Title:
POWERED HAND HELD LINEAR MOTION DEVICE FOR ATTACHING NAIL FILE TOOLS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to enhancing abrasive, buffing, filing, polishing, shaping and callus removing products for the manicure and pedicure industry by use of a linear motion tool. In particular, the invention provides a method and apparatus that uses linear motion to quickly vibrate a detachable platen by which an abrasive, buffing, polishing and or pumice device can be secured by means of temporary or permanent adhesion.



Inventors:
Routhier, Edmond E. (Sonoma, CA, US)
Farber, Ben S. (Sonoma, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/729003
Publication Date:
09/22/2011
Filing Date:
03/22/2010
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
132/76.4
International Classes:
A45D29/05
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20030192564Easy groomerOctober, 2003Johnson
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20070181144COATED DENTAL DEVICES WITH DRY-TO-THE-TOUCH, FLAVOR-ABSORBING, SALIVA SOLUBLE COATINGS AND METHODS FOR MANUFACTURINGAugust, 2007Brown et al.
20060266376Fan articleNovember, 2006Basso
20040139981Cosmetic maskJuly, 2004Liu
20080083424Lotion maidApril, 2008Sizelove
20050268927Headwear with ponytail pull throughDecember, 2005Alcala



Primary Examiner:
NOBREGA, TATIANA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John Nielsen (RANDICK O'DEA & TOOLIATOS, LLP 5000 HOPYARD ROAD, SUITE 400 PLEASANTON CA 94588)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An electric nail file comprising: a. a housing member having a top side and a bottom side, said housing member comprising: i. an internal electric motor, said internal electric motor capable of rotating a motor shaft, wherein the rotating a motor shaft drives a reciprocating linear drive plate, said internal electric motor capable of controllably driving the reciprocating linear drive plate in a back and forth motion; ii. two external openings at the bottom side of the housing; and iii. a linear drive plate having a top side and a bottom side, said linear drive plate comprising: 1. two opposing and inwardly facing, generally U shaped, linear drive plate clips located on the bottom side of the linear drive plate, said clips attached to the linear drive plate and protruding through the two external openings at the bottom side of the housing; and b. a platen having a top side and a bottom side, said platen configured to attach to the linear drive plate via the linear drive plate clips.

2. The electric nail file of claim 1, further comprising one or more gears generally located between the motor and the reciprocating linear drive plate, said gear(s) converting rotational movement from the motor shaft into reciprocating linear motion.

3. The electric nail file of claim 2, further comprising one or more cams generally located between, and in physical contact with, the motor and the one or more gears.

4. The electric nail file of claim 1, wherein the platen is configured to receive and retain an abrasive material on the bottom side of the platen.

5. The electric nail file of claim 1, further comprising an activation switch protruding from the top side of the housing, configured to control the speed of the reciprocating drive plate.

6. The electric nail file of claim 1, further comprising disposable abrasive material attachable to the platen.

7. The electric nail file of claim 1, further comprising two clip mounts located on the top side of the platen, configured to receive and secure the linear drive plate clips.

8. The electric nail file of claim 1, further comprising a battery compartment located within the housing.

9. The electric nail file of claim 1, further comprising an integrated circuit board.

10. The electric nail file of claim 1, further comprising an activation switch protruding through the top side of the housing.

11. The electric nail file of claim 1, further comprising a ridge located approximately at the midsection of the bottom side of the housing, said ridge bisecting the front and rear sections of the housing.

12. The electric nail file of claim 1, further comprising an electrical power cord capable of supplying standard alternating current to the motor.

13. The electric nail file of claim 1, further comprising batteries capable of supplying direct current to the motor.

Description:

A. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to electric tools and more particularly to tools for shaping and polishing fingernails and toenails. Electric nail files of various designs have been devised but none have found widespread use in the consumer and professional world. Typically, those who perform manicures or pedicures, either on themselves or others, including professionally in nail shops, must file, smooth and polish the nails using a back and forth motion of a nail file, or other device to file, buff, polish, or shape the nail. Such repetitive motion is time consuming, and has been the cause of injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. It is an object of the invention described herein to provide a device that can assist a user of the device in performing faster and safer (for both the user and the recipient) manicures, pedicures and callus removal utilizing linear motion. The present invention relates to a linear motion device that powers removable platens for the professional and consumer manicure and pedicure industry.

