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1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to office and professional type table systems and more particularly to such table systems with modular tops and supports that are both functional and elegant.
2. Description of the Related Art
Many new offices and professional spaces and plant areas include large open spaces that are intended to serve different functions at different times during the day or on different days of the week. Typically, equipment and furniture are moved in and out or around the space depending upon the task to be accomplished at the moment. Hence, a single building space may be used for classroom training, conferencing, meetings, lounges and dining.
Numerous furniture systems already exist including those having different shaped table tops, and different types of supports, such as slab bases, arc bases, cylindrical bases, “X” bases, column bases and post bases. Nevertheless, there continues to be a need for furniture flexibility, versatility and efficiency to enhance the move to multi-functioning interior space layouts.
The continuing desire for versatility has been met by the present invention. What is described here is a table system comprising a plurality of tabletops of different sizes and shapes and a table support module with the module functioning either singly to support a tabletop or combined with a second module or with three additional modules to support a tabletop. The modules generally include a tubular base member dispose in a generally horizontal direction, a tubular support member extending upwardly in a curved manner connected to the base member and a connector pad attached to the table support member to which a tabletop is mounted.
There are a number of advantages, features and objects achieved with the present invention which are believed not to be available in earlier related devices. For example, the present invention provides a table system with modular table tops and supports that are simply constructed, robust and reliable. In addition, the inventive system is attractive, versatile and relatively inexpensive. The system also provides a professional appearance and yet is practical by being adjustable to different room sizes and shapes. The systems provide for rapid changes of furniture configuration but reduces the need for a large inventory of components. There is modularity of individual table components as well as complete table systems, whereby table systems may be put together in a multitude of different configurations.
A complete understanding of the present invention and other objects, advantages and features thereof will be gained from a consideration of the present specification which provides a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using the invention, set forth in such full, clear, concise and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same in compliance with Title 35 U.S.C. §112 (first paragraph). Furthermore, the following description of preferred embodiments of the invention read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing provided herein represent examples of the invention in compliance with Title 35 U.S.C. §112 (first paragraph), but the invention itself is defined in the claims section attached hereto.
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a table system illustrating a modular support version having two single leg structures.
FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a table system featuring a modular support version with three two-leg structures.
FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a table system illustrating a modular support version having a four leg structure.
FIG. 4 is an isometric view of a modular table support system illustrating a version with a single base structure and leg structure.
FIG. 5 is an exploded isometric view of the modular table support system shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is an isometric view of a modular table support system illustrating a version with a double base structure and leg structure.
FIG. 7 is an exploded isometric view of the modular table support system illustrated in FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is an isometric view of a modular table support system illustrating a version with four base structures and leg structures.
FIG. 9 is an exploded isometric view of the modular support system shown in FIG. 8.
FIG. 10 is a partially exploded bottom plan view of the single base structure and leg structure version of the modular table support system showing connector components for two foot structures.
FIG. 11 is an isometric view of a rectangular shaped tabletop.
FIG. 12 is an isometric view of a racetrack shaped tabletop.
FIG. 13 is an isometric view of a boat shaped tabletop.
FIG. 14 is an isometric view of a round shaped tabletop.
FIG. 15 is an isometric view of a pentagon shaped tabletop.
FIG. 16 is an isometric view of a trapezoid shaped tabletop.
FIG. 17 is an isometric view of a half-ellipse shaped tabletop.
FIG. 18 is a diagrammatic plan view of tables and chairs arranged for a seminar or training session.
FIG. 19 is another diagrammatic plan view of tables and chairs arranged for a seminar or training session.
FIG. 20 is a third diagrammatic plan view of tables and chairs arranged for a seminar or training session.
FIG. 21 is a diagrammatic plan view of tables and chairs arranged for a conference setting.
FIG. 22 is another diagrammatic plan view of tables and chairs arranged for a conference setting.
FIG. 23 is a third diagrammatic plan view of a table and chairs arranged for a conference setting.
FIG. 24 is a fourth diagrammatic plan view of a table and chairs arranged for a conference setting.
FIG. 25 is a fifth diagrammatic plan view of tables and chairs arranged for a conference setting.
FIG. 26 is a diagrammatic plan view of tables and chairs arranged for a lounge, off-lobby or cafeteria setting.
While the present invention is open to various modifications and alternative constructions, the preferred embodiments illustrating the best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention are shown in the various figures of the drawing and will be described herein in detail, pursuant to Title 35 U.S.C. §112 (first paragraph). It is understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the particular embodiments, forms or examples which are disclosed herein. To the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalent structures and methods, and alternative constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims section attached hereto, pursuant to Title 35 U.S.C. §112 (second paragraph).
FIGS. 1-3 illustrate three table systems with modular tabletops and modular table supports. In FIG. 1, a table system 10 includes a modular tabletop 12 and two modular table supports 14, 15. The tabletop 12 has a pentagon shape. Each modular table support illustrates a version having a single base structure and leg structure. In FIG. 2, a table system 16 is shown with a different modular tabletop 18 and a different modular table support 20. The tabletop 18 has a long rectangular shape and the modular table support is a version having a double base and leg structure. The table system 16 actually uses three double base and leg structures 22, 24, 26 to which the tabletop 18 is mounted.
In FIG. 3, there is illustrated a table system 30 having yet another modular tabletop 32 that is mounted to yet another modular table support 34. The modular tabletop 32 has a round shape and the modular table support is a version having four base structures and leg structures.
Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, the single base and leg version 14 of a modular table support is illustrated. The single version modular table support includes a base structure or member 40 having a tubular shape and extending in a generally horizontal direction, and connected to the base member is an upwardly extending leg structure or member 42 having a gently curved shape. At the upper end portion is a connector pad 44. The connector pad is a rectangularly shaped plate having eight openings 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53 for receiving fasteners, such as bolts, exemplified by a bolt 54 which attaches the modular tabletop to the connector pad. The leg structure is attached to the base structure by any convenient arrangement, such as by welding. The connector pad may be attached to the leg structure by welding also. Other attachment mechanisms may also be used.
The base member has opposite end portions 60, 62 to which are connected foot structures or members 64, 66. The left or first foot member 66 extends a longer distance than the right or second foot member 64 and includes a floor contacting structure in the form of an adjustable glide 70 to make contact with a floor surface. The shorter foot member 64 is connected to another floor contacting structure in the form of a caster 72. With the arrangement illustrated, the modular table system 10, FIG. 1, can be tilted off the glides so that the table system may be easily moved by rolling on the casters. The base member 40 may have a tubular shape with a generally round cross-section and the leg member 42 may have a tubular shape with an elliptical cross-section. Both members are formed of steel although other metals may be used if desired.
Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 7, a double or two base and leg version 24 of the modular table support is illustrated. The two base and leg version includes a first base member 80 connected to a second base member 82 using a first or linear bridge structure 84. The linear bridge structure substitutes for the short right foot 64 described in relation to FIGS. 4 and 5, and the base members 80, 82 extend in opposite directions creating a mirror image of one another. Two leg members 86, 88 extend upwardly from the base members, also providing a mirror image appearance. Connector pads 90, 92 are mounted to each of the leg members. At extended end portions of the base members 80, 82, foot structures 94, 96 are connected. These are identical to the long left foot member 66 described in relation to FIGS. 4 and 5. A glide 98, 100 is attached to each of the foot members.
The modular table support 20 illustrated in FIG. 2 illustrates three of the double base and leg versions being used. The center modular support 24 is aligned with a longitudinal axis 101 of the tabletop. The two end modular supports 22, 26 are aligned perpendicularly or laterally to the longitudinal axis of the tabletop.
Referring now to FIGS. 8 and 9, there is illustrated a third version 34 of the modular table support in the form of a blossom of four base structures and four leg members. The four base members 102, 104, 106, 108 extend in a generally horizontal direction at ninety degrees to each other and the four connected leg members 110, 112, 114, 116 curving gently upwardly and outwardly. Four connector pads 118, 120, 122, 124 are welded to the extended ends of each of the four leg members. Each of the base and leg members are identical to the modular base and leg members used in the double leg/base version (FIGS. 6 and 7) and in the single leg/base version (FIGS. 4 and 5). To attach the four base members together is a second or cross-shaped bridge structure 130.
At extended ends of each of the base members 102, 104, 106, 108 is a foot structure 132, 134, 136, 138 identical to the long foot structure 66 described for the single version modular support shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. Connected to each of the foot structures is a glide 140, 142, 144, 146. It is to be understood that casters may be used in place of the guides should it be desired.
