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Патент USA US3087650

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April 30, 1963
‘
R. BLASER
‘
‘Original Filed Sept. 22, 1966
FLAT FOLDING CUP
3,087,640
7
ZQUSheets-Sheet 1
.30/
I
ENTOR‘
B05627?‘ BZaser
April 30, 1963
3,087,640
INVENTOR.
Robe/‘Z BZasa'
BY
United States Patent Otlice
3,687,640
Patented Apr. 30, 1963
2
1
FIG. 4A is a section through the cup in further folded
3,087,640
FLAT FOLDING CUP
Robert Blaser, Featherhed Lane, Branford, Conn.
Continuation of abandoned application Ser. No. 57,763,
Sept. 22, 1960. This application Mar. 14, 1962, S82‘
No. 181,228
1 Claim.
('Ci. 220-6)
condition;
FIG. 5 is a top view of the cup in an overfolded con
dition into which it is normally manipulated for its snap
back into normal vfolded condition;
FIG. 5A is a fragmentary top view of the cup at an
intermediate stage of its folding;
FIGS. 6 and 7 are top “and side views, respectively, of
the cup in its normal folded condition;
This invention relates to collapsible drinking cups in
FIG. 8 is a section through the folded cup as taken on
10
general, and to flat folding cups in particular.
the line 8-—8 of FIG. 6; ‘and
This ‘application is a continuation of my prior applica
tion, Serial No. 57,763, ?led September 22, 1960‘.
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary top view of a modi?ed unfolded
cup of the present invention.
A cup of the general type with which the present inven
Referring to the drawings, and more particularly to
tion is concerned is disclosed in the patent to Titchborne,
No. 1,117,109, dated November 10, 1914. This cup 15 FIGS. 1 to 8 thereof, the reference numeral 20 designates
a cup of folding type which consists of two members or
consists of two elongated odd-shaped leaf-like members
halves 22 and 24 that are pivotally connected. The cup
or halves of resiliently ?exible material which have op
members 22 and 24, which are made of relatively thin
posed ?oating pivot connections near their opposite ends
and resilient material and preferably metal such as stain
and are ?at and superposed in the unfolded condition of
the cup. To fold the cup for use, the user grasps the leaf~ 20 less steel, are ?at and superposed in the unfolded condi
tion of the cup (FIGS. 1 and 2) and are in the form of
like members, then ?exes them between their pivot con—
complement-a1 partial cones in the folded condition of the
nections and simultaneously turns them in opposite direc
tions about their pivot connections into partial cone forma
cup (FIGS. 6 to 8).
e?fort and dexterity to manipulate, especially in folding
it into cup form, and more important, when folded by
line midway between, the pivot connections 26 between
The cup members 22 and 24 are odd-shaped for their
tions until they complement each other in a cone-like
resilient
formation into partial cones which complement
receptacle, in the course of which the inner member passes 25
each other in the folded condition of the cup to form a
through a zone of interference of the outer member.
sealed receptacle. The cup members 22 and 24, while
After use, the cup may be unfolded by forcing its mem
odd-shaped, are presently individually symmetrical about
bers in the reverse direction until they snap back into
a median line or axis x which extends at right angles to
their ?at superposed condition. However, this cup was
found to be quite unwieldy and requiring considerable 30 another line x’ passing through, and intersects the latter
the average user was found to leak so prohibitively as to
be to all practical intents and purposes useless as a drink
the cup members (FIG. 1). The cup members are also
generally elongated in the direction of the line x’.
The shapes of the cup members 22 and 24 may vary
ing cup.
35 quite widely, depending on the desired size and form of
the unfolded ‘cup. As to the present form of the cup
It is the primary aim and object of the present inven
member 22, its peripheral edge 23 is shaped (FIG. 1)
tion to provide a folding cup of this type which for its
to form the desired base of its partial cone form in the
folding and unfolding requires hardly any effort and
folded cup (FIGS. 6 to 8), while its edge 30 is shaped
dexterity on the part of the user, and is assuredly leak
proof when folded by any, and even the clumsiest, user. 40 to conform to the curvature of the cup member 24 in
its partial cone form in the folded cup at the line of con
It is ‘another object of the present invention to provide
tact of both cup members to seal the folded cup thereat.
a cup of this type of which the cup members with their
The sealing edge 30 of the cup member 22 is over the
?oating pivot connections are so arranged that for their
folding into and unfolding from cup form they require
greater part of its length presently shaped (FIG. 1) to
mostly mere sliding on each other followed by simple
pivoting about their pivot connections, and vice versa,
thereby to achieve their aforementioned manipulation with
hardly ‘any effort and dexterity on the part of any user.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide
conform in the folded cup to the line of intersection x"
between the cup member 24 in its partial cone form and
a plane normal to the base of the latter (FIGS. 6 and 8).
