Title:
Three dimensional wind device containing a central display element
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A three dimensional wind device designed to be suspended in situations where it is free to rotate in the wind and thereby enhance the aesthetic qualities of the area in which it is deployed. The wind device also provides a mechanism by which its appearance may be easily altered to express changes desired by its owner by placement of spherical head shapes representing various sports or interests within a central portion of the three dimensional wind device.



Inventors:
Schobinger, Gene (Gardner, ND, US)
Schobinger, Kathie (Gardner, ND, US)
Application Number:
11/077512
Publication Date:
09/14/2006
Filing Date:
03/10/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CURTIS V HARR (FARGO, ND, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A three dimensional wind device comprising: a plurality of concentric shaped strips having an inside concentric shaped strip and an outside concentric strips; a central spine section connecting said concentric shaped strips; said inside concentric shaped strip defining an inner open space said open space having an upper and lower section; a mount base section connected to said inside concentric strip along the lower section of said inner open space; and a mount spike extending upward from said mount base section into said inner open space.

2. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 1 wherein said plurality of concentric shaped strips and said central spine section are cut from a flat sheet of material.

3. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 2 wherein said plurality of concentric shaped strips are bent at an angular offset about said central spine section.

4. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 3 further comprising a spherical design element mounted on said mount spike.

5. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 4 wherein said spherical design element is a baseball player element having a baseball helmet.

6. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 4 wherein said spherical design element is a football player element having a football helmet.

7. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 4 wherein said mount base section further defines a logo swirl openings formed within said mount base.

8. A three dimensional wind device comprising: a plurality of concentric shaped strips having an inside concentric shaped strip and an outside concentric strips; a central spine section connecting said concentric shaped strips; said inside concentric shaped strip defining an inner open space said open space having an upper and lower section; a mount base section connected to said inside concentric strip along the lower section of said inner open space; and a spherical design element representing a head mounted to said mount base and extending upward into said inner open space.

9. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 8 wherein said plurality of concentric shaped strips and said central spine section are cut from a flat sheet of material.

10. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 9 wherein said plurality of concentric shaped strips are bent at an angular offset about said central spine section.

11. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 10 further comprising a mount spike extending upward from said mount base section and into said spherical design element so as to hold said design element in said inner open space.

12. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 11 wherein said spherical design element is a baseball player element having a baseball helmet.

13. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 11 wherein said spherical design element is a football player element having a football helmet.

14. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 11 wherein said mount base section further defines a logo swirl openings formed within said mount base.

15. A three dimensional wind device comprising: a plurality of concentric shaped strips having an inside concentric shaped strip and an outside concentric strips; a central spine section connecting said concentric shaped strips; said inside concentric shaped strip defining an inner open space said open space having an upper and lower section; a mount base section connected to said inside concentric strip along the lower section of said inner open space; a mount spike extending upward from said mount base section into said inner open space; and a spherical design element representing a head removable mounted onto said spike mount and extending upward into said inner open space.

16. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 15 wherein said plurality of concentric shaped strips and said central spine section are cut from a flat sheet of material.

17. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 16 wherein said plurality of concentric shaped strips are bent at an angular offset about said central spine section.

18. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 17 wherein said spherical design element is a baseball player element having a baseball helmet.

19. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 17 wherein said spherical design element is a football player element having a football helmet.

20. A three dimensional wind device as in claim 17 wherein said mount base section further defines a logo swirl openings formed within said mount base.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an improvement in the design of three dimensional wind spinners. More specifically, to a method of building these three dimensional devices in a manner so that they are made up of an outside design element which is constructed to both enhance the overall aesthetics of the invention and to provide the mechanism to facilitate its rotation in the wind. Additionally, such a three dimensional device containing an internal identifying element that is designed to be capable of being easily changed thereby providing a means by which the owner can express personal tastes and allegiances.

Wind apparatus are commonly employed to enhance the appearance or to personalize living or work space. In the recent past, the use of specialized ornaments in outdoor situations has also become increasingly popular. Some examples of this later use of such devices are wind chimes, weather vanes having decorative elements incorporated into their designs, reflective globes, and hanging three dimensional ornaments designed to freely spin in the wind. The general purpose of all of these different devices is to add a personal touch to outdoor spaces such as gardens and yards.

The three dimensional wind ornaments have become very popular in the recent past as they add a degree of motion as well as color into the desired setting. These types of devices are generally constructed out of a plurality of concentric circles, or other simple geometric shapes, which are joined together at a central spine at progressing compass degrees. This method of construction results in an ornament that, when rotated by wind or other mechanical method, results in an ornament that visually changes during the rotation process. Additionally, these ornaments are also constructed of or coated with a material that catches and reflects light in a way that greatly enhances these visual effects.

