Title:
ADJUSTABLE WORK SURFACE WITH TILT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is directed at workstation having a workstation that is able to be tilted The tilting assembly for the workstation includes a actuator, a cable and a gas cylinder.



Inventors:
Jones, Alan J. (Waterloo, CA)
Application Number:
12/044331
Publication Date:
09/11/2008
Filing Date:
03/07/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B21/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090178594DISPLAY TABLE AND CONVEYING DEVICE FOR A CREMATION URNJuly, 2009Fremming
20050066861Lifting column for a medical examination tableMarch, 2005Debraal et al.
20030167978Pseudo-tree shaped tableSeptember, 2003Chuang
20070192956Multifunctional furnitureAugust, 2007Street
20100064947CHOCK STABILIZED FURNITUREMarch, 2010Bettinger
20090232632SUPPORT PLATFORMSeptember, 2009Baltz
20060180056Replaceable desk surface systemAugust, 2006Dorholt
20030136316Connecting system for elements forming modular furniture structures, in particular tables and/or desksJuly, 2003Nicoletti
20030020387Refrigerator shelves with rolled hook for cantilever fasteningJanuary, 2003Wing et al.
20090293775WIRE MESH PALLET AND METHOD OF PRODUCING A WIRE MESH PALLETDecember, 2009Knott
20080115697TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION SYSTEMMay, 2008Beam



Primary Examiner:
CHEN, JOSE V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Borden Ladner, Gervais Llp Anne Kinsman (WORLD EXCHANGE PLAZA, 100 QUEEN STREET SUITE 1100, OTTAWA, ON, K1P 1J9, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A workstation having an adjustable work surface comprising: a top portion; a rear support portion; and a tilting mechanism, including a gas cylinder connected at one end to the top portion and at a second end to the rear support portion; wherein when the tilting mechanism is actuated, the gas cylinder causing the top portion to tilt with respect to the rear support portion.

2. The workstation of claim 1 where the tilting mechanism further comprises: an actuator button, located within the top portion; and a cable connecting the actuator button and the gas cylinder.

3. The workstation of claim 1 further comprising side supports for the top portion.

4. The workstation of claim 3 wherein the top portion is mounted to the side supports.

5. The workstation of claim 3 wherein the top portion is bracketed to the side supports.

6. The workstation of claim 1 wherein the gas cylinder is selected from at least one of the following criteria: thickness of top portion, width of top portion, depth of top portion, material of top portion, maximum angle of tilt, weight of top portion, height of rear portion and rate of acceleration of top portion during tilt.

7. The workstation of claim 6 wherein the gas cylinder with an appropriate Newton rating to match the criteria is selected.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/893,468 filed Mar. 7, 2007, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to workstations. More specifically, the present invention relates to a workstation having a primary work surface with tilt.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Desks, or workstations, have been used for many years to provide a work surface to individuals. Desks provide a flat surface on top of which an individual can do various tasks such as drafting, writing or working on a computer. However, many of these desks provide a single position for a work surface and do not include an adjustable work surface. More recently, some desks have been produced which allow for the height of the work surface to be adjustable to accommodate individuals of varying height. This has assisted in providing a work surface in an ergonomically desired vertical position.

It is, therefore, desirable to provide a novel adjustable work surface with tilt.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to obviate or mitigate at least one disadvantage of previous desks, or office furniture with a work surface.

In one aspect of the invention, there is provided a workstation having an adjustable work surface comprising a top portion; a rear support portion; and a tilting mechanism, including a gas cylinder connected at one end to the top portion and at a second end to the rear support portion; wherein when the tilting mechanism is actuated, the gas cylinder causing the top portion to tilt with respect to the rear support portion.

Other aspects and features of the invention will become apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art upon review of the following description of specific embodiments of the invention in conjunction with the accompanying figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the attached Figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a workstation having an adjustable work surface with tilt;

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective of the workstation of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of the workstation of FIG. 1 with the work surface in a tilted position;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the workstation of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of a second embodiment of a workstation having an adjustable work surface with tilt;

FIG. 6 is second perspective view of the workstation of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a bottom perspective of the workstation of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a top perspective view of the workstation of FIG. 1 with the work surface in a tilted position;

FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram of a workstation in a closed position;

FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram of a workstation with the work surface in a tilted position;

FIGS. 11a to 11c are examples of a system for mounting the top portion to side supports; and

FIG. 12 is a bottom perspective view of another embodiment of a workstation with an adjustable work surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Generally, the present invention provides a workstation, or desk, having an adjustable work surface with tilt.

Turning to FIG. 1, a perspective view of a first embodiment of a workstation, in accordance with the invention, is shown. The workstation 10 includes a pair of side support portions, or legs, 12 (seen as 12a and 12b), a back, or rear, portion 14 and a top portion 16. The top portion 16 can also be seen as a work surface atop which a user can perform tasks such as writing, drawing, painting, sketching, drafting and the like. A button 18, is located within the top portion 16 and is used to activate a tilting mechanism 24 (as shown in FIG. 2).

Each of the support portions 12 are attached to opposite ends of the back portion 14 of the workstation in order to provide a structured support to the top portion 16. As can be seen in FIG. 1, the top portion 16 is mounted, via a bracket system 20, at a front location 22, to the leg 12a to provide further support. Although not shown, a similar bracketing system is located between the top portion 16 and the support portion 12b.

As shown in FIG. 2, the tilting mechanism 24 includes a cable 26 which is connected to the button 18 and a cylinder 28, preferably pneumatic and filled with gas, which is attached to a bottom side of the top portion 16 and the back portion 14. A piston 29 is also located within the cylinder 28. In the preferred embodiment, the gas cylinder 28 has two sections for storing gas with an orifice, or dividing wall, separating the two sections.

The bracket system 20 is also shown in more detail and includes a post 30 about which the work surface 16 pivots when the work surface is tilted.

Turning to FIGS. 3 and 4, a perspective view and a side view of the workstation with the work surface in a tilted position are provided. As shown in FIG. 3, the top portion 16 is tilted with respect to its normal, or closed, position (shown in FIGS. 1 and 2). This allows the user to perform tasks on the work surface in a more ergonomically desired position. The angle 32 at which the top portion 16 can be tilted is between 0 and 90 degrees, and more specifically, between 0 and 30 degrees, but preferably between 0 and 12.5 degrees with respect to the closed position.

In operation, assuming that the work surface is in the normal position (FIG. 1), when a user wishes to tilt the top portion 16, the user presses the button 18, which causes the cable 26 to actuate the gas cylinder 28 by opening the orifice, thereby allowing gas to flow between the two sections. When activated, or actuated, gas flows from one section to the other section thereby extending the piston which causes the piston 29 to extend and tilt the top portion 16. This is schematically shown with respect to FIGS. 9 and 10.

When the top portion 16 has reached a preferred angle, the user can release the button 18 in order to lock the work surface 16 in place. If the user wishes to decrease the angle 32 (i.e. move the top portion 16 in a downward direction), the button 18 is once again pressed, to open the orifice, and the user applies a downward pressure to the top portion 16 thereby pushing the gas back through the orifice to the other section. The speed at which the top portion 16 tilts and the resistant force to the downward pressure being applied by the individual is controlled by the cylinder, which is selected in accordance with various criteria.

As shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, schematic diagrams of an example for the selection, and placement, of the cylinder, with respect to the top portion 16 and the back portion 14 is shown. In the closed position of FIG. 9, the cylinder 28 is mounted to the back portion 14 at a predetermined distance B, preferably 12 inches, from the top surface 16.

By knowing various characteristics or measurements of the top portion 16 such as the length, or depth (D), width (W), weight, thickness (T), material which the top portion is manufactured from and the maximum angle or tilt, a calculation can be performed to determine the appropriate type of cylinder 28 required based on the pressure point (Newton rating) and the shaft throw distance of the cylinder 28. Other determining factors are also considered and listed below,

In this example, it is assumed that the top portion is 1⅛″ thick (T=1⅛″) by 44″ wide (W=44″) by 24″ deep (D=24″) and manufactured from medium density fibreboard (M.D.F.) board with laminate. Therefore, the weight of the top portion 16 can be calculated using these variables. The maximum tilt angle (such as 12.5 degrees) is also a predetermined value which can be between 0 and 90 degrees, but preferably at an angle whereby pens and pencils do not roll off the top surface when the work surface is in a maximum tilted position. Using these values, an appropriate cylinder can be selected based on the required forces. In this current example, a cylinder with a Newton rating of 150 is selected. Further factors in determining the appropriate cylinder include, but are not limited to, the rate of acceleration to move the top portion from the normal position to a tilted position and the force required to push the top portion back down. For instance if the user desires to have the top portion quickly tilted, the appropriate cylinder can have a higher Newton rating.