Other inventions in this field of endeavor include U.S. Pat. No. 2,880,737, which describes an abrasive member that attaches to a reciprocating arm and is used for filing fingernails. However, on this device the abrasive member is held on the reciprocating arm by a pair of protruding clips which are exposed to the user when the device is in motion, which could cause damage to the nails.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,935,072 shows a manicuring device which has a metal abrasive file with an opening at the inner end thereof. The metal file is permanently held within the device and thus the device does not permit the changing of files for heavier or finer filing or for polishing.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,759,093 shows a manicuring device which has an abrasive file enclosed within a housing. The file is held by a spring within the enclosure and the file is shaped to be snapped in or pulled out of a support cavity held by a U-shaped spring clip.

B. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

According to the present Invention, techniques for filing, polishing, buffing and shaping nails and toenails and removing dead skin and calluses is provided. In particular, the invention provides a method and apparatus for utilizing a removable platen which can be attached through a bayonet clipping method which uses platens with permanently adhered abrasives or platens designed to use disposable peel and stick abrasives as buffing, and smoothing materials and tools for filing, buffing, shaping finger and toe nails and for removing callused or dead skin.

The invention provides a method and apparatus for enhancing the method and approach for manicures and pedicures. More particularly, the invention provides an improved method for selectively using platens with permanently adhered abrasives or platens designed to use disposable peel and stick abrasives, buffing, polishing, shaping materials than the traditional manner of manual usage which is done by hand using file abrasives, buffing, polishing, shaping materials.

It is an object of the present Invention to provide an electric device which permits the easy application and removal of peel and stick abrasives, buffing, shaping, and nail polish removing materials to a removable platen which is attached to the device by an attachment means, such as a linear drive plate clip, or “bayonet clip”.

In its preferred embodiment, a housing of a size and shape to be easily held by a user's hand will enclose a motor and gear assembly that can create linear back and forth motion in a linear drive plate. This linear drive plate will attach, through apertures in the housing, to a platen via attachment means, such as the linear drive clips, or bayonet clips described herein. The platen will be configured to accept and retain various materials on its surface that are used in the manicure/pedicure field, such as abrasives, and other polishing and shaping materials. Preferably, these materials will be disposable.

The device utilizes linear, back and forth motion to abrade, buff, polish, and shape nails. The housing includes a motor with a drive shaft that spins or rotates. This rotational energy from the motor is then converted into reciprocating linear motion through the use of gears attached to the motor's drive shaft. A linear drive plate is connected to the gears via a cam which causes the platen to move in a back and forth motion. This linear drive plate comprises clips (sometimes referred to herein as ‘bayonet clips’) that protrude from the linear drive plate and through apertures in the bottom side of the housing. These linear drive plate clips are preferably in the shape of a U and are preferably facing in opposite directions and open to each other. This configuration allows the platen to be easily attached to the linear drive plate simply by rotating the platen into the clips.

The present invention relates to enhancing abrasive, buffing, filing, polishing, shaping and callus removing products for the manicure and pedicure industry by use of a linear motion tool. In particular, the invention provides a method and apparatus that uses linear motion to quickly oscillate a detachable platen by which an abrasive, buffing, polishing and or pumice device can be secured by means of temporary or permanent adhesion. The means of securing the removable platen to the mechanism is accomplished by a circular motion “Bayonet Clipping Mechanism”. The bayonet clips on the underside of the linear drive plate hold the removable platen on the bottom side of the device. The removable platen is preferably moved clockwise in a circular motion and locked into place by the opposing bayonet clips.

The power source for this invention is preferably by batteries. However, as an alternative, a power cord can be attached to the housing and motor, that utilizes a/c current from a standard wall socket. The batteries are preferably located within the housing for convenience and aesthetics.