Another problem inherent to these types of three dimensional ornaments is that their design incorporating many different surfaces often results in a visual appearance that does not lend itself to the incorporation of ancillary design elements, especially those based on a three dimensional structure. The incorporation of additional design elements, especially those that can be employed to express personal tastes or allegiances, can add a great deal to these devices and this limitation of available designs unnecessarily diminishes the potential size of the market in this area.

From the foregoing discussion it can be seen that it would be desirable to provide a three dimensional device for the purpose of enhancing the look of outside spaces and indicating wind that is designed in such a manner so that the passage of wind will cause it to rotate changing its overall appearance in a continual fashion. Additionally, it can be seen that it would be desirable to provide such a three dimensional device that provides a base both functionally and aesthetically for the incorporation of ancillary design elements into the device. Finally, it can also be seen that it would be desirable to provide a means by which the owners of these three dimensional devices can express their personal tastes or allegiances through the incorporation of a three dimensional design element positioned at the center of the device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is the primary objective of the present invention to provide a three dimensional device that will freely rotate with the passage of wind in a manner so that it will continually change its external appearance.

It is an additional objective of the present invention to provide such a three dimensional device that provides a base both functionally and aesthetically for the incorporation of ancillary design elements positioned in the central area of the device.

It is a further objective of the present invention to provide a means by which the owners of these three dimensional devices can express their personal tastes or allegiances through the incorporation of a design element positioned at the center of the ornament.

These objectives are accomplished by the production of a three dimensional ornament that, in this contemplated embodiment, is made up of a plurality of concentric circular strips, or other simple geometrically shaped strips, which are joined together at a central spine at progressing compass degrees. For the purposes of simplicity, the construction of the present invention by the use of concentric circular strips and the attributes related thereto will be discussed herein. Each of these concentric circular strips (with the exception of the inner and outer most) has both a larger and smaller neighbor from which it is slightly offset in an angular manner. The concentric circular strips comprising the body of the present invention are oriented along vertical planes which are all offset with respect to the outer most circular strips. This offset results in a configuration of the present invention by which the concentric strips form a three dimensional figure that covers up to 180 degrees of the compass. By this mechanism, the present invention forms an object that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but one which will also catch a breeze regardless of its initial orientation with respect to compass direction.

The concentric circular strips that make up the body of the present invention are all joined to one another along a central spine. The central spine is simply the remnants of the original construction material that is untouched in the construction process. This provides the body of the invention with a vertical base that makes its three dimensional nature possible. The vertical spine transverses all the concentric circular strips tying them together thereby making the three dimensional nature of the present invention possible.

The manufacture of the present invention is initiated by the use of a flat sheet of an appropriate raw material which is most commonly of a metallic or plastic nature. The desired design is cut from this sheet of raw material using an appropriate method such as a laser or water cutting tool. Once the cutting process has been completed, the resulting product is essentially the present invention with two remaining procedures needed to complete it. The first of these is to rotate the individual concentric circular strips with respect to one another so as to form the desired three dimensional shape. This is accomplished by simply rotating the inside and outside concentric circular strips in opposite directions with reference to the central spine. This has the effect of rotating each of the circular strips between them in a progressive manner thereby resulting in their annular spacing which forms the desired three dimensional pattern in the finished invention.

The second of the finishing steps involves the placement of the desired central design element in the center of the present invention. This is facilitated by the design of the inside concentric circular strip, or more precisely, the space inside of it. The inside circular strip has a relatively large inner open space which it defines entirely. Additionally, the inside circular strip also contains an element base filling the inner portion of the lower one forth of the inner open space. The element base in turn provides for the placement of the logo hole and swirl which add to the overall aesthetic value of the present invention. Additionally, the element base also has an upwardly protruding mount spike extending from its central portion into the inner open space. The mount spike is the component of the present invention which allows for the placement of a central design element within the three dimensional body of the present invention.

The central design element is the component of the present invention which provides a means by which its owners can express their personalities through the incorporation of specifically designed artifacts and which also enhances the overall aesthetic effect of the invention as a whole. The central design element can be made up of any number of things, some of the most common of which are replicas of sport team logos and the like as illustrated in the included FIGURES. Additionally, the central design element is manufactured in such a manner that allows for its easy placement and removal from the position on the mount spike in the center of the present invention. This feature allows the owners to alter the outward appearance of the present invention if so desired.

