Title:
Ink Tube Structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved ink tube structure is disclosed. The improved ink tube structure of the present invention comprises a hollow ink tube and a writing tip. A first bent portion is disposed near the writing tip on the hollow ink tube so that a bent angle is formed at the first bent portion and a distance between the curvature center of the first bent portion and the end point of the writing tip is formed. In this way, an ergonomic design may be provided. A second bent portion may be disposed behind the first bent portion on the hollow ink tube. To keep the first bent portion from deforming, a retaining device is disposed at the first bent portion. A groove is provided on the retaining device so as to hold the first bent portion and keep the first bent portion from deforming.



Inventors:
Liu, Gao-shen (Taiwan, CN)
Yong, Chang-yun (Taiwan, CN)
Application Number:
11/814649
Publication Date:
08/28/2008
Filing Date:
01/28/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A46B5/02
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Primary Examiner:
GUMBS, KEEGAN ROSS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sinorica LLC dba Thoughts to Paper (Germantown, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An improved ink tube structure, comprising: a hollow ink tube, which may hold ink; and a writing tip, characterized in that a first bent portion is disposed near the writing tip on the hollow ink tube and that the distance between the curvature center of the first bent portion and the end point of the writing tip (along the axial direction of the writing tip) is in the range from 1 cm to 3 cm.

2. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 1, wherein a bent angle is formed at the first bent portion and the bent angle is between 100 degree and 165 degree.

3. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 1, wherein the hollow ink tube may be consisted of two parts (a shorter front portion and a longer rear portion) and the rear portion has a larger inner diameter.

4. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 1, wherein a retaining device is disposed at the first bent portion so that the first bent portion may be placed in the retaining device to keep the first bent portion from deforming.

5. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 4, wherein the retaining device may be a metallic tube and, in manufacturing, the metallic tube is first placed over the first bent portion and then is bent.

6. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 5, wherein a stabilizing seat is disposed under the retaining device and is able to keep the retaining device from deforming.

7. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 4, wherein the stabilizing seat is integrally formed with the retaining device and the appearance of the stabilizing seat may be aesthetically appealing.

8. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 7, wherein the retaining device may be a thin-layered unit and the thin-layered unit has a groove, and wherein a stabilizing piece is provided on either side of the groove and has a geometric shape so that the thin-layered unit, with its two stabilizing pieces, can keep the hollow ink tube from deforming.

9. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 1, wherein a second bent portion may be disposed behind the first bent portion and a bent angle, between 100 degree and 165 degree, is formed at the second bent portion.

10. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 9, wherein an angle, between 10 degree and 40 degree, is formed between the axis of the straight portion in front of the first bent portion and the axis of the straight portion behind the second bent portion.

11. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 9, wherein a retaining device is provided at the first bent portion and a groove is provided on the retaining device and is configured to match the curves of the first bent portion and the second bent portion so as to hold the first bent portion and the second bent portion and keep them from deforming.

12. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 11, wherein the retaining device may be a metallic tube and, in manufacturing, the metallic tube is first placed over the first bent portion and the second bent portion and then is bent.

13. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 11, wherein a stabilizing seat is disposed under the retaining device so as to keep the retaining device from deforming.

14. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 13, wherein the stabilizing seat is integrally formed with the retaining device and the appearance of the stabilizing seat may be aesthetically appealing.

15. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 11, wherein the retaining device may be a thin-layered unit and the thin-layered unit has a groove, and wherein a stabilizing piece is provided on either side of the groove and either stabilizing piece has a geometric shape so as to keep the hollow ink tube from deforming.

16. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 1, wherein a protective unit may be provided at the writing tip and the protective unit is connected with the lower end of the retaining device, and wherein a groove is provided on the retaining device and, in manufacturing, the writing tip is first inserted into the upper opening of the protective unit and then a portion of the protective unit is bent to form a connective portion and then the hollow ink tube is placed inside the groove so that both the writing tip and the first bent portion may be fixed and protected.

17. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 16, wherein a stabilizing seat is disposed under the retaining device so as to keep the retaining device from deforming.

18. The improved ink tube structure as in claim 17, wherein the stabilizing seat is integrally formed with the retaining device and the appearance of the stabilizing seat may be aesthetically appealing.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention generally relates to an improved ink tube structure. More particularly, the invention relates to an improved ink tube structure that can maintain its curvy structure.

2. Description of the Prior Art

The improved ink tube structure of the present invention is used inside a specially-shaped pen. As of now, pens do not necessarily have a linear design. An angle may be formed near the writing tip so as to achieve a more ergonomic design and this brings about specially-shaped pens.

However, most of ink tubes used inside of these specially-shaped pens still have a linear design (so as not to increase the manufacturing cost) and those tubes acquire their curvy shape after each of them is placed and squeezed into the housing of a specially-shaped pen by a machine.