Preferably the platen allows only peel and stick materials that are designed specifically for the size and shape of the platen to attach to it. The peel and stick materials are used for filing/finishing, polishing, shaping nails and removing dead skin/calluses.

Merely by way of example, the platen can attach via circular motion via the Bayonet Clip into the Tool. Specific Peel and stick removable materials, such as abrasives, buffing, and filing (tools used for filing/finishing, polishing, shaping nails and removing dead skin/calluses) can be attached to the platen. But it should be recognized that the invention has a much broader range of applicability beyond the professional salon market, including the pet, consumer, and medical industries.

The current method of providing manicures and pedicures is by hand use of an abrasive or buffing file. The file is used in a back and forth motion until the desired results are achieved. The device replicates and mechanizes the natural linear motion of the manual version of manicures and pedicures without the stress injuries. By motorizing the natural motion, this device eliminates the stress and rigors and potential for repetitive stress injuries when done by hand.

The linear motion produced by this device is orientated on a parallel axis beneath the handle. This is consistent with the intended use and design of the removable platen with disposable abrasive pads allowing for the largest range of sizes and purpose. This invention is unique in that it utilizes the linear motion of the abrasive/buffing material underneath and parallel to the device. This is also important as the device replicates the natural motion of professional nail technicians. Additionally, the clip and motor are designed to work independently of the handle which significantly reduces vibration in the handle and on the nail.

The device will incorporate multiple speeds which are designed to work in connection with different disposable peel and stick abrasive, filing, buffing, polishing grits in order to perform specific sanding or buffing tasks. The bayonet clip system is designed to accept alternate attachments to allow for the use of the base handle and motor as a platform for other tools, such as personal massaging, buffing, polishing, shaping and pedicure callus shaving files.

This electric nail file produces linear motion in several varying speeds and torque to the device which mates to a removable platen. The removable platen affixes itself to the device by means of a circular motion and clipping into the device by means of a bayonet clip. The removable platen uses a specific and proprietary design that mates with a disposable adhesive configured to that design. The devices produces high speed linear motion to replicate the natural motion used by professional manicure/pedicure technicians. An advantage to the technician is that they no longer have to endure the repetitive motion required to file, buff, polish, and shape while performing manicures and pedicures which can lead to repetitive stress injuries.

1. Operation of the Invention

The invention is used for manicures and pedicures. Holding the device in the middle of the palm additionally reduces risk of carpal tunnel as it reduces the amount of flex in the wrist and associated forearm, tendons, and ligaments.

For manicures, different abrasives and polishing adhesives are placed on a removable platen. The removable platen is clipped onto the linear drive plate via the linear drive plate clips, or bayonet clips. The device is activated by pressing the power speed button until the desired speed is acquired. The device is used on the nails as needed. Once the desired results are achieved, the peel and stick adhesive is removed and disposed of. For pedicures, different abrasives and polishing disposable peel and stick adhesives can be used.

C. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the invention.

FIG. 2 is an internal top view of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view demonstrating the bayonet clipping mechanism attachment process and motion to attach the removable platen.

FIG. 4 is the top view of the device.

FIG. 5 is the perspective view of the bottom of the device.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the removable platen.

FIG. 7 is a top view of the platen and the platen clip mounts.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the linear drive plate.

FIG. 10 is a perspective top view of the platen.

D. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an exploded view of an embodiment of the device. The upper housing 1 of the device is shown. It is generally intended that the device be sized in such a way as to be a hand held device. The lower housing 2 of the device should include one or more screw bosses 9 which guide the linear drive plate 4 which performs the linear motion when the device is activated. The integrated circuit board switch 8 should protrude through an aperture on the upper housing 1 and allow the user to control the speed of the device, as well as possibly acting as the on/off switch. The switch cover 7 for the integrated circuit board is also shown.

The motor 5 drives the gears 6, 11 which drive the linear drive plate 4 in a linear back and forth motion. A drive gear 21 connects to the motor shaft (which protrudes from the motor 5). The drive gear 21 then connects to the reduction gears 6, 11. These reduction gears 6, 11 attach to the linear drive plate 4 via a cam (not shown) and convert the rotational movement from the motor shaft and drive gear 21 into reciprocating linear motion. The linear drive plate 4 comprise through holes 20 for the screw bosses 9 which allows for the movement of the linear drive plate 4. The linear drive plate clips 17, or bayonet clips 17, protrude from the bottom side of the linear drive plate 4 and protrude through openings 10 in the bottom side of the housing 2. Platen clip mounts 12 are located on the top side of the platen 3 that facilitate the connection between the platen and the linear drive plate clips 17. Generally in the middle of the top side of the platen 3 is located a recess 13 for the locator pin. The platen 3 is preferably centered by the locator pin prior to the rotational attachment motion. The pin should act as a guide allowing the linear drive clips 17 to easily clip into the platen clip mounts 12.

The housing contains a motor recess 18 that houses the motor in the main bottom housing 2 of the device. A battery compartment 22 is shown located behind the motor 5. Preferably the batteries used in this device are rechargeable, however that is not a requirement. A power cord 24 is shown, as well as the power cord jack 23. It is anticipated that the device can use either battery or a/c standard power. Internal component housing 19 is shown which secures the alignment of the gear train and the circuit board for the motor. This internal component housing 19 can also secure internal electronics.

FIG. 2 shows an internal top view of the invention. The motor 5 is shown as an internal component within the housing. The gears 6, 11 and cam convert the rotational motion from the motor shaft 21 into reciprocating linear motion. This reciprocating linear motion is transferred to the linear drive plate 4. The linear drive plate 4 is also shown as an internal component within the housing. Linear drive plate clips 17 protrude from the linear drive plate and protrude through two apertures in the bottom side of the housing. The platen 3 can then be attached to the linear drive plate 4 and receive the linear drive plate's reciprocating linear motion.

FIG. 3 shows a bottom view demonstrating the bayonet clipping mechanism attachment process and motion to attach the removable platen 3. The platen 3 is rotated 14 such that it can be inserted into the bayonet or linear drive plate clips 12 and firmly secured. This configuration allows for a quick and secure method of attaching the platen 3. The rotation 14 of the platen 3 into the linear drive plate clips 12 is shown here as a clockwise twisting of the platen 3. The battery access panel 25 is shown on the bottom of the housing 2, as well as the power cord 24.

FIG. 4 shows a top view of the device, including the integrated circuit board switch 8 that is easily accessible to the user. The platen 3 is shown and is located in this example in generally the bottom front of the device. This is the preferred location of the platen 3 as it is believed to be the most ergonomic, however other locations for the platen 3 may be used.

FIG. 5 shows a bottom view of the device, including the attached platen 3. The finger protection ridge 15 is configured to protect the user's hand/fingers from the moving platen 3 during use. Described herein, but not shown in this drawing, is a locator pin. This locator pin is a small protrusion from the underside of the device housing that acts as a guide when attaching the platen 3. The locator pin is generally located in the middle of the front section on the underside of the housing. The platen 3 comprises a small recess 13 that allows the user to center the pin and the platen prior attachment via the rotational motion described above.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the platen 3 and the platen clip mounts 12. This side view illustrates the adhesive strip alignment ridges 16. These adhesive strip alignment ridges 16 serve several purposes, including facilitate the attachment of the adhesive strips to the platen 3, as well as allow for proprietary adhesive strips to used.

FIG. 7 is a top view of the platen 3 and the platen clip mounts 12.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the linear drive plate 4. FIG. 9 illustrates the through holes 20 for the screw bosses that facilitate linear motion. Also shown are the bayonet or linear drive plate clips 17 located on the underside of the linear drive plate 4.

FIG. 9 is a perspective top view of the platen 3. Here, the locator pin recess 13 is shown, as well as the platen clip mounts 12. The platen clip mounts 12 allow for the attachment of the platen 4 such that the linear drive plate clips 17 remain above the bottom surface of the platen 4. As such, the bayonet clips 17 will not be visible from the underside of the device once the platen 4 has been attached, and more importantly, will not interfere with the nail filing process. This allows use of the device without the risk of injury from contact with the linear drive plate clips 17.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Further, the purpose of the foregoing abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.