Finally, the present invention is also equipped with a suspension eye located in the outer circular strip at the upper most portion of the invention. The suspension eye is the component of the present invention that allows for its suspension in the desired manner and location. The proper suspension of the present invention is most commonly accomplished with the use of a swivel attachment apparatus (not illustrated) but it can also be suspended by any number of ways including a simple string and knot. The use of the swivel apparatus provides two benefits. The first of these is ease in mounting the present invention as these swivel apparatuses commonly are equipped with a clip specifically designed for the easy attachment of ancillary items to the swivel. Secondly, the swivels also come equipped with a bearing component that allows one component of the swivel to freely rotate with respect to the other. This rotation ability allows the present invention to spin in the wind without any encumbrance from its attachment to a solid mount which adds to its overall visual affect.

For a better understanding of the present invention reference should be made to the drawings and the description in which there are illustrated and described preferred embodiments of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the wind apparatus illustrating the manner in which the invention is constructed including the incorporation of a central design element employed to depict a specific nuance of the owner's personality.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the body of the present invention of FIG. 1 illustrating the position of the mounting spike within its central opening.

FIG. 3 is a top elevation view of the present invention of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the present invention of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of the present invention of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention in which the concentric strips are formed in the shape of squares.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the body of the alternative embodiment of FIG. 6 and illustrating the position of the mounting spike within its central opening.

FIG. 8 is a top elevation view of the present invention of FIG. 6.

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of the present invention of FIG. 6.

FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of the present invention of FIG. 6.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of the present invention made up of the circular concentric strip in which the central design element is configured to represent a baseball player.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a still further embodiment of the present invention made up of the square concentric strip in which the central design element is configured to represent a smiley face.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings, and more specifically to FIGS. 1, 3, 4, and 5, the wind device containing a central design element 10 is a three dimensional apparatus. As such, the present invention is made up of three primary components: the body 12 defining the primary dimensions of the invention and being constructed in a manner so that it adds aesthetic and functional qualities to the invention; the inner open space 24 or that centrally positioned area enclosed by the body 12 of the present invention; and the design element 14 contained within the inner open space 24. These three components of the present invention are combined to form an aesthetically pleasing ornamental apparatus that can be altered by the addition and subtraction of design elements 14 of varying styles or affiliations.

The body 12 of the present invention is made up of a plurality of concentric strips, notably the inside concentric circular strip 16, the outside concentric circular strip 18, and the internal concentric circular strips 20. These three types of concentric strips are generally cut from a flat sheet of any suitable material such as metal which are cut into a specific shape dictated by the final design that is being produced such as the circular shape illustrated here or the square shape which will be illustrated below. Consequently because of the nature of the manner of construction for the present invention, the shapes that it may take may vary drastically while remaining within the scope of the present invention and are too numerous to disclose individually. However, for the purpose of simplicity this text will describe the above two varieties of possible designs exclusively.

As stated above, the body 12 of the present invention is made up of a plurality of concentric circular strips comprising the inside, outside, and internal concentric circular strips, 16, 18, and 20, which are in turn all joined by the central spine 22. The central spine 22 passes through the center of the body 12 of the present invention in a vertical manner thereby dividing the inside, outside, and internal concentric circular strips, 16, 18, and 20, in half. Thus, the central spine 22 is the component of the present invention that is employed to tie all of the separate components of the body 12 together thereby providing it with its outward shape.

In the construction of the present invention, the inside, outside, and internal concentric circular strips, 16, 18, and 20, that make up its body 12 are all cut from a single sheet of construction material. The material employed in the construction of the present invention is generally of a metallic nature but other material, such as some plastics, may be suitable for this purpose. The cutting of the body 12 is most commonly accomplished by the use of a laser material cutter or other similar device that can be employed to make precision cuts in the material being used. This process results in a generally completed body 12 requiring only the twisting of the inside, outside, and internal concentric circular strips, 16, 18, and 20, in relation to one another around the central spine 22 that results in the three dimensional nature that is a feature of the present invention.

The second of the primary components of the present invention is the inner open space 24 that is defined by the inner edges of the inside concentric circular strip 16. The main feature of the inner open space 24 is just that; it is primarily composed of empty space positioned in the center of the present invention which is employed to allow for the positioning of the central design element 14 within the body 12 of the present invention. In order to accomplish this purpose, the inner open space 24 is equipped with a plurality of features that have been specifically designed for the containment of the design element 14.

