Title:
COLLAPSIBLE SHADE FRAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shade frame includes a top frame and a leg assembly. The top frame includes a central coupler, a plurality of corner coupler, a plurality of supporting rods, and a plurality of connecting rods. The central coupler includes a cruciform body having four arms. Each lower coupler includes a body having a central recess and two side recesses. Each connecting rod includes two ends that are respectively and pivotally mounted in two side recesses respectively of two adjacent corner couplers. Each supporting rod includes a first end pivotally connected to an associated arm of the central coupler. Each supporting rod further includes a second end pivotally mounted in the central recess of an associated corner coupler. The leg assembly includes a plurality of legs each having an upper end releasably connected to an associated corner coupler.



Inventors:
Huang, Ming-tai (Taipei, TW)
Application Number:
11/379320
Publication Date:
10/25/2007
Filing Date:
04/19/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/26
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mayer & Williams, P.C. (Morristown, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shade frame comprising: a top frame comprising a central coupler, a plurality of corner coupler, a plurality of supporting rods, and a plurality of connecting rods; and a leg assembly comprising a plurality of legs; the central coupler including a cruciform body having four arms, each said arm including a groove in an underside thereof; each said lower coupler comprising a body including a central recess and two side recesses, a coupling section extending downward from the body and includes a groove in an underside thereof; each said connecting rod including two ends that are respectively and pivotally mounted in two of said side recesses respectively of two adjacent corner couplers; each said supporting rod including a first end pivotally mounted in the groove of an associated one of the arms of the central coupler, each said supporting rod further including a second end pivotally mounted in the central recess of an associated one of the corner couplers; each said leg including an upper end releasably engaged in the groove of the body of an associated one of the corner couplers.

2. The shade frame as claimed in claim 1, wherein each said connecting rod includes a first section and a second section releasably engaged with the first section.

3. The shade frame as claimed in claim 1, wherein each said leg includes an upper section and a lower section releasably engaged with the upper section.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a collapsible frame and more particularly to a collapsible shade frame.

2. Description of the Related Art

A shade or the like may provide a shield from the sun or rain for outdoor activities. A typical shade includes a frame and a canopy mounted on top of the frame. To avoid from being blown away by strong winds, the shade frame must have sufficient strength and stability. Further, the shade frame is preferably collapsible to allow easy carriage to the outdoors. However, conventional shade frames have complicated structures and are thus not advantageous to assembly while having a high cost. Further, the conventional shade frames are bulky and thus inconvenient to transport.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A collapsible shade frame in accordance with the present invention includes a top frame and a leg assembly. The top frame includes a central coupler, a plurality of corner coupler, a plurality of supporting rods, and a plurality of connecting rods. The central coupler includes a cruciform body having four arms. Each arm includes a groove in an underside thereof. Each lower coupler includes a body having a central recess and two side recesses. A coupling section extends downward from the body and includes a groove in an underside thereof.

Each connecting rod includes two ends that are respectively and pivotally mounted in two side recesses respectively of two adjacent corner couplers. Each supporting rod includes a first end pivotally mounted in the groove of an associated arm of the central coupler. Each supporting rod further includes a second end pivotally mounted in the central recess of an associated corner coupler. The leg assembly includes a plurality of legs each having an upper end releasably engaged in the groove of the body of an associated corner coupler.

Other objectives, advantages, and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partly exploded, of a collapsible shade frame in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the collapsible shade frame in accordance with the present invention in an extended state.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating a portion of the collapsible shade frame in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a top view of a central portion of the collapsible shade frame in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4A is an enlarged view of a circled portion in FIG. 4.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along plane 5-5 in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a schematic view, partly cutaway, illustrating pivotal movement of connecting rods of the collapsible shade frame.

FIG. 7 is a plan view illustrating the collapsible shade frame in a fully collapsed state.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a collapsible shade frame in accordance with the present invention comprises a top frame 1 and a leg assembly 2. A canopy 3 is mounted to the top frame 1 to form a shade. In this embodiment, the top frame 1 is substantially a pyramid with four sides such that the canopy 3 is in the form of an umbrella when the top frame 1 is in an extended state. Nevertheless, the top frame 1 may be a pyramid having at least three sides.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, the top frame 1 includes an upper, central coupler 11, four lower, corner couplers 12, four connecting rods 14, and four supporting rods 13. Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the upper coupler 11 includes a body 111 that is substantially cruciform and that has four arms 112 each having a bottom side with a groove 113 for pivotal connection with an associated supporting rod 13.

Each corner coupler 12 comprises a substantially sectorial body 121 including a plurality of recesses 122 each having an opening. In this embodiment, each corner coupler 12 includes a central recess 122 and two side recesses 122. A coupling section 123 extends downward from the body 121 and includes a groove 124 in an underside thereof.

Each supporting rod 13 includes a first end 131 pivotally mounted in the groove 113 of an associated arm 112 of the central coupler 11 by a pin 15. Each supporting rod 13 further includes a second end 132 pivotally mounted in the central recess 122 of an associated corner coupler 12 by a pin 16. Thus, the supporting rods 13 extend radially from the central coupler 11.

Each connecting rod 14 includes first and second ends 141 and 142 that are respectively and pivotally mounted in two side recesses 122 respectively of two adjacent corner couplers 12 by pins 17. Namely, the connecting rods 14 form a perimeter of the top frame 1, best shown in FIG. 4. In this embodiment, each connecting rod 14 includes a first section 143 and a second section 144. Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the first section 143 includes a pin 145 that is biased by a spring (not shown) and the second section 144 includes a hole 146 for releasably receiving the spring-biased pin 145, thereby allowing engagement or disengagement of the first and second sections 143 and 144. When the first and second sections 143 and 144 are disengaged from each other, the first and second sections 143 and 144 may pivot about the pins 17, as shown in FIG. 6.

The leg assembly 2 includes four legs 21 each having an upper end 211 removably engaged in the groove 124 (see FIG. 5) in the coupling section 123 of an associated corner coupler 12. Each leg 21 further includes a lower end 212 to which a pad 215 (see FIG. 1) is attached. In this embodiment, each leg 21 includes an upper section 213 and a lower section 214. The upper section 213 includes a pin 216 (see FIG. 3) that is biased by a spring (not shown) and the lower section 214 includes a hole 217 (see FIG. 3) for releasably receiving the spring-biased pin 216, thereby allowing engagement or disengagement of the upper and lower sections 213 and 214.

The shade frame in accordance with the present invention is simple in structure and has sufficient strength by providing four supporting rods 13 radially extending from the central coupler 11, four connecting rods 14 between the corner couplers 12, and four legs 21 below the corner couplers 12.

Since the supporting rods 13 are pivotally connected to the central coupler 11 and the corner couplers 12 and since the connecting rods 14 are pivotally connected between the corner couplers 12, the supporting rods 13 and the connecting rods 14 can be collapsed after the leg assembly 2 is detached (see FIG. 7), allowing easy assembly and easy transport and/or storage of the shade frame. It is noted that the first and second sections 143 and 144 can be disengaged from each other. It is further noted that each connecting rod 14 and each leg 21 may include more than two sections.

Although a specific embodiment has been illustrated and described, numerous modifications and variations are still possible without departing from the essence of the invention. The scope of the invention is limited by the accompanying claims.