As to the present form of the cup member 24, its edge
32 (FIG. 1) is shaped to form the desired base of its
a cup of this type of which the cup members with their 50 partial cone form in the folded cup (FIGS. 6 to 8), while
its edge 34 is shaped to terminate its partial cone form
pivot connections are further arranged so that on their
folding into cup form the inner member will yield through
outside the con?nes of the receptacle of the folded cup
in the ?rst place and along .a desired smooth line in the
the interference zone of the outer member, and both mem
bers will on their continued folding beyond the inter
ference become resiliently ?exed with an increasing force
which on release of either member will snap both mem
bers back into cup form so forcefully as to drive the inner
member suf?ciently into the interference zone of the outer
member to form at their line of contact an assuredly lea {
proof seal between them.
Other objects and advantages will appear to those skilled
in the art from the following, considered in conjunction
with the accompanying drawings.
In the accompanying drawings, in which certain modes
second place (FIGS. 7 and 8).
The pivot connections 26 between the cup members
22 ‘and 24 near their opposite ends are of ?oating type
and comprise pivots 36 and slots 38, of which the pivots
36 are presently and preferably provided on the cup mem
ber 22 and the slots 38 are provided in the other cup
60 member 24.
The pivots 26 and slots 38 are presently
equally spaced from the median line x and the slots 38
are identically inclined to this median line x.
Opposite end lengths 30’ of the edge 30 of the cup
member 22 are presently formed by ear extensions 40
of carrying out the present invention are shown for illus 65 (FIG. 1) which in the folded cup extend deeper into the
trative purposes:
cone-shaped cup member 24 than any other part of the
FIG. 1 is a top view of an unfolded cup embodying
cone-shaped cup member 22 (FIGS. 6 and 8).
To fold the ?at cup, the members 22 and 24 are grasped
the present invention;
I FIG. 2 is an end view of the same unfolded cup;
near and substantially midway of their respective edges
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary top view of the same cup in 70 28 and 32 and drawn apart until the pivots 36 reach the
partly folded condition;
FIG. 4 is ‘a section taken on the line 4—4 of FIG. 3;
opposite ends 38" of the slots 38 (FIGS. 3 and 4). In
thus drawing or sliding the cup members apart they are
3
3,087,640
?exed into preliminary partial cones by cam action be
tween the pivots 36 and respective slots 38, with the cup
member 22 being compelled into a partial cone of much
smaller slant than that of the cone-shaped member 24
primarily by the curvature of the latter at and near the
pivots 36, as will be readily understood. While still grasp
ing the cup members in the intermediate folded stage of
FIGS. 3 and 4, preferably more inwardly now, they are
then turned out about their pivot connections 26 through
4
30 across the pivot connections 26. Thus, the cup mem
ber 22 will on its further fold encounter at ?rst increasing
and then decreasing resistance or interference from the
other cup member 24 on its passage through this con
stricted region of the latter which extends aproximately
from the point p in FIG. 4A to the point p’ in FIG. 8.
Accordingly, it is only by additional resilient distortion of
the cup member 22 that the same may pass through this
interference region of the other cup member 24 without
the passing stage of and in the direction of the arrows 10 suffering permanent distortion which would render the
42 and 44 in FIG. 4A until they are preferably over
folded to an extent like or similar to that shown in FIG.
cup of no further use.
This additional, temporary resil
ient distortion of the cup member 22 is characteristically
5, whereupon either cup member is released for resilient
shown in FIG. 5A by the irregular outline of the sealing
spring-back of both cup members into their normal folded
edge 30 which indicates that the latter proceeds through
receptacle-forming condition in which the edge 30 of 15 the interference region of the cup member 24 in snake
the cup member 22 bears against and conforms to the
fashion best suited for its passage of the latter with the
curved surface of the cup member 24 throughout their
least resistance therefrom. The sealing edge 30 of the
line of contact to seal the receptacle thereat (FIGS. 6 and
folding cup member 22 is thus temporarily distorted in
8). To unfold the cup for return to its ?at condition, it
snake or S fashion which characteristically brings about
is merely necessary to turn the cup members in the op
posite directions about their pivot connections 26 until
the same arrive at the intermediate stage of FIG. 4, where
upon the cup members are simply slid toward each other
a snap action of this cup member into its normal folded
condition (FIGS. 6 and 8) while part of this edge 30 is
still within the interference region of the cup member 24.
In this connection, the cup member 22 may well be in the
until the pivots 36 are at or near the slot ends 38' and the
condition shown in FIG. 5A just prior to its snap into
cup members reassume their natural ?at condition. Of 25 its normal folded condition (FIGS. 6 and 8), and it is
course, the cup members will on their described turning
into folded and unfolded condition be subjected to a snap
action from each other which will be fully described here
entirely possible that the cup member 22 in FIG. 5A is
then in part already in normal folded condition as indi‘
cated by the normal folded position of the ear extension
inafter.