Therefore, those ink tubes can not be sold in packages containing only one ink tube and consumers can not buy such refill. In addition, after an ink tube runs out of ink, both the pen and its ink tube have to be thrown out. Therefore, the ink tubes of the prior art are not economical and are not environmentally friendly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide an improved ink tube structure, which has one or two bent portions and allows a user to choose a proper type of housing/pen to go with the improved ink tube structure.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved ink tube structure, which may be adjusted according to the needs of a user so as to facilitate the ease of use.

A third object of the present invention is to provide an improved ink tube structure, in which a retaining device is used so as to prevent the improved ink tube structure from deforming.

The improved ink tube structure of the present invention comprises a hollow ink tube and a writing tip. A first bent portion is disposed near the writing tip on the hollow ink tube so that a bent angle is formed at the first bent portion and a distance between the curvature center of the first bent portion and the end point of the writing tip is formed. In this way, an ergonomic design may be provided. A second bent portion may be disposed behind the first bent portion on the hollow ink tube. To keep the first bent portion from deforming, a retaining device is disposed at the first bent portion. A groove is provided on the retaining device and is configured to match the curve of the first bent portion so as to hold the first bent portion and keep the first bent portion from deforming. A stabilizing seat may be disposed under the retaining device and is integrally formed with the retaining device.

The improved ink tube structure of the present invention has the following three advantages:

  • (1) The bent design of the improved ink tube structure allows the ink tubes of the present invention to be individually packaged and sold and allows consumers to choose a proper type of housing/pen to go with the ink tube.
  • (2) The improved ink tube structure allows consumers to replace only the ink tube after it runs out of ink (in contrast, the ink tube of the prior art has to be thrown out). Therefore, the ink tube of the present invention is environmentally friendly.
  • (3) A retaining device is used in the ink tube structure of the present invention so as to prevent the improved ink tube structure from deforming.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings disclose several illustrative embodiments of the present invention which serve to exemplify the various advantages and objects hereof, and are as follows:

FIG. 1 is a view showing an embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a view showing another embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a view showing how a retaining device is fitted on the hollow ink tube.

FIG. 4 is a view showing how a retaining device is fitted in manufacturing.

FIG. 5 is a view showing how the retaining device of FIG. 4 has been fitted in manufacturing.

FIG. 5A is a perspective view showing the retaining device of FIG. 5.

FIG. 6 is a view showing a second bent portion according to the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a side view showing the second bent portion of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a side view showing how a retaining device is fitted on the first bent portion and the second bent portion.

FIG. 9 is another view showing how a retaining device is fitted on the first bent portion and the second bent portion.

FIG. 9A is a cross sectional view of the retaining device of FIG. 9.

FIG. 10 is a view showing how a protective unit is fitted on the writing tip.

FIG. 11 is a view showing how the protective unit of FIG. 10 is fitted on the writing tip.

FIG. 12 is a view showing how the protective unit of FIG. 10 is fitted on the writing tip.

FIG. 12A is a cross sectional view of the retaining device of FIG. 12.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view showing how a stabilizing seat is disposed under the retaining device.

FIG. 14 is another view showing the stabilizing seat of FIG. 13.

FIG. 15 is a bottom view showing a stabilizing seat with a different shape.

FIG. 16 is a top view showing the stabilizing seat of FIG. 15.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view showing a stabilizing seat with another different shape.

FIG. 18 is a view showing how the stabilizing seat of FIG. 17 is fitted on the hollow ink tube.

FIG. 19 is a view showing how the stabilizing seat of FIG. 17 is fitted on the hollow ink tube.

FIG. 19A is a cross sectional view of the retaining device of FIG. 19.

FIG. 20 is a view showing how a thin-layered unit is fitted on the hollow ink tube.

FIG. 20A is a cross sectional view of the thin-layered unit of FIG. 20.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Please see FIG. 1. The improved ink tube structure of the present invention comprises a hollow ink tube 1 and a writing tip 2. The hollow ink tube 1 may hold ink, and the ink may flow out of the writing tip 2 and onto a writing surface.

A first bent portion 11 is disposed near the writing tip 2. A bent angle C is formed at the first bent portion 11; the bent angle C is between 100 degree and 165 degree. The distance B between the curvature center A and the end point 21 of the writing tip 2 is in the range from 1 cm to 3 cm. The relevant studies have shown that such angle C and such distance B are of the most ergonomic design. In use, the improved ink tube structure of the present invention is placed inside the housing (not shown in the drawing) of a pen so as to be used for writing.

Now, please see FIG. 2. The hollow ink tube 1 may be consisted of two parts—a shorter front portion and a longer rear portion 12 so as to increase the strength and the ink carrying capacity of the hollow ink tube 1 and to provide an additional design. The rear portion 12 has a larger inner diameter.