The first of these features is that the lower portion of the inner open space 24 provides for the placement of the mount base 26. The mount base 26 is an extension of the inside wall of the inside concentric circular strip 16 that extends into and fills the approximately lower one forth of the inner open space 24. The mount base 26 fulfills two general purposes. The first of these is to position the mount spike 28 centrally within the inner open space 24. This positioning of the mount spike 28 (best illustrated in FIG. 2) allows for the proper placement of the design element 14 within the inner open space 24 to achieve the desired overall aesthetic affect of the present invention. Additionally, the designs of the mount spike 28 and the design element 14 are such that they allow for the easy removal and replacement of the design element providing a means by which the outward appearance of the present invention can be altered with comparative ease. The final feature of the mount base is that it provides opportunities for the incorporation of additional design elements that will enhance the aesthetic or marketing qualities of the present invention. The most notable of these are the logo hole 40 and logo swirl 46 which are centrally positioned in the mount spike 28 and allows for the insertion of a company's logo into the design of the present invention.

It must be remembered that the design element 14 can consist of any number of unique articles or images so long as they fit within the inner open space 24 in a pleasing manner. One of the most common designs is generically referred to as antenna toppers which may be generally spherically shaped objects (although any other geometric shape is also possible) made of styrofoam or other similar material and containing a hole extending from their lower most surface into their core. The presence of this hole allows the design element 14 to be easily placed on the mount spike 28 within the inner open space 24. Additionally, the design of the mount spike 28 and the manner in which it interacts with the design element 14 allows the owner of the present invention to quickly and easily remove one design element 14 from its position within the invention and replace it with another. This feature of the present invention provides a means by which the owner can alter its outward appearance in an easy and cost effective manner thereby enhancing its aesthetic qualities.

Finally, the body 12 of the present invention is also equipped with features that allow for its suspension in the desired location. The first of these is the suspension eye 30 which is generally a hole in the outside concentric circular strip 18 at a position which is at the very top of the central spine 22. This positioning of the suspension eye 30 is critical to the operation of the present invention as it ensures that the body 12 and contained design element 14 will be properly oriented during the display of the invention. The suspension eye 30 allows for the attachment of a suspending apparatus which may be as simple as a piece of string or as specialized as a line swivel. The use of the line swivel is the preferred method as its bearing construction allows the present invention to freely spin in the breeze while other methods of suspension may place encumbrances on this spinning motion.

The opposite side of the outside concentric circular strip 18 provides the point of placement for the auxiliary suspension eye 32. The auxiliary suspension eye 32 is similar in nature and configuration to the suspension eye 30 but is positioned on the lower most portion of the outside concentric circular strip 18 at the bottom of the central spine 22. The auxiliary suspension eye 32 allows the owner to attach another item, most commonly another example of the present invention, to the bottom of a suspended wind device containing a central design element 10. This is accomplished by the use of an additional suspending apparatus, as described above, to the auxiliary suspension eye 32 and attaching it to the desired item. In this manner, the design of the present invention provides a mechanism by which a plurality of them may be stacked to accomplish an overall visual effect that may be desired by the owner.

An alternative embodiment of the present invention, the alternative embodiment of 3D ornament 11, is illustrated in FIGS. 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, in which the inside concentric circular strip 16, the outside concentric circular strip 18, and the internal concentric circular strips 20 that make up the body 12 of the previous embodiment are replaced by the inside concentric square strip 34, the outside concentric square strip 36, and the internal concentric square strips 38. Obviously, this results in a body 12 that is square in its overall configuration as apposed to the circular configuration of the previous embodiment of the present invention. However, in all other aspects, this embodiment is manufactured and functions in exactly the same manners as described above for the previous embodiment. Additionally, it must be reiterated that the description of the two embodiments of the present invention contained herein represent only a small fraction of the possible geometric configurations that may be applied to its construction and it should not be viewed as a limitation to the described embodiments.

As previously described, the present invention is designed in such a manner so as to allow for the altering of its outward appearance. Two of the possibilities that this method of design results in are illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12. The first of these, illustrated in FIG. 11, illustrates the positioning of a baseball player design element 42 within the inner open space 24 of the present invention. This has been chosen to illustrate the invention's ability to reflect its owner's affiliation with one of the myriad of sports teams, either professional or amateur, with relative ease. Additionally, FIG. 12 illustrates the use of a more generic smiley face design element 44 within the inner open space of the invention. It is important to note that the two additional illustrations contained herein are only intended to represent a very small potion of the possible design details provided by the present invention and are employed solely for the purpose of conveying the limitless design possibilities it provides.

Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein.