Title:
Dumbbell set suitcase and portable fitness apparatus employing the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is provided a dumbbell set suitcase comprising a cover shell and a body shell connected with each other by a connecting means, the inner side of at least one of the body shell and the cover shell are provided a plurality of recess structures for receiving the various components of a dumbbell set, and the cover shell and the body shell are pivotable upon the connecting means so that the suitcase can be switched between a closed configuration and an opened configuration, characterized in that the dumbbell set suitcase further comprises a handle portion which extends outward from the body shell, and the handle portion constitutes an integral piece together with the body shell but has no direct connection with the cover shell. The suitcase thus is of high strength, long lifetime, high reliability and convenient carriage.



Inventors:
Ji Ping, Jua (Hefei, CN)
Application Number:
11/165443
Publication Date:
02/09/2006
Filing Date:
06/23/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOLF GREENFIELD & SACKS, P.C. (600 ATLANTIC AVENUE, BOSTON, MA, 02210-2206, US)
Claims:
1. A dumbbell set suitcase comprising a cover shell, and a body shell coupled to said cover shell by a connecting means, the inner side of at least one of said body shell and said cover shell being provided with a plurality of recess structures for receiving the various components of a dumbbell set, and said cover shell and said body shell being pivotable upon said connecting means so that said suitcase can be switched between a closed configuration and an opened configuration, wherein said dumbbell set suitcase further comprises a handle portion which extends outward from said body shell, and said handle portion integrates with said body shell, having no direct connection with said cover shell.

2. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 1, wherein said suitcase is substantially a rectangle, said connecting means is provided on the first side of the rectangle and said handle portion is provided on the second side opposite to said first side.

3. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 2, wherein said connecting means comprises at least one pivot device.

4. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 3, wherein said pivot device comprises a pivot provided on said body shell and a pivot supporting structure provided on said cover shell.

5. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 4, wherein said body shell, said handle portion and said pivot form a first integral piece which is made of first synthetic resin plastic material but said cover shell and said pivot supporting structure form a second integral piece which is made of second synthetic resin plastic material.

6. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 3, wherein said pivot device comprises a pivot provided on said cover shell and a pivot supporting structure provided on said body shell.

7. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 6, wherein said body shell, said handle portion and said pivot supporting structure form a first integral piece which is made of first synthetic resin plastic material but said cover shell and said pivot form a second integral piece which is made of second synthetic resin plastic material.

8. (canceled)

9. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 7, wherein said first integral piece is injection molded, blow molded or press molded by the material selected from the group consisting of PVC, PE, PP, PC, ABS and the combination thereof.

10. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 7, wherein said second integral piece is injection molded, blow molded or press molded by the material selected from the 20 group consisting of PVC, PE, PP, PC, ABS and the combination thereof.

11. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 3, further comprising at least a pair of the first locking devices, which are provided on the two sides substantially vertical to said first side and said second side, respectively.

12. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 11, wherein said first locking device includes clasps provided at the corresponding positions on said cover shell and said body shell.

13. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 4, further comprising at least a pair of second locking devices, which are provided on the two sides substantially vertical to said first side and said second side, respectively.

14. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 13, wherein said second locking device includes a pair of locking holes provided at corresponding positions on said cover shell and said body shell.

15. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 4, further comprising a plurality of antiskid bulges provided on bottom surface of said body shell and a plurality of antiskid pits provided on top surface of said cover shell, the positions and dimension of said bulges and pits being corresponding with each other so that a plurality of said suitcases will not slide on each other and thus fall down when stacked up.

16. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 4, further comprising a plurality of antiskid pits provided on bottom surface of said body shell and a plurality of antiskid bulges provided on top surface of said cover shell, the positions and dimension of said bulges and pits being corresponding with each other so that a plurality of said suitcases will not slide on each other and thus fall down when stacked up.

17. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 4, wherein at least a portion of said cover shell is transparent.

18. (canceled)

19. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 4, wherein the thickness of said body shell is greater than that of said cover shell.

20. The dumbbell set suitcase of claim 4, wherein the ratio of the thickness of said body shell to that of said cover shell is substantially (1.1-2.5):1.

21. (canceled)

22. (canceled)

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a packing case for a physical training or fitness apparatus set, more particularly, to a dumbbell set suitcase and a portable fitness apparatus employing the same.

BACKGROUND OF THE RELATED ART

In early days, the components of a dumbbell set are generally wrapped with thin film and paper first, and then directly rested within a packing paper-box. A packing paper-box is susceptible to wetting, deformation and destruction, which cause the components of the dumbbell set to press and rub against each other, therefore the surfaces of the components can be readily scratched or damaged. Moreover, a packing paper-box typically can be used only once, it is very inconvenient to carry a dumbbell set for daily use.

The inventor of the present invention proposes two types of dumbbell set suitcases in Chinese Utility Model Patents No.99205057.X and No. 99205060.X. Each of the two types of dumbbell set suitcases comprises a cover shell and a body shell connected with one another by means of ligament-like coupler, and the inner sides of the cover shell and the body shell are provided with a plurality of recess structures for receiving the various components of the dumbbell set. A handling hole is provided at the corresponding positions of the cover shell and the body shell, respectively. In addition, a pair of clasps is used as the locking device. The above two types of dumbbell set suitcases basically address the problem that the components of the dumbbell set may press and rub against each other during transportation and movement, as well as the problem of inconvenient carriage. However, the handling holes in the cover shell and the body shell both consume significant storage space of the suitcase. The handle consisting of upper and lower parts (two parts) results in more complex construction as well as more stringent strength requirement for the two parts. Both the reliability and lifetime of the cover shell and the body shell connected by the ligament-like coupler are insufficient due to the heavy weight of the dumbbell set. Additionally, since only one pair of clasps is used as the locking device, the suitcase readily opens accidently when subjected to jolt or impact during transportation. At this time, the drop of any components thus resulted would be great jeopardous to a user.

Therefore, in view of the above, there exists an urgent need in the industry for a novel dumbbell set suitcase with improved construction, strength, reliability and lifetime and a portable fitness apparatus employing the same.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One object of the present invention is to provide a novel dumbbell set suitcase, whose structure and strength are substantially enhanced so that the reliability, safety and lifetime thereof are improved.

To achieve the above object, there is provided a dumbbell set suitcase comprising a cover shell, and a body shell coupled to said cover shell by a connecting means, the inner side of at least one of the body shell and the cover shell is provided with a plurality of recess structures for receiving the various components of a dumbbell set, and the cover shell and the body shell are pivotably connected upon the connecting means so that the dumbbell set suitcase can be switched between a closed configuration and an opened configuration, characterized in that the dumbbell set suitcase further comprises a handle portion which extends outward from the body shell, and the handle portion integrates with the body shell, having no direct connection with the cover shell. The suitcase is substantially a rectangle or a square. The connecting means is provided on the first side of the rectangle or the square, and the handle portion is provided on the second side opposite to the first side. The perimeter of the rectangle or the square can be rounded off. The present invention contemplates adopting other shapes, such as a circle, an ellipse, a trapezium and other polygon and the like.

The handle portion may have a shape, such as a bow or other handle shape known to the persons skilled in the art, extending outward from the side of the body shell opposite to the side of the connecting means. Preferably, the thickness of the handle portion at the transitional/conjoint location between the handle portion and the body shell substantively equals to the sum of the thickness of the cover shell and that of the body shell, so that when the suitcase 100 is closed, the handle portion 103, the body shell 101 and the cover shell 102 may collectively render a smooth integral profile.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, the connecting means has at least one pivot device. The pivot device may be a pivot mechanism incorporating various manners and structures which are familiar to the skillful person in the art.

In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, the pivot device comprises a pivot provided on the body shell and a pivot supporting structure provided on the cover shell. The body shell, the handle portion and the pivot form a first integral piece which is made of first synthetic resin plastic material, and the cover shell and the pivot supporting structure form a second integral piece which is made of second synthetic resin plastic material.

In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, the pivot device comprises a pivot provided on the cover shell and a pivot supporting structure provided on the body shell. The body shell, the handle portion and the pivot supporting structure form a first integral piece which is made of first synthetic resin plastic material, and the cover shell and the pivot form a second integral piece which is made of second synthetic resin plastic material.

The suitcase of the present invention is contemplated to have two or more pivot devices where the body shell or the cover shell may simultaneously integrate with the pivot and the pivot supporting structure of different pivot devices. For example, in the case of using two substantially coaxial pivot devices, the pivot and the pivot supporting device of the first pivot device are provided on the cover shell and the body shell, respectively; the pivot and the pivot supporting device of the second pivot device are provided on the body shell and the cover shell, respectively.

The above described first and second synthetic resin plastic materials may be identical or different, and each of them may be selected from the group consisting of PVC, PE, PP, PC, ABS and the combination thereof. Moreover, the first integral piece can be injection molded, blow molded or press molded with the material selected from the group consisting of PVC, PE, PP, PC, ABS and the combination thereof. The second integral piece can be injection molded, blow molded or press molded with the material selected from the group consisting of PVC, PE, PP, PC, ABS and the combination thereof.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the suitcase further comprises a pair of first locking devices attached onto the two sides substantially vertical to the first and second sides respectively. The first locking devices can be clasps provided at the corresponding positions on the body shell and the cover shell. The claps may be of various manners and structures known to the persons skilled in the art.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the suitcase further comprises a pair of second locking devices attached onto the two sides substantially vertical to the first and second sides respectively. The second locking devices can be a pair of locking holes provided at the corresponding positions on the body shell and the cover shell, respectively.

The locking holes may be of various manners and structures known to the persons skilled in the art. With the locking holes, the body shell and the cover shell can be secured together by metal thread, disposable plastic buckle, screw bolt/nut and other various flexible or rigid locking means. The second locking devices can serve to assure the safety when the suitcase is subjected to jolt or impact during transportation, and further as a tamperproof, for instance, preventing theft during product quality control, warehouse entry, storage and sale, and evidencing an original sealed product package etc.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the suitcase further comprises a plurality of antiskid bulges provided on bottom surface of the body shell and a plurality of antiskid pits provided on top surface of the cover shell, and the positions and dimensions of the bulges and pits are corresponding with each other so that a plurality of the suitcases will not slide on each other and thus fall down when stacked up.

The suitcase may also comprise a plurality of antiskid pits provided on bottom surface of the body shell and a plurality of antiskid bulges provided on top surface of the cover shell, and the positions and dimension of said bulges and pits are corresponding with each other so that a plurality of the suitcases will not slide on each other and thus fall down when stacked up.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, at least a portion of the cover shell may be transparent. At least a portion of said body shell may be transparent.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the thickness of the body shell is greater than that of the cover shell. The ratio of the thickness of the body shell to that of the cover shell can be (1.1-2.5):1. Preferably, the ratio of the thickness of said body shell to that of said cover shell is about 1.5:1.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a portable fitness apparatus employing the above described dumbbell suitcase, the apparatus comprising a suitcase according to any one of the above embodiments, and the various components of the dumbbell set received in the plurality of recess structures.

These and other aspects of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1a is a side view of the dumbbell set suitcase in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1b is a front view of the dumbbell set suitcase in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagram of the connecting means of one suitcase in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1a is a side view of the dumbbell set suitcase in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1b is a front view of the dumbbell set suitcase in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIGS. 1a and 1b, a suitcase 100, which comprises a body shell 101 and a cover shell 102, is an exemplary suitcase in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The body shell 101 of the suitcase 100 is substantially a rectangle, a connecting means 106 is provided on the first side (bottom) side of the body shell 101, and a handle portion 103 extends outward from the second side of the body shell 101 which is opposite to the connecting means 106 and integrates with the body shell 101. The thickness at the transitional/conjoint location between the handle portion 103 and the body shell 101 substantially equals to the sum of the thickness of the cover shell and that of the body shell, so that when the suitcase 100 is closed, the handle portion 103, the body shell 101 and the cover shell 102 may collectively render a smooth integral profile. As shown in FIGS. 1a and 1b, two pads 113 are provided on the cover shell 102, two pads 114 are provided on the body shell 101, and these pads 113 and 114 are staggered with each other.

On the inner side of at least one of the cover shell 102 and the body shell 101, there are provided a plurality of recess structures for receiving various components of the dumbbell set. Numerous kinds of recess structures have been disclosed in detail in Chinese Utility Model Patent No.99205057.X, No.99206413.9 and No.99205060.X etc. by the inventor of the present invention. It should be readily appreciated to those skilled in the related art that these disclosed kinds of recess structures and other kinds of recess structures known to the persons with ordinary skills in the art should be within the protective scope of the present invention as defined in the attached claims.

The thickness of the body shell 101 is greater than that of the cover shell 102. The ratio of the thickness of the body shell 101 to that of the cover shell 102 may be (1.1-2.5): 1. In one embodiment, the ratio of the thickness of the body shell 101 to that of the cover shell 102 is about 1.5:1. With this configuration, the gravity center of the whole suitcase 100 (when lifted up by hand) will not be on the cover shell 102 or the connecting means 106, most of the weight of the whole suitcase will not exert on the cover shell 102 or the connecting means 106, thereby the reliability of the suitcase 100 is significantly improved.

FIG. 2 is a diagram of the connecting means 106 of a suitcase 100 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the connecting means 106 is a three-point supporting pivot device, which comprises a pivot 110 provided on the cover shell 102 and a pivot supporting structure 109 provided on the body shell 101, respectively. The body shell 101, the handle portion 103 and the pivot supporting structure 109 form the first integral piece which is made of the first synthetic resin plastic material. On the other hand, the cover shell 102 and the pivot 110 form the second integral piece which is made of the second synthetic resin plastic material. A supporting semicircle or major semicircle 111 is located in the midway of the pivot supporting structure 109. Supporting bearings 115 are provided at the both ends of the pivot supporting structure 109. The supporting semicircle or major semicircle 111 and supporting bearings 115 make up one three-point supporting means. The first and second synthetic resin plastic materials may be identical or different, and each of them may be selected from the group consisting of PVC, PE, PP, PC, ABS and the combination thereof. Moreover, the first integral piece can be injection molded, blow molded or press molded with the material selected from the group consisting of PVC, PE, PP, PC, ABS and the combination thereof. Again, the second integral piece can be injection molded, blow molded or press molded with the material selected from the group consisting of PVC, PE, PP, PC, ABS and the combination thereof.

As shown in FIG. 1a and 1b, said suitcase 100 comprises a pair of first locking devices 104 which are attached onto the two sides substantially vertical to the first and second sides respectively. In this embodiment, the first locking devices 104 include clasps provided at the corresponding positions on the body shell 101 and the cover shell 102. The material for the clasps can be the same as that of the body shell 101 and/or the cover shell 102, and the clasps integrate with the body shell 101 and/or the cover shell 102 of the suitcase 100 so that the number of the components making up the suitcase 100 will be further reduced. The number of components of the suitcase 100 in accordance with the invention can be two, i.e. one is the first integral piece comprising the body shell 101, the handle portion 103 and the pivot supporting structure 109 made of synthetic resin plastic material and the other is the second integral piece comprising the case 102, the first locking device (clasp) and the pivot 110 made of synthetic resin plastic material. A plurality of connecting means, clasp structures have been described in detail in Chinese Utility Model Patent No.99205057.X, No.99206413.9 and No.99205060.X etc. by the inventor of the present invention. It should be understood by the persons skilled in the art that the disclosed connecting means, clasp structures and other structures known to those skilled in the art should be encompassed in the protective scope of the invention as defined by the attached claims.

The suitcase 100 may further comprise a pair of second locking devices 105 which are provided on the two sides substantially vertical to the first and the second sides, respectively. The second locking means 105 includes a pair of locking holes provided at the corresponding positions on said body shell 101 and said cover shell 102, respectively.

As shown in the FIG. 1a and 1b, said suitcase 100 may further comprises four antiskid pits 108 provided on bottom surface of the body shell and four antiskid bulges 107 provided on top surface of the cover shell, and the positions and dimension of the pits 108 and bulges 107 are corresponding with each other so that the suitcases 100 will not slide on each other and thus fall down when stacked up.

All the accompanying drawings are illustrative. In order to more clearly show the structure and nature of the present invention, the elements illustrated in the figures are not drawn to the actual scale in various directions so that the structure of the present invention may be more understandable. The illustrated embodiments above should not be construed as limitations to their scope. The persons skilled in the art may make many changes, modifications and substitutions to the embodiments without departing from spirit and scope of the present invention, and these changes, modification and substitution are all in the claimed protective scope.