Now, please refer to FIG. 3. Because the hollow ink tube 1 is made of flexible plastic compound, it is subject to deformation. Therefore, a retaining device 3 is provided at the first bent portion 11. A groove is provided on the retaining device 3 and is configured to match the curve of the first bent portion 11 so as to hold the first bent portion 11 and keep the first bent portion 11 from deforming.

Please see FIGS. 4, 5 and 5A. The retaining device 3 may be a metallic tube 31. In manufacturing, the metallic tube 31 is first placed over the first bent portion 11 and then is bent so as to keep the first bent portion 11 from deforming.

Now, please refer to FIGS. 6 and 7. A second bent portion 13 may be disposed behind the first bent portion 11 on the hollow ink tube 1. A bent angle D is formed at the second bent portion 13; the bent angle D is between 100 degree and 165 degree. Another angle E is formed between the axis of the straight portion in front of the first bent portion 11 and the axis of the straight portion behind the second bent portion 13. The bent angle E is between 10 degree and 40 degree. The relevant studies have shown that such angles D and E are of the ergonomic design.

Please see FIG. 8. With regard to a hollow ink tube 1 that has a second bent portion 13, a retaining device 3 is provided. The retaining device 3 is configured to match the curves 32 of the first bent portion 11 and the second bent portion 13. A groove 321 is provided on the retaining device 3 and is configured to match the curves 32 of the first bent portion 11 and the second bent portion 13 so as to prevent the first bent portion 11 and the second bent portion 13 from deforming. As shown in FIG. 8A, the openings at the two ends of the retaining device 3 are slighter smaller than the rest parts of the retaining device 3 so as to prevent the accidental disengagement of the hollow ink tube 1 from the retaining device 3.

Please see FIG. 9. With regard to a hollow ink tube 1 that has a second bent portion 13, the retaining device 3 may be a metallic tube 31. In manufacturing, the metallic tube 31 is first placed over the first bent portion 11 and the second bent portion 13 and then is bent. A connective portion 42 is provided to connect the lower end 33 of the retaining device 3 with a protective unit 4 of the writing tip 2. The connective portion 42 may be made of a flexible plastic material.

Please refer to FIGS. 10, 11 and 12. In addition to the aforementioned retaining device 3, a protective unit 4 may be provided at the writing tip 2. The protective unit 4 has an upper opening 41 into which the writing tip 2 may be inserted. The protective unit 4 is connected with the lower end 33 of the retaining device 3. As previously described, a groove 321 is provided on the retaining device 3. In manufacturing, the writing tip 2 is first inserted into the upper opening 41 of the protective unit 4 and then a portion 42 of the protective unit 4 is bent to form a connective portion 421; then, the hollow ink tube 1 is placed inside the groove 321. In this way, both the writing tip 2 and the first bent portion 11 may be fixed and protected.

Now, please refer to FIGS. 13 and 16A. To avoid the retaining device 3 from deforming, a stabilizing seat 34 is disposed under the retaining device 3. The stabilizing seat 34 has a geometric shape and is integrally formed with the retaining device 3. The stabilizing seat 34 is able to keep the retaining device 3 from deforming.

Please refer to FIGS. 17 and 19A. The stabilizing seat 34 may have various types of shapes, such as the mountain shape (with an M-shaped cross section) in the present embodiment. The stabilizing seat 34, with its two side walls by the groove 321, is able to provide stable support to the retaining device 3. In addition, the appearance of the stabilizing seat 34 is aesthetically appealing. However, the present invention is not limited to the mountain shape.

Now, please see FIGS. 20 and 20A. The retaining device 3 may be a thin-layered unit 35 so as to facilitate packaging and display. The thin-layered unit 35 has a groove 351, which can cover the hollow ink tube 1 completely. A stabilizing piece 353 is provided on either side or edge 352 of the groove 351. Either stabilizing piece 353 has a geometric shape. In this way, the thin-layered unit 35, with its two stabilizing pieces 353, can keep the hollow ink tube 1 from deforming.

Many changes and modifications in the above described embodiments of the invention can, of course, be carried out without departing from the scope thereof. Accordingly, to promote the progress in science and the useful arts, the invention is disclosed and is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS

The improved ink tube structure of the present invention has the following three advantages:

  • (1) The bent design of the improved ink tube structure allows the ink tubes of the present invention to be individually packaged and sold and allows consumers to choose a proper type of housing/pen to go with the ink tube.
  • (2) The improved ink tube structure allows consumers to replace only the ink tube after it runs out of ink (in contrast, the ink tube of the prior art has to be thrown out). Therefore, the ink tube of the present invention is environmentally friendly.
  • (3) A retaining device is used in the ink tube structure of the present invention so as to prevent the improved ink tube structure from deforming.





 
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