Referring to FIG. 10, illustrating a partially exploded bottom plan view of the base member 40, each foot structure, the short foot member 64 and the long foot member 66, includes a connector component in the form of projecting sleeves 150, 152 with two fastener receiving openings 154, 156, 158, 160 in each sleeve. Each end portion 60, 62 includes connector components in that each is formed as a receiving sleeve with fastener receiving openings. When each foot is inserted into the end portions of the base member 40, they align with the connector components of the base member in the form of the two pairs of fastener receiving openings 164, 166 and 168, 170. The aligned fastener receiving openings receive suitable fasteners, such as the bolt 172.
There is illustrated in FIGS. 11-17 a number of modular tabletops for the table system. In FIG. 11 a tabletop 180 with a rectangular shape is illustrated. In FIG. 12, a racetrack shaped tabletop 182 is illustrated. In FIG. 13, a boat shaped tabletop 184 is shown and in FIG. 14, a round-shaped tabletop 186 is shown. In FIG. 15, the tabletop 188 has the shape of a pentagon and in FIG. 16 the tabletop 190 is shaped as a trapezoid. In FIG. 17, the tabletop 192 has a half-ellipse shape.
It is to be understood that the tabletops of FIGS. 11-17 are not to be considered limiting because other shapes and sizes may also be part of the plurality of modular tabletops that may be used in the table system disclosed here.
In FIGS. 18, 19 and 20 there is illustrated a sampling of the patterns that the table system and accompanying chairs may take when used for seminar or training classes. In FIG. 18, a group of small rectangular tables 194, 196, 198, 200, 202, 204 are used, each with a pair of chairs, such as the chairs 206, 208. In FIG. 19, a group of trapezoidal shaped tables 210, 212, 214, 216, 218, 220 are ganged or combined together in rows and in FIG. 20, there is illustrated three elongated rectangular shaped tables 222, 224, 226, configured in a “U” shape, each with three chairs.
In FIGS. 21-25, there is illustrated table systems either in groups or singly as they might be used for conferences. Such conferences are sometimes held by participants around the table or with a video arrangement as illustrated in FIG. 21. In FIG. 21, the table arrangement includes two elongated, rectangular tables systems 230, 232 and a pentagon shaped table 234. In FIG. 22, four tables are grouped or ganged to create an enlarged conference table. These include two pentagon shaped tables 236, 238 and two trapezoidal shaped tables 240, 242. In FIG. 23, a racetrack shaped conference table 244 is illustrated and in FIG. 24, a boat shaped table system 246 is illustrated. FIG. 25 displays four rectangular table systems 250, 252, 254, 256 centrally located and capped by two half-ellipse table systems 258, 260 at each end. An assortment of chairs are also shown. As can be seen, the various tabletops have peripheral shapes that complement each other.
In FIG. 26, five round table systems 262, 264, 266, 268, 270 are illustrated as they might be used in a cafeteria setting or for a meeting in a lounge or off-lobby area.
In operation, a manufacturer can produce the multitude of modular table tops and a relatively few components for the modular table supports because each modular table support is constructed of a base member or structure, a leg member or structure with a connector pad and foot members. The only other components needed are casters, glides and two bridge structures. From these few components, several variations of modular table supports may be formed, ranging from a single base/leg version to a version having two bases/legs and a version having four bases/legs. Hence, the table system is efficient.
Versatility at the user's level has been shown by the numerous arrangements of different table systems possible, depending upon whether the room or space to be used is for a training session, a conference or a meeting. As mentioned above with regard to the FIG. 1 embodiment, various table systems may be easily moved by rolling the table system on attached casters, when those table systems are so constructed.
Versatility may even be enhanced by a user should he/she maintain disassembled modular tabletops and modular table supports which may then be quickly assembled in response to a desired activity.
It is now apparent that the table systems described are simply constructed, yet robust and reliable. The different table systems are attractive and professional in appearance, yet versatile and very practical.
The above specification describes in detail several preferred embodiments of the present invention. Other examples, embodiments, modifications and variations will, under both the literal claim language and the doctrine of equivalents come within the scope of the invention defined by the appended claims. For example, changing the shapes and dimensions of the tabletops or of the modular table supports would still produce equivalent structures that will also come within the literal language of the claims. Still other alternatives will also be equivalent as will many new technologies. There is no desire or intention here to limit in any way the application of the doctrine of equivalents nor to limit or restrict the scope of the invention