Therefore, after determining the appropriate cylinder to be used based on the requirements for the workstation, the cylinder 28, having a set length L, can then be mounted to the back and top portions. The distances A and B are selected based on further criteria such as a distance B whereby an individual's knees do not contact the cylinder 28 when using the workstation. In some cases, one of the distances A or B is pre-determined and therefore, the other distance is determined by the equation A2=B2+L2 where L is the length of the cylinder in the non-extended position (and a known value).

Other factors which can affect the determination of the appropriate cylinder include, but are not limited to, the size of the top portion 16, predetermined, or specific request for values of A and B, increased or decreased maximum tilt angle and rate of acceleration required to move the top portion from the normal position.

Turning to FIGS. 5 and 6, a second embodiment of a workstation having an adjustable work surface is shown. In this embodiment, the workstation 50 includes an adjustable top portion 52 and a non-adjustable top portion 54. Individual legs 56 are located on an underside of each of the top portions 52 and 54 to provide support to the top portions 52 and 54. Office panels, or walls 58, surround the top portions 52 and 54 with some of the walls 58 being attached to the top portions 52 and 54 to also provide side or rear support. In this embodiment, the top portions 52 and 54 are preferably mounted to the walls 58 such as with a system, as shown in FIGS. 11a to 11c.

As with the previous embodiment, a button 60, which is used to activate a tilting mechanism, is located within the surface of the adjustable top portion 52.

Turning to FIG. 7, a bottom perspective view of the workstation is shown. As can be seen, a tilting mechanism 62, comprising a cable 64 and a pneumatic cylinder 66, is shown. The cylinder 66 includes a piston 68 and has a first end connected to an underside of the adjustable top portion 52 and a second end to one of the legs 56a, or a rear support. In an alternative embodiment, the second end of the cylinder 66 can be connected to the wall 58 located behind the leg 56a. The locations where the cylinder 66 are connected can be calculated as disclosed above with the previous embodiment. Selection of the appropriate cylinder can also be performed as discussed above.

As further shown in FIG. 7, the top portion 52 is connected to a pair of support beams 70 which provide additional support to the adjustable top portion 52. As discussed above with respect to FIGS. 5 and 6, the support beams 70 are mounted to the side walls 58. Turning to FIG. 11a, the support beams 70 include a hook system 72 which mates with corresponding holes within the wall 58, or a support structure within the wall. This is also shown in FIGS. 11b and 11c.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the workstation with the adjustable top portion tilted. As disclosed above, if the uses wishes to move the work surface to a tilted position, the user presses the button 60 which causes the pneumatic cylinder 66 to be actuated via the cable 64. After the cylinder 66 is actuated, the adjustable top portion 52 is slowly urged in an upward direction by the piston 68. When the adjustable top portion 52 arrives at the desired position, the user can release the button thereby stopping the actuation of the cylinder 66. Similarly, if the user wishes to return the top surface 16 to the normal position, or decrease the amount of tilt, the user can press the button and slowly provide a force to the top portion 16 to move it in a downward direction.

Turning to FIG. 12, a bottom perspective view of another embodiment is shown. Operation of this embodiment is identical to the embodiment of FIGS. 5 to 8 discussed above with the difference in the support structure provided to the top portion.

In this embodiment, the support structure includes a support beam 80 which is mounted parallel to the side wall 58. A pivotable bracket is 82 is connected to the support beam 80 and the adjustable top portion 52 so that the top portion can pivot when the button is pressed. A similar support beam 84 is located on an opposite side of the adjustable top portion 52 having a pivotable bracket 86 mounted thereon and also to the adjustable top portion 52. Both of the support beams 80 and 84 are connected to a rear support beam 88 to provide further sturdiness to the support structure. As shown in this embodiment, the rear portion, to which the cylinder is connected, is also connected to a leg extending from the rear support beam 88.

In the above description, for purposes of explanation, numerous details have been set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that these specific details are not required in order to practice the invention.

The above-described embodiments of the invention are intended to be examples only. Alterations, modifications and variations may be effected to the particular embodiments by those of skill in the art without departing from the scope of the invention, which is defined solely by the claims appended hereto.