40’ and the nearby straight delineation 30" of part of the
It is the most basic consideration in the design of the 30 sealing edge 30, while the remainder of the cup member
present cup that the latter must meet the imperative re
is still far from normal folded condition as indicated by
quirement of being truly leakproof. To this end, the
the wavy outline of the remainder of the sealing edge 30
present cup is so designed that the sealing edge 30 of the
and by the illustration of the other ear extension 40”
cup member 22 will respond to the resiliency of both
which has then not folded very much beyond its inter
highly flexed cup members in the folded cup by resiliently
mediate folding stage in FIGS. 3 and 4.
bearing against and conforming itself to the curved sur
The snake-like temporary distortion of the sealing edge
face of the confronting cup member 24 throughout their
30 is thus quite pronounced and prevails over a substan
unbroken line or area of contact and even at the very
tial part of the passage of the cup member 22 through
apex of the cup receptacle. This is achieved by arranging
the constricted region of the other cup member 24. How
40
the cup members and their pivot connections so that
ever, it may readily be deduced from FIGS. 5A and 8 that
lines 1’ and l” of the cone-shaped cup members 22 and
due to the relatively large obtuse angle a between the cup
24 in the folded cup which pass through the apex a of
members all along the sealing edge 30 and during the
the cup receptacle and thereat extend at right angles to
temporary distortion of the latter, the resiliency of a wide
the sealing edge 30 of the cup member 22 (FIG. 6) form
marginal portion of the cup member 22 along the edge
within the con?nes of the cup receptacle an obtuse angle
30 readily permits the latter to dodge in snake-like fashion
a (FIG. 8). To this end, the cup member 24 is presently
through the restricted region of the cup member 24 with
shaped so that the slant angle ,8 of its partial cone shape
out encountering much resistance from the latter, yet be
(FIG. 8) is sufficiently large for a substantial depth and,
resiliently urged against the cup member 24 so uniformly
hence, volume of the cup receptacle for the size of the
50 as to conform itself fully to the confronting curvature of
cup members, while the cup member 22 is shaped so that
the latter already at the stage of FIG. 5A. Thus, the
the slant angle 7 of its partial cone shape is suf?ciently
edge 30 in the partly folded cup of FIG. 5A may already
smaller to be consistent with the requirement that the
seal the same as effectively as it seals the normal folded
contained angle a of ‘both folded cup members be obtuse.
cup of FIGS. 6 and 8.
The slant angle ,8 of the folded cup member 24 is in the 55
It is, of course, the great resilient urgency of the edge
present example in the neighborhood of 45 degrees, while
30 of the cup member 22 into contact with the cup mem
the slant angle 1/ of the other folded cup member 22 is
ber 24 and its self-conformity to the curvature of the
quite considerably less than 45 degrees and is in the pres
latter throughout the folded cup, and even before the
ent example roughly 30‘ degrees (FIG. 8). To obtain for
same is fully folded, which makes for a most effective
the cup member 22 the considerably smaller slant angle 60 seal of the cup receptacle. On the other hand, the great
7, the aforementioned plane of intersection of the partial
resiliency of the cup member 24 at its edge 30 and its
cone shape of the cup member, at the line x" in FIG. 8,
ready conformity to the confronting curvature of the other
in accordance with which the exemplary sealing edge 30
cup member 24 on folding the cup make for performance
has been laid out so as to conform to the line of inter
of the latter task with the least resistance from the cup
section x" in the folded cup, has been spaced correspond
member 24 and, hence, with the least effort, and makes
it extremely unlikely that either cup member will be per
ingly widely from a plane x'” parallel thereto and passing
manently distorted on even the clumsiest manipulation.
through the pivot connections 26, as will be readily under
How thoroughly satisfactory the seal of the cup receptacle
stood.
by the edge 30 really is is further evidenced by the fact
In thus shaping the cup members 22 and 24, the same
may be folded somewhat beyond the further intermediate 70 that on permitting the preferably considerably over-folded
cup members, such as in FIG. 5, for instance, freely to
stage shown in FIG. 4A before further folding of the cup
snap back into their normal folded condition (FIG. 6) the
member 22 is resisted by the other cup member 24 owing
sealing edge 30 may readily be observed to have the slight
to the fact that the sealing edge 30 then enters a con
est beginning of a snake-like extent, especially near the
stricted region of the partial cone shape of the cup mem
receptacle ‘apex a. This clearly indicates that the edge
ber 24 in which the latter is shorter than the sealing edge 75
30 will even resort to snake-like distortion as required to
3,087,640
5
close any gap therealong as much so at the receptacle
apex a as at any other place.
'
As already mentioned, the task of folding and unfolding
the cup is greatly facilitated by the inappreciable resist
ance encountered by the cup member 22 on its passage
through the constricted vor interference region of the other
6
32 of these members in any of their ‘folded stages must
be quite substantial, and may be as in the exemplary cup
shown in the