Title:
Shell structure with ring clip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shell structure with a ring clip, which can be produced by insert molding. The preformed ring clip comprises of a head portion and an adjoining neck portion. The head portion is exposed outside the shell body. The neck portion extends through a retainer hole of the shell body, with a retainer portion formed at the end thereof. The retaining portion hooks the inner wall of the shell body. Particularly, the neck portion has a cone shape that enables the neck portion to be disengaged from the retainer hole of the shell body after forming. The ring clip is in a condition of loose assembly, and is able to rotate freely relative to the shell body.



Inventors:
Hsu, Wei-wen (Taipei City, TW)
Application Number:
10/998111
Publication Date:
06/02/2005
Filing Date:
11/26/2004
Assignee:
HSU WEI-WEN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C11/00; A45F5/02; (IPC1-7): A45F5/02
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MENEZES, MARCUS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HDLS Patent & Trademark Services (CENTREVILLE, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A shell structure with a ring clip, the shell structure having a retainer hole bored therethrough, characterized by: the ring clip comprising a head portion and an adjoining neck portion, the head portion being exposed outside the shell structure, the neck portion extending through the retainer hole of the shell structure and hooking a inner wall of the shell structure, the neck portion having a cone shape with a slope, and the ring clip capable of rotating freely relative to the shell body.

2. The shell structure with a ring clip of claim 1, wherein the head portion has a through slot for insertion by an external string.

3. The shell structure with a ring clip of claim 1, wherein the head portion includes a skirt formed at the bottom thereof, the diameter of the skirt larger than the diameter of the retainer hole for preventing the head portion from falling into the shell body.

4. The shell structure with a ring clip of claim 1, wherein the neck portion further comprises a retainer portion extending from the bottom of the neck portion.

5. The shell structure with a ring clip of claim 1, wherein the neck portion is gradually shrunk from the interior of the shell body to the exterior of the shell body.

6. The shell structure with a ring clip of claim 1, wherein the neck portion is gradually shrunk from the exterior of the shell body to the interior of the shell body.

7. The shell structure with a ring clip of claim 1, wherein the height of the neck portion is longer than the depth of the retainer hole of the shell body for enabling the neck portion to move slightly back and forth relative to the shell body.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a shell structure, and more particularly, to a shell structure having a ring clip which can be produced in an automatic manner.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The ring clip is widely used in a variety of circumstances. For example, binding a box with objects stored therein, securing a car seat belt, hanging a carrying device. With the assistance of the ring clip, the utilization of objects or devices becomes much easier and is simplified.

Currently, the application of the ring clip to an electronic device is common in the electronic industry. Also because of the rapid progress of fabrication within the electronic industry, contemporary electronic devices have much smaller sizes than ever. The trend of electronic devices becoming smaller originates from the consumer demand for convenient carrying and use of electronic devices. Examples of these electronic devices are: an electronic translator, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a mobile phone, an electronic game machine, and a portable drive. Among these electronic devices, especially the portable drive and the mobile phone have a small volume for convenient operation and utilization by consumers under any circumstances.

To simplify the storing and carrying of such a small electronic device by consumers, it is common for contemporary manufacturers to incorporate an electronic device with a ring clip. With a necklace installed, the electronic device may be hung from the neck of consumers or wrapped about their hands for convenient operation at any time.

As the ring clip has been widely applied to many different areas, there are a lot of structures and related improvements of a ring clip, which are disclosed and known to the public. For example, an improved ring clip structure of a snap hook is used, that ring clip structure consists essentially of a retainer ring, two retainer pins, a hook body with a protruding head, and a snap-on cap. To assemble the snap hook, the protruding head of the hook body is pressed into the snap-on cap, and the retainer pins are inserted into the axle holes of both the retainer ring and the snap-on cap to pivotally secure the snap-on cap to the retainer ring. The hook body of the snap hook is thereby able to rotate around its center as well as to rotate about the retainer pins.

The hook body of the aforementioned snap hook is able to rotate relatively to the retainer ring that can be secured to an object. The snap hook has a specific effect. However, the snap hook is constituted by a plurality of members. The snap hook has a fixed volume and therefore is not suitable to be applied to smaller sized electronic devices. The conventional art common to manufacturers, as shown in FIG. 1, at the shell body 600 of the small electronic device bores a retainer hole 610, further the ring clip has to be pressed manually 500 into the retainer hole 610. The ring clip 500 has a cylinder neck that enables the ring clip 500 to rotate freely, relative to the shell body 600 of the electronic device.

The hook portion of the ring clip 500 has two symmetrical portions that allow the hook portion to deform during an installation. A worker can apply force to the ring clip 500 against the retainer hole 610 to squeeze the ring clip 500 into the retainer hole 610. The hook portion of the ring clip can then expand and hook the inner wall of the shell body 600. Utilizing labor to install the ring clip 500 is a workable method, but it has drawbacks. First, the manual installation of the ring clip 500 would result in fractures adjacent to the retainer hole 610. Second, because different workers apply different forces to install the ring clip 500 to the shell body 600, the product quality is hard to control.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a shell structure with a ring clip, which can be produced by insert molding. The preformed ring clip is first disposed inside a mold. The raw material of the shell body is then injected into the mold. The production of the shell body and the installation of the ring clip into the shell body are finished in the same time.

