that the die 405 is first pressed into the backboard 410, and then pressed into a backside of the image 415. In this way, the image 415 is not crushed by the pressure of the die 405 during die cutting. Thus, the puzzle pieces are less noticeable when assembled into the puzzle, as shown in FIG. 6.

[0022] Referring also to FIG. 7, the pattern of the die 405 may be a jigsaw pattern 700. In such a jigsaw pattern, the boundaries of the pieces each have one or more projecting portions and/or one or more recessed portions. The portions of the puzzle piece are cooperative with the complementarily shaped portions of adjacent puzzle pieces such that the pieces interfit and releasably interlock.

[0023] Other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.