Title:
Multiple pocket perforated print sheets
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Template sheets having perforations and fold lines are used to produce three-dimensional objects that has at least one of: (a) separated first and second cavities; and (b) a functionally operating tab or flap. Examples include a sliding panel display, and CD or DVD holders. Kits can advantageously include one or more templates, as well as instructions. These materials can advantageously be shrink wrapped together.



Inventors:
Vanderberg, Mark (Riverside, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/040936
Publication Date:
06/16/2005
Filing Date:
01/21/2005
Assignee:
Graphic Art Connections
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/308.1
International Classes:
G09F1/00; G09F11/00; (IPC1-7): B65D85/57
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOGE, GARY CHAPMAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RUTAN & TUCKER, LLP (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A method of making a folded object, comprising: providing a template sheet having perforations and fold lines; printing onto the template using a desktop printer; removing a portion of the sheet along at least one of the perforations to leave a working piece; and folding the working piece along at least one of the fold lines in a manner that produces at least one of: (a) separated first and second cavities; and (b) a functionally operating tab or flap.

2. The method of claim 1 further comprising arranging the perforations and fold lines such that the first cavity is sized and dimensioned to hold a CD or DVD, and the flap closes an opening to the cavity.

3. The method of claim 1 further comprising arranging the perforations and fold lines such that each of the first and second cavities is sized and dimensioned to hold a CD or DVD.

4. The method of claim 3, further comprising arranging the perforations and fold lines such that an opening of the first cavity faces an opening of the second cavity in a first configuration, and the openings of the first and second cavities face in the same direction in a second configuration.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of printing comprises printing first and second images, and further comprises arranging the perforations and fold lines such that the first image overlies the second image in a configuration of the object.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of printing comprises using a printer selected from the list consisting of a laser printer, a bubble-jet printer, and an ink-jet printer.

7. A template comprising: a plurality of perforations arranged to define a working portion and a throwaway portion; a plurality of fold lines arranged such that folding the working portion along the fold lines will produce an object having at least one of: (a) separated first and second cavities; and (b) a functionally operating tab or flap.

8. The template of claim 7, further comprising a gloss or semi-gloss printing area upon which an image can be printed.

9. The template of claim 7 wherein the object comprises a cavity sized and dimensioned to hold a CD or DVD, and wherein the flap closes an opening to the cavity.

10. The template of claim 7 wherein the object comprises first and second cavities, each of which is sized and dimensioned to hold a CD or DVD.

11. The template of claim 10 wherein the first and second cavities have openings along a common closing fold panel.

12. The template of claim 7 wherein the tab is operable to switch between alternating displays of overlapping images.

13. The template of claim 7 further comprising a thickness of at least {fraction (4/1000)}″.

14. A kit for making a three-dimensional object, comprising: a first template sheet having a high quality printing finish, a first plurality of perforations arranged to define a first working portion and a first throw-away portion, and a first plurality of fold lines arranged such that folding the first working portion along the fold lines will produce an object having at least one of: (a) separated first and second cavities; and (b) a functionally operating tab or flap; and instructions for making the object using the template sheet.

15. The kit of claim 14, further comprising a second template sheet having a second plurality of perforations and fold lines, wherein the second template sheet defines a second working portion and a second throw-away portion, and wherein the instructions describe how to make the object using both first and second working portions.

16. The kit of claim 14, wherein the first and second sheets, and the instructions, are shrink-wrapped together.

17. The kit of claim 1, wherein openings to the first and second cavities are connected via a folding member.

18. The kit of claim 1, wherein the object comprises a sliding panel display.

Description:

This application is a Continuation-In-Part of Ser. No. 10/046,833 filed on Jan. 15, 2002, which claims priority to provisional application Ser. No. 10/046,833 filed Jan. 23, 2001. These and all other extrinsic materials referenced herein are incorporated in their entireties by reference.

BACKGROUND

U.S. Pat. No. 6,117,061 to Popat et al. (September 2000) describes the production of three-dimensional printed objects using a desktop printer and special paper having perforations and fold lines. Using a single sheet Popat et al. contemplate only “simple” objects, which term is used in this application to mean that the objects have only a single cavity, or objects that have no operational closures or other features. Popat et al. do apparently suggest production of complicated three-dimensional objects, but most of those suggestions are not enabled in the patent, and in any event, all of Popat et al.'s complex three-dimensional objects are apparently produced by combining multiple such sheets (col. 6, line 63-col. 7, line 62).

In contrast, the present inventor has discovered how to produce “complex three-dimensional objects” from a single sheet. As distinct from simple objects, the term “complex objects” is used herein to mean those objects that have multiple cavities, or a single cavity having an operational closure.

In the parent application, the present inventor described a sliding panel assembly comprising front and rear panels, each bearing a different image or photograph, and each divided into a plurality of parallel strips. The strips of the front panel are arranged as slidable interleaves between the strips of the rear panel, such that the strips of the front panel are movable between a first position, in which the strips of the rear panel are completely covered by the strips of the front panel, and a second position, in which the strips of the front panel are completely hidden behind the strips of the rear panel. Thus, in the first position, only the image on the front panel is visible, while in the second position, only the image on the rear panel is visible.

What is still needed, however, is a generalized conception of producing complex three-dimensional objects using perforated sheets with fold lines, where the sheets are printed using a desktop printer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides apparatus, systems and methods in which a single template sheet having perforations and fold lines is used to produce a three-dimensional object that has at least one of: (a) separated first and second cavities; and (b) a functionally operating tab or flap.

In an exemplary embodiment the perforations and fold lines are arranged such that the first and second images form a sliding panel display. In another exemplary embodiment the first cavity is sized and dimensioned to hold a CD or DVD, and the flap closes an opening to the cavity. In yet another exemplary embodiment each of the first and second cavities is sized and dimensioned to hold a CD or DVD, and the cavities fold together in a tri-fold.

Numerous options are contemplated for the template sheet material, including especially card stock. Preferred papers have a thickness of at least {fraction (4/1000)}″. The template preferably has a gloss or semi-gloss printing area that produces a high quality image. Printing can take place on any suitable desktop printer, including for example a laser printer, a bubble-jet printer, and an ink-jet printer.

Kits can advantageously include one or more templates, as well as instructions. These materials can advantageously be shrink wrapped together.

Various objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention, along with the accompanying drawings in which like numerals represent like components.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the photographic card of the present invention, the view showing a first panel displaying an image.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the photographic card of the present invention, the view showing a first panel displaying an image.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the photographic card of the present invention, the view showing a second panel displaying a different image.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a die-perforated first sheet before any image is printed thereon.

FIG. 5A is a plan view of a die-perforated second sheet before removal of any excess material.

FIG. 5B is a plan view of the die-perforated second sheet after removal of excess material.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the die-perforated first sheet after first and second images are printed thereon.

FIG. 7A is a plan view of a part of a rear panel after removal from the left side of the front sheet.

FIG. 7B is a plan view of another part of the rear panel after removal from the left side of the front sheet.

FIG. 7C is a part of a front panel after removal from the right side of the front sheet.

FIG. 7D is another part of a front panel after removal from the right side of the front sheet.

FIG. 8A shows the manner of interleaving the two parts of the front panel.

FIG. 8B is a plan view of the front panel interleaved from the two parts.

FIG. 8C is a cross-sectional view taken on lines 8C,8C of FIG. 8B.

FIG. 9A is a plan view showing the manner of interleaving the two parts of the rear panel.

FIG. 9B is a plan view of the rear panel interleaved from the two parts.

FIG. 9C is a cross-sectional view taken on lines 9C,9C of FIG. 9B.

FIG. 10 is a plan view showing the assembly of the front and rear panels.

FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view taken on lines 11,11 of FIG. 10.

FIGS. 12A-12D are rear perspective views, respectively showing the steps of assembling the front and rear panels and the second sheet from which excess material has been removed, to form the photographic card of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a cross sectional view taken on lines 13,13 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 14 is a cross sectional view taken on lines 14,14 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 15 is a cross sectional view taken on lines 15,15 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 16 is a plan view of the first sheet of the invention showing the precise areas where images are printed on the first sheet in the preferred embodiment.

FIG. 17 is a plan view of a template for making a single sleeve CD/DVD holder.

FIG. 18A is plan view of a template for making a double sleeve CD/DVD holder.

FIG. 18B is perspective view of a three-panel side-load CD/DVD holder.

FIG. 18C is perspective view of a three-panel top-load CD/DVD holder.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Sliding Image Assembly

In FIGS. 1-3 a sliding image assembly 20 generally comprises: a first panel 22 that displays an image, which for the sake of precision in the description is hereinafter termed the first image; and a second panel 24 that carries an image, which is hereinafter termed the second image. In FIGS. 1 and 2 the sliding image assembly 20 hides the second panel 24 behind the first panel 22. In FIG. 3 the first panel 22 is hidden behind the second panel 24, and therefore the second image is displayed.

Movement of the panels 22, 24 is effected by movement of a tab 28, which in this particular embodiment is essentially flush with the lower edge 30 of assembly 20 when the first panel 22 displaying the first image is exposed for view. The tab 28 is pulled out, as shown in FIG. 3 when the second panel 24 displaying the second image is exposed for view. The tab 28 can also be folded to occupy a position substantially parallel with a support surface (not shown).

Substantially any images can be displayed in the first 22 and second 24 panels, including for example, pictures, photographs, or text, drawings, or any combination of same. The images can also be placed on the first 22 and second panels 24 in any suitable manner, and using any suitable technology. For example the images could be drawn, painted, or silk-screened. In preferred embodiments, the images are deposited on the first 22 and second 24 panels by a desktop (non-offset) printer such as a laser, bubble jet or ink-jet type printer, under the control of one or more computer programs.

In FIG. 4, a die-perforated (or otherwise pre-cut) first sheet 32 preferably comprises high quality paper, and more preferably the kind of glossy or semi-gloss photographic quality paper upon which it is customary to print photographs under the control of a computer (not shown) with the assistance of an image printing program. The first sheet 32 is die-cut in such a manner that a picture or image can be printed onto its right side in 4 strips or sections, and another picture or image can be printed, also in 4 strips or sections on its left side. The picture or image printed on the right side of the sheet 32 corresponds to the first image carried by the first panel 22 in the assembled card 20, and the picture or image printed on the left side of the sheet corresponds to the second picture or image carried by the second panel 24. FIG. 4 discloses the first sheet 32 before pictures or images are printed thereon.

The printing of the photographs or other images on the first sheet is performed by printing each image in 4 parts on the left and right sides of the underlying sheet, respectively, which after separation of the die-cut lines, become strips 36 to be assembled into the respective panels 22 and 24. Glue carrying areas 38 are provided on the first sheet 32 in the areas shown in FIGS. 4 and 6. Alternatively, the areas 38 can just be marked for external glue (not shown) to be deposited thereon by a user (not shown). The printing of the pictures desired to be displayed in the sliding image assembly 20 (the first picture on the right side of the sheet 32, and the second on the left side) can advantageously be accomplished using the software-program-controlled printer in accordance with the parameters provided for the first preferred embodiment. There, the sheet 32 can have any suitable dimensions, but preferably the American standard 8.5 by 11 inches in size. These parameters are expressed in inches, as indicated in FIG. 16, and counted from the respective edges 39 of the sheet 32.

FIG. 6 illustrates the first sheet 32 of the invention, after both the first and second images have been printed thereon. FIG. 5A shows a second sheet 40, which need not be printed at all. Rather, the second sheet 40 serves to form a frame and support onto which the image carrying first 22 and second 24 panels are assembled. Second sheet 40 is also preferably 8.5 by 11 inches in size, and has sufficient rigidity that it can serve for receiving the mounted panels 22 and 24 and to support them in an up-right position standing on a support surface (not shown). The second sheet 40 also contains perforations or die cutting, to delimit areas or parts, which are to be removed and not used for preparing the sliding image assembly 20. FIG. 5B illustrates the second sheet 40 after the unnecessary or excess material has been removed from it.

FIGS. 7A and 7B illustrate two pieces 42 and 44 obtained from the left side of the first sheet 32, by separating the first sheet 32 into the pieces 42 and 44 along the die-cut or pre-perforated lines. The second image has been printed onto the two pieces 42 and 44 in 4 strips 36, and each piece includes slotted areas or slots 46. Similarly, FIGS. 7C and 7D illustrate two other pieces 48 and 50 obtained from the right side of the first sheet 32, by separating the first sheet 32 into the pieces 48 and 50 along the die-cut or pre-perforated lines. The first image has been printed into the two pieces 48 and 50 in 4 strips 36, and each piece includes slotted areas or slots 46. The numerals 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively printed on the edge of the pieces 42, 44, 48 and 50, as applicable, refer to the segment or portion of the image, which is printed on the respective strip 36, and facilitates the process of printing and assembling.

FIG. 8A shows how the two pieces 48 and 50 are assembled to one another, by placing the tab 28 of piece 50 into the slot 46 of the piece 48, and gluing the glued area to the paper above it. FIG. 8B illustrates the first panel 22 assembled or interleaved from the two pieces 48 and 50. Similarly, FIG. 9A shows how the two pieces 42 and 44 are assembled to one another by insertion and gluing of the glue carrying areas 38, and FIG. 9B illustrates the second panel assembled or interleaved from the two pieces 42 and 44. FIGS. 8C and 9C show the assembled or interleaved first 22 and second 24 panels in cross-section, respectively.

FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate how the first panel 22 bearing the first image is assembled or interleaved to the second panel 24 bearing the second image. This is done so that the panels 24 are disposed in the positions shown in FIG. 11. Then the two panels 22 and 24 are slid together completely. FIG. 11 illustrates the interleaved first 22 and second 24 panels in cross section, and shows their relationship.

FIGS. 12A through 12D illustrate the steps of forming an ear or easel flap 26, which can be folded out from the rear of the sliding image assembly 20, and which can be used to support the sliding image assembly 20 in an upright standing position on a support surface (not shown), such as a table (not shown). FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings disclose the sliding image assembly 20 from the assembled or interleaved first 22 and second 24 panels, illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11, and from the second sheet 40, from which the excess material has been removed, illustrated in FIG. 5B. Thus, referring now to FIGS. 12A through 12D which illustrate the process from a rear view, the assembled panels 22 and 24 are placed into the open window 51, with the image bearing side facing forwards, centered and with the top of the assembled panels 22 and 24 flush with the top of the second sheet 40. This is shown in FIG. 12A. In subsequent steps flaps 52 of the second sheet are folded up over and on top of the assembled panels 22 and 24. Some glue (not shown) is applied to the flaps 52 and to the top of the back side of the assembled panels 22 and 24. Then the large flap or back cover 54 is folded over the flaps 52. During this operation care must be taken not to remove the assembled panels 22 and 24 from their correct positions. Glue (not shown) is then applied to an elongated gluing area 38 forming a narrow strip 58, shown in FIG. 12C, which is thereafter folded back and glued to the back cover 54.

On the backside of assembly 20, an ear or easel flap 26 can be provided that supports the sliding image assembly 20 in an upright standing position on a support surface (not shown), such as a table (not shown).

A significant aspect of sliding image assembly 20 is that it is functional, not merely ornamental. As used herein, the concept of functionality means that the fully constructed three-dimensional object has at least two different configurations, and that the object includes a mechanism that reconfigures the object from one configuration to another. Note that this definition excludes the calendar of the Popat et al. because there is only one usable configuration of the fully constructed calendar. Yes, it is possible to flatten the calendar, but the flattened calendar is not fully constructed. It is also true that the Popat et al. calendar can be turned around and even upside down to emphasize different faces. But those are merely different orientations, rather than different configurations. There is also no mechanism, as part of the object that reconfigures the object from one configuration to another.

In the example above, the assembly 20 clearly has two different configurations, one that displays the first image and one that displays the second image. Assembly 20 also has a tab 28 that reconfigures the assembly 20 from one configuration to another.

There are, of course, innumerable possible objects that can be made from perforated templates having fold lines, and that also have a functionally operating mechanism. Below are two examples of such objects. The first is a single CD/DVD sleeve having a fold-over flap mechanism. The second is a double CD/DVD sleeve having a common closing fold panel mechanism. In each case the mechanisms serve to reconfigure between an open configuration and a closed configuration.

Single CD Sleeve

In FIG. 17 a template for a single sleeve CD/DVD generally includes a sheet 100 having perforations 110 and a vertical fold line 120. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the term vertical as used herein is merely a relational designation and has nothing to do with actual orientation of the object.

The material of template 100 is contemplated to be any relatively thick paper or cardstock. At least a portion of at least one side of the template is preferably coated with a high quality coating such as a gloss or semi-glass, either of which is adapted to receive and reproduce a photograph or other high quality image. Such materials are described above, as well as in the Popat et al. patent. Standard dimensions are advantageous because they would fix readily into most printers. Especially preferred dimensions are the American standard letter (8.5 inches by 11 inches), the American standard legal (8.5 inches by 14 inches), and the European standard A4 (8.27 by 11.69 inches).

The printer is contemplated to be any desktop type printer, including for example a laser printer, bubble-jet printer, or ink-jet printer. Color printers are preferred, but not required.

Portions of the template can advantageously carry a water-soluble dry adhesive, press-on adhesive, and so forth. Alternatives are also described above, and in the Popat et al. patent.

The perforations can have any suitable characteristics, so long as they provide a relatively simple mechanism for a user to conveniently produce a desired edge. Perforations can be even such that the template needs to be cut with scissors or other device rather than being ripped by the user.

The fold lines correspond to the lines of weakness contemplated in the Popat et al. patent. Fold lines can be produced in any suitable manner, which usually means impressing lines upon the template 100.

Production of the CD/DVD sleeve is straightforward. First, the user optionally inserts template 100 into his printer, and directs the printer to apply an image on at least a portion of the template 100. The portion used is preferably that which will be displayed on the outside of the constructed sleeve. Next, the user removes the working portion 102 from the throwaway portion 104. The term “throw-away” portion is, of course, merely a euphemism that distinguishes the working portion. The user can throw away portion 104, or not, as desired. Next the user folds the working portion 102 at the various fold lines. This can be done in many different orders, such as folding horizontal fold line 120 to produce panels 106 and 107 first and then making additional folds as needed. Finally, the user applies, uncovers or otherwise activates the adhesive on the reverse side of panels 106 and 107 and sticks them together. This forms a cavity at the opening of panels 106 and 107, which opening can be accessed or closed by unfolding or folding of a panel that extends over the opening (not shown).

Double Sleeve

In FIG. 18A a template for a double sleeve CD/DVD generally includes a sheet 200 having perforations 210, and fold lines 220A and 220B.

The material of template 200 is contemplated to have the thickness, coating materials, and dimension characteristics of template 100. Preferred printers, adhesives, perforations, and fold lines can also advantageously be the same as that of template 100.

Production of the CD/DVD sleeve is more complicated than that of the single sleeve CD/DVD holder, but is still relatively straightforward. First, the user optionally inserts template 200 into his printer, and directs the printer to apply an image on at least a portion of the template 200. The portion used is preferably that which will be displayed on the outside of the constructed sleeve. Next, the user removes the working portion 202 from the throwaway portion 204. Next the user folds the working portion 202 at the various fold lines. This can be done in many different orders, such as folding along horizontal fold line 220A first then folding along vertical fold lines 220B. Finally, the user applies, uncovers or otherwise activates adhesive and sticks opposing panels together. This forms cavities below panels 230, 240, and 250 for insertion of CD/DVDs show in FIG. 18B. It should be pointed out that the openings to the cavities are along sides 235 and 255 so that the CD/DVDs will be protected from falling out when the case is closed.

Drawing your attention to FIG. 18C, a three-panel top-load CD/DVD holder 260 is shown partially folded. It should be appreciated that although this embodiment is described as a “top-load”, the middle panel 270 is side loaded as can be observed.

Thus, specific embodiments and applications of templates for complex three-dimensional, desktop printed, objects have been disclosed. It should be apparent, however, to those skilled in the art that many more modifications besides those already described are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The inventive subject matter, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of the appended claims. Moreover, in interpreting both the specification and the claims, all terms should be interpreted in the broadest possible manner consistent with the context. In particular, the terms “comprises” and “comprising” should be interpreted as referring to elements, components, or steps in a non-exclusive manner, indicating that the referenced elements, components, or steps can be present, or utilized, or combined with other elements, components, or steps that are not expressly referenced.