The ring clip comprises of a head portion and an adjoining neck portion. The head portion is exposed outside the shell body. The neck portion extends through a retainer hole of the shell body, with a retainer portion formed at the end thereof. The retaining portion hooks the inner wall of the shell body. Particularly, the neck portion has a cone shape with a predetermined slope. After ejection, the cone shape of the ring clip enables the neck portion of the ring clip to be further disengaged from the shell body. The ring clip is then in a condition of loose assembly, and is able to rotate freely relative to the shell body.

In other words, the reason that conventional manufacturing cannot produce a shell body with a ring clip is: conventional manufacturing uses insert molding in a manner that connects the ring clip to the shell body. Likewise, the ring clip is not able to rotate freely relative to the shell body.

The ring clip in the present invention has a neck portion. After ejection, slightly pressing the ring clip to push the cone neck into the shell body will disengage the neck portion of the ring clip from the retainer hole of the shell body. The ring clip is then in a condition of loose assembly, and is able to rotate freely relative to the shell body.

These and other objectives of the present invention will become obvious to those skilled in the art after reading the following detailed description of preferred embodiments.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary, and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These as well as other features of the present invention will become more apparent upon reference to the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a shell body with a conventional ring clip installed.

FIG. 2 is partial cross-sectional view of a mold, illustrating the production of the shell body of the present invention.

FIG. 3A is a partial cross-sectional view of a shell body with a ring clip of the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3B is a partial cross-sectional view of a shell body with a ring clip of the second embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is partial perspective view of an electronic device, illustrating the usage of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers are used in the drawings and the description to refer to the same or similar portions.

A first embodiment of a shell body with a ring clip in accordance with the present invention is shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 3A. Ordinarily speaking, the shell body 20 is produced by injecting raw material into a mold, and further retrieved after forming. First, a preformed ring clip 10 is placed into a mold that is constituted essentially by a first plate 100, a second plate 200, and a mother plate. Second, the raw material of the shell body 20 is then injected into the cavity 300. Third, after forming, an ejection process can retrieve the shell body 20 with the ring clip 10 from the mold. The production of the shell body 20 and the installation of the ring clip 10 into the shell body 20 are thereby finished in the same time.

The ring clip 10 includes a head portion 11 and a neck portion 12. The shell body 20 has a retainer hole 21 corresponding to the neck portion 12 of the ring clip 10. The head portion 11 has a through slot 15, and a skirt 16 at the bottom thereof. The head portion 11 is gradually enlarged so that the diameter of the skirt 16 adjacent to the shell body 20 is larger than the diameter of the retainer hole 21. The skirt 16 prevents the head portion 11 from falling into the shell body 20, and ensures that the head portion 11 is exposed outside the shell body 20. Particularly, the neck portion 12 of the ring clip 10 forms a conical body 13 with a predetermined slope. The conical body 13 is gradually shrunk from the interior of the shell body 20 to the exterior of the shell body 20. The height of the conical body 13 is longer than the depth of the retainer hole 21 of the shell body 20. By means of the conical body 13 of the neck portion 12, the ring clip 10 can be disengaged from the shell body 20 after the shell body 20 has been taken out by demolding. Slight pressure applied to the head portion 11 pushes the neck portion 12 slightly into the shell body 20, and releases the neck portion 12 from a tight engagement with the retainer hole 21 of the shell body 20. The neck portion 12 is thereby in a condition of loose assembly. The ring clip 10 is then able to rotate freely relative to the shell body 20. In addition, the ring clip 10 has a retainer portion 14 extending from the bottom of the neck portion 12. The retainer portion 14 hooks the inner wall of the shell body 20 in order to prevent the ring clip 10 from detaching from the shell body 20.

Further, the ring clip 10 may have another shape, as shown in FIG. 3B. In this embodiment, the conical body 13 of the neck portion 12 is gradually shrunk from the exterior of the shell body 20 to the interior of the shell body 20. The neck portion 12 is also in a condition of loose assembly. The ring clip 10 is able to rotate freely relative to the shell body 20.

Referring to FIG. 4, a necklace 30 is inserted through the through slot 15 of the ring clip 10. With the necklace 30 installed, an electronic device using the present invention may be hung from the neck of consumers or wrapped about their hands for convenient operation by consumers at any time.

By utilizing the present invention, the production of the shell body and the installation of the ring clip into the shell body are finished in the same time. The production of the shell body and the installation of the ring clip into the shell body can be accomplished by automatic machines. The shell structure with a ring clip in accordance with the present invention thereby has higher production efficiency, a better product quality, and a lower production cost.

While an illustrative and presently preferred embodiment of the invention has been described in detail herein, it is to be understood that the inventive concepts may be otherwise variously embodied and employed and that the appended claims are intended to be construed to include such variations except insofar as limited by the prior art.