Title:
HEATED DRAWING BOARD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drawing board for use with a drawing media and a drawing sheet. The drawing media becomes softer upon being heated above an ambient temperature. The drawing board includes a board substrate having a drawing surface and an opposing backing surface. The drawing surface defines a first region and a second region. Each of the first and second regions is sized to substantially overlap with an entirety of the drawing sheet. The drawing board includes a heating element disposed adjacent the first region with the backing surface facing the heating element. The heating element and the first region is sized and configured to heat the first region above the ambient temperature. The drawing board includes a support housing supporting the drawing surface and the heating element.



Inventors:
Roi, Ester (San Juan Capistrano, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/062336
Publication Date:
10/08/2009
Filing Date:
04/03/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H13/15
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BALDORI, JOSEPH B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STETINA BRUNDA GARRED & BRUCKER (75 ENTERPRISE, SUITE 250, ALISO VIEJO, CA, 92656, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A drawing board for use with a drawing media and a drawing sheet, the drawing media becoming softer upon being heated above an ambient temperature, the drawing board comprising: a board substrate having a drawing surface and an opposing backing surface, the drawing surface defining a first region and a second region, each of the first and second regions being sized to substantially overlap with an entirety of the drawing sheet; a heating element disposed adjacent the first region with the backing surface facing the heating element, the heating element and the first region being sized and configured to heat the first region above the ambient temperature; and a support housing supporting the drawing surface and the heating element.

2. The drawing board of claim 1 wherein the drawing substrate is formed of a continuous piece of material.

3. The drawing board of claim 1 wherein the drawing substrate is formed of a glass material.

4. The drawing board of claim 2 wherein the glass material is a tempered glass.

5. The drawing board of claim 1 wherein the drawing substrate is translucent.

6. The drawing board of claim 1 wherein the drawing substrate includes indicia generally defining a periphery of the first region.

7. The drawing board of claim 6 wherein the drawing surface includes the indicia.

8. The drawing board of claim 1 wherein the second region is larger than the first region.

9. The drawing board of claim 1 wherein the heating element is an electrical device.

10. The drawing board of claim 9 wherein the heating element is a flexible electrical circuit.

11. The drawing board of claim 1 wherein the heating element includes a temperature control.

12. The drawing board of claim 1 wherein the support housing is formed of a plastic material.

13. The drawing board of claim 1 wherein the drawing media has a media melting point, the heating element and the first region being sized and configured to heat the first region to at least the media melting point.

14. The drawing board of claim 1 wherein the heating element and the first region are sized and configured to heat the first region to at least 120 degrees F.

15. A drawing board comprising: a board substrate having a drawing surface and an opposing backing surface, the drawing surface defining a first region and a second region, the first region defining a first footprint, the second region including a portion sized to at least encompass an entirety of the first footprint; a heating element disposed adjacent the first region with the backing surface facing the heating element, the heating element and the first region being sized and configured to heat the first region; and a support housing supporting the drawing surface and the heating element.

16. The drawing board of claim 15 wherein the heating element and the first region are sized and configured to heat the first region to at least 120 degrees F.

17. The drawing board of claim 15 wherein the first region defines a surface area that is at least a quarter of the surface area of the second region.

18. The drawing board of claim 15 wherein the first region is rectangular shaped.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT RE: FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates generally to drawing boards, and more particularly, the present invention relates to a heated drawing board.

2. Related Art

Various drawing media has been utilized with a variety of artistic techniques. It is recognized that some drawing media may be heated to allow different artistic techniques than when the media is at room temperature. Such drawing media may be oil or wax based for example. Where a drawing media softens or even melts upon being heated, an artist may employ painting techniques for example. The same media at room temperatures may be used to perform drawing techniques that require fine details as opposed to broad brushstroke-like effects. There is a need in the art to facilitate an artist to employ a variety of artistic techniques in a simple and efficient manner.

BRIEF SUMMARY

According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a drawing board for use with a drawing media and a drawing sheet. The drawing media becomes softer upon being heated above an ambient temperature. The drawing board includes a board substrate having a drawing surface and an opposing backing surface. The drawing surface defines a first region and a second region. Each of the first and second regions is sized to substantially overlap with an entirety of the drawing sheet. The drawing board includes a heating element disposed adjacent the first region with the backing surface facing the heating element. The heating element and the first region is sized and configured to heat the first region above the ambient temperature. The drawing board includes a support housing supporting the drawing surface and the heating element.

It is contemplated that the first region is heated by the heating element. This allows for the first and second regions to be maintained at differing temperatures, above and below the media melting point of the particular media being utilized. Advantageously, this allows for the opportunity to employ a variety of art techniques with the same media. For example, this would allow for both drawing and painting techniques upon a single surface and with a single media.

According to various embodiments, the drawing substrate may be formed of a continuous piece of material. The drawing substrate may be formed of a glass material, such as a tempered glass. The drawing substrate may be translucent. The drawing substrate may include indicia generally defining a periphery of the first region. The drawing surface may include the indicia. The second region may be larger than the first region. The heating element may be an electrical device, such as a flexible electrical circuit. The heating element may include a temperature control. The support housing may be formed of a plastic material. The drawing media may have a media melting point, and the heating element and the first region may be sized and configured to heat the first region to at least the media melting point. The heating element and the first region are preferably sized and configured to heat the first region to at least 120 degrees F.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a drawing board. The drawing board includes a board substrate, a heating element and a support housing. The board substrate has a drawing surface and an opposing backing surface. The drawing surface defines a first region and a second region. The first region defines a first footprint, and the second region including a portion sized to at least encompass the first footprint. The heating element is disposed adjacent the first region with the backing surface facing the heating element. The heating element and the first region are sized and configured to heat the first region. The support housing supports the drawing surface and the heating element.

The present invention will be best understood by reference to the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features and advantages of the various embodiments disclosed herein will be better understood with respect to the following description and drawings, in which like numbers refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a drawing board according to an aspect of the present invention with portions shown in cut-away view;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the drawing board of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the drawing board as shown with a user's hand holding a drawing media and a drawing sheet positioned upon a second region;

FIG. 4 is the perspective view of the drawing board of FIG. 3 as shown with the user's hand and the drawing sheet positioned upon a first region; and

FIG. 5 is the perspective view of a drawing board according to another embodiment.

Common reference numerals are used throughout the drawings and the detailed description to indicate the same elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The detailed description set forth below in connection with the appended drawings is intended as a description of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention, and is not intended to represent the only form in which the present invention may be constructed or utilized. The description sets forth the functions and the sequence of steps for developing and operating the invention in connection with the illustrated embodiment. It is to be understood, however, that the same or equivalent functions and sequences may be accomplished by different embodiments that are also intended to be encompassed within the spirit and scope of the invention. It is further understood that the use of relational terms such as first and second, and the like are used solely to distinguish one from another entity without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order between such entities.

Referring now to FIG. 1 there is a perspective view of a drawing board 10 according to an aspect of the present invention with portions shown in cut-away view. FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the drawing board 10 of FIG. 1. The drawing board 10 includes a drawing substrate 12, a support housing 14 and a heating element 16. Referring additionally to FIG. 3, there is depicted the drawing board 10 as illustrated with a user 38 (as represented by a right hand of the user), a drawing sheet 40 and drawing media 42. The drawing board 10 is for use with the drawing media 42 and the drawing sheet 40. The drawing media 42 characterized as becoming softer upon being heated above an ambient temperature.

The board substrate 12 has a drawing surface 20 and an opposing backing surface 22. The drawing surface 20 defines a first region 26 and a second region 28. Each of the first and second regions 26, 28 are sized to substantially overlap with an entirety of the drawing sheet 20. The heating element 16 is disposed adjacent the first region 26 with the backing surface 22 facing the heating element 16. The heating element 16 and the first region 26 are sized and configured to heat the first region 26 above the ambient temperature. The support housing 14 is configured to support the drawing surface 20 and the heating element 16.

It is contemplated that the first region 26 is heated by the heating element 16. This allows for the first and second regions 26, 28 to be maintained at differing temperatures, at and above an ambient temperature of the particular drawing media 42 being utilized. The heating element 16 and the first region 26 are preferably sized and configured to heat the first region 26 to at least 120 degrees F. Advantageously, this allows for the opportunity to employ a variety of art techniques with the same media. For example, this would allow for both drawing and painting techniques upon a single surface and with a single media.

As is illustrated in FIG. 3, the user 38 may direct the drawing media 42 upon the drawing sheet 40 with the drawing sheet 40 positioned over the second region 28. FIG. 4 illustrates the drawing sheet 40 being translated across the drawing surface 20 from the second region 28 to the first region 26. With the drawing sheet 40 at the first region 26, the drawing sheet 40 and in turn the drawing media 42 may be heated. Because the heating element 16 and the first region 26 are sized and configured to heat the first region 26 above the ambient temperature, the drawing media 42 becomes softer upon the user 38 pressing the drawing media 42 against the drawing sheet 40 which in turn is pressed against the first region 26. This causes the drawing media 42 to soften or even melt which is contemplated to produce a different artistic effect and allow for a variety of artistic techniques to be employed by the user 38. As can be appreciated, the drawing board 10 allows the user 38 to move the drawing sheet 40 back and forth between the first and second regions 26, 28. The drawing media 42 may be applied in a softened or melted form over the first region 26 and then the drawing sheet 40 may be moved to the second region 28 to allow the drawing media 42 to cool and harden. In addition, the ability to move back and forth allows the user 38 to rework and re-blend the drawing media that has been already applied to the drawing sheet 40. The first region 26 may be used for mixing pigments, blending and quickly covering large areas of the drawing sheet 40. The second region 28 may be used for initial drawing, for layering colors, for fine details and finishing touches for example.

In another embodiment, the first region 26 defining a first footprint, and the second region 28 includes a portion sized to at least encompass an entirety of the first footprint. This may be irrespective of the size of the particular drawing sheet utilized. As used herein the term footprint refers to the two dimensional contiguous shape as defined by a periphery and the entire area within the periphery. A portion sized to at least encompass an entirety of the first footprint would include an embodiment where the first footprint exactly encompasses. Thus, the first region 26 may have a same shape and size as the second region 28 and this would result in the first region 26 having a portion that at least encompasses an entirety of the first footprint.

The drawing media 42 may be formed of a variety of materials provided such materials have a characteristic of becoming softer upon being heated above an ambient temperature. In addition the drawing media 42 may be of a nature such that it has a media melting point. Suitable materials may include oil, wax or polymer based materials. Such materials may include binders of various types. The drawing media 42 may be natural or synthetic in nature. The drawing media 42 may take various forms such as a stick or a pencil for example. The drawing media 42 may have various pigments, thicknesses and textures. In addition, it is contemplated that the drawing sheet 40 may be formed of various materials, such as paper, cardboards, boards, panels (such as wooden panels), composite or laminate materials, and other materials utilized by artists with the application of the drawing media 42. The drawing sheet 42 may be of a natural or synthetic nature. It is contemplated that for relatively thick materials, it may be necessary for the drawing surface 20 to be heated to a relatively higher temperature to achieve the desired softening effects of the drawing media 42 in comparison to a thin sheet of material.

The board substrate 12 may be formed of various materials. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4, the board substrate 12 is formed of a glass material. For example, the glass material may be a tempered glass material. Such a material may be considered suitable for purposes of drawing with various media due to the particular combination of structural strength, rigidity and heat transfer properties. Other materials may be utilized such as various types of plastic, such as a glass filled plastic, or even various types of metal.

In the embodiment illustrated the board substrate 12 is translucent. However, the board substrate 12 may be opaque, or partially opaque and partial translucent. In addition, the board substrate 12 may be colored. In this regard, the board substrate 12 may be uniformly colored or non-uniformly colored. For example and first and second regions 26, 28 may be of differing colors.

The board substrate 12 may have various surface characteristics. The drawing surface 20 and the backing surface 22 may be the same surface characteristics or differing surface characteristics. For example, the drawing surface 20 may be formed to be relatively smooth and the backing surface 22 may be textured with as with frosted glass surface. It is recognized that such surface characteristics may impact the overall transparency or opacity of the board substrate 12. In addition it is contemplated that the first and second regions 26, 28 may be differing surface characteristics.

The board substrate 12 may be formed of a single continuous piece of material with regard to the drawing surface 20. In another arrangement the board substrate 12 at the first and second regions 26, 28 may be formed of the same or different materials. To the extent that different materials are utilized at the first and second regions 26, 28, the board substrate 12 at the first and second regions 26, 28 may have different heat transfer characteristics. However, it is recognized that that surface continuity is important so as to not impact the smooth drawing or painting by the drawing media 42 upon the drawing sheet 40. In addition, the board substrate 12 may have various cross sectional characteristics such as a solid cross-sectional composition or a laminated material.

As mentioned above, each of the first and second regions 26, 28 are sized to substantially overlap with an entirety of the drawing sheet 40. The drawing sheet 40 may be positioned over the first region 26 where it may be heated such as illustrated in FIG. 4. This allows for heating of the entire drawing sheet 40. Similarly the drawing sheet 40 may be positioned over the second region 28 where it is not exposed to an elevated temperature as in comparison to the first region 26 such as illustrated in FIG. 3. As used herein the term substantially refers to a majority of a given surface area. Thus, it is understood that the drawing sheet 40 may be overlaid upon the first region 26 and at least a majority of the surface area of the drawing sheet 40 would be overlapped. Similarly, the drawing sheet 40 may be overlaid upon a portion of the second region 28 and at least a majority of the surface area of the drawing sheet 40 would be overlapped with the second region. In contrast for example, a heated drawing board where substantially all of the board is heated with just a periphery of the board not being heated would not satisfy the limitation of “the first and second regions being sized to substantially overlap with an entirety of the drawing sheet.” This is because while the periphery of the board may not be heated and may be relatively large so as to encompass the subject drawing sheet, it would not overlap with an entirety of the drawing sheet because the heated portion is in the middle of the board. Thus, in this example there would be no analogous structure of a “second region” as an overlapping portion of the periphery is not substantial in comparison to a drawing sheet.

In the embodiment illustrated, the first region 26 is generally rectangular and smaller than the second region 28. The second region 28 is polygon shaped that generally takes the form of a D-shape wrapping about the first region 26. It is contemplated that the first and second regions 26, 28 may be of different sizes, shapes, and proportions. Preferably, the first region 26 defines a surface area that is at least a quarter of the surface area of the second region 28. It is contemplated that the particular embodiment as illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 is “friendly” to the user 38 who may be either left or right handed. In this regard, the user 38 may orient the drawing board 10 as shown for a right-handed user 38 or rotate the drawing board 180 degrees for a left-handed user 38. This user friendliness is facilitated by the general positioning of the first region 26 which is centered with regard to a longitudinal axis of the drawing board 10 and the electrical conduit 18 extends out an end of the drawing board 10.

The board substrate 12 includes a peripheral edge 24. As mentioned above, the support housing 14 is configured to support the drawing surface 20. In this regards, the support housing 14 may support the board substrate 12 at the peripheral edge 24. In the embodiment illustrated the support housing 14 includes a flange 34 that extends inwardly. The board substrate 12 may be sized and configured to rest upon the flange 34. Moreover, the board substrate 12 may be attached to the support housing 14 by attachment to the flange 34 such as through the use of an adhesive. Other means for attachment of the board substrate 12 to the support housing 14 are contemplated. For example, a plurality of clips, which may be integrated with the support housing 14, may be provided to retain the board substrate 12 in place.

It is contemplated that it is desirable to maintain the drawing surface 20 above the level of the support housing 14. In this regard, the user 38 may smoothly translate the drawing sheet 40 across the drawing surface without any interference of the support housing 14 when a portion of the drawing sheet 40 extends laterally beyond the drawing surface 20. In addition, in this embodiment, the board substrate 12 and the support housing 14 are formed of different materials. However, it is contemplated that the board substrate 12 and the support housing 14 may be integrally formed with the board substrate 12 and the support housing 14 being a single continuous piece of material.

The support housing 14 may be formed of various materials. For example, the support housing 14 may be formed of a plastic material, such as an injection molded plastic. In the embodiment illustrated the support housing 14 includes a support base 30 with a plurality of feet 36. The support base 30 may be utilized for overall structural stability as well as a means to form an enclosure with the heating element 16 enclosed between the support base 30 and the board substrate 12. Moreover, the support base 30 may be used as a support structure for the heating element 16 as well. The support base 30 may include a plurality of vent holes 32 formed through the support base 30. The vent holes 32 may be used to ventilate the enclosed space between the support base 30 and the board substrate 12. Such venting is contemplated to remove excess heat from within the enclosed space. This would allow for a more controlled heating of the board substrate 12.

Though not depicted, it is contemplated that the support housing 14 may house a light source. To the extent that the board substrate 12 is translucent, the drawing surface 20 may be backlit. In addition, thought not depicted, the support housing 14 may be configured to store items such as the drawing media 42. Such as storage arrangement would however provide for the segregation of any stored elements and the heating element 16.

The heating element 16 may be an electrical device. The heating element 16 may be provided with an electrical conduit 18. However, it is contemplated that the heating element may be battery powered. In the embodiment illustrated, the heating element 16 is a flexible electrical circuit (also referred to as a “flex circuit”). These devices typically include a patterned array of copper traces that may become heated upon the application of an electrical current. The heating element 16 may be controlled to radiate a variety of temperatures. As such the heating element 16 may include a temperature control 48. Thus, depending upon the particular drawing media 42 utilized, the heating element 16 may be set at an appropriate temperature in relation to the particular degree of media softening or media melting point. It is contemplated that such a flexible electrical circuit is relatively thin and facilitates an ease of installation. In this regard, as mentioned above, the support housing 14 is configured to support the heating element 16. The heating element 16 may be adhesively attached to the backing surface 22. As such the heating element 16 is supported by the support housing 14 via the board substrate 12 that is attached to the support housing 14.

Referring now to FIG. 5, there is depicted another embodiment. Similar reference numerals as those in relation to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-4 are used to indicate similarly configured components, however, with those differences as noted below. In this embodiment the drawing board 10 includes a board substrate 44. The board substrate 44 includes indicia 46 that generally define a periphery of the first region 26. As is illustrated, in this embodiment the indicia 46 take the form of a dashed line. In this embodiment, the dashed line is formed upon the drawing surface 20. In this regard, the board substrate 44 is formed of an opaque material. However, it is contemplated that where the board substrate 44 is formed of a translucent material, the indicia 46 may be disposed upon the backing surface 22. The indicia 46 are utilized as a visual indicator to the user 38 of the boundaries of the first region 26. The indicia 46 may be formed by various means. For example, the indicia 46 may be formed utilizing paint. Alternatively the indicia may be formed using a surface treatment, such as an etching, upon the drawing surface 20. The indicia 46 need not be restrained to just the periphery of the first region 26. For example, the indicia may extend across the entire first region 26.

The particulars shown herein are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the embodiments of the present invention only and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the present invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show any more detail than is necessary for the fundamental understanding of the present invention, the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the present invention may be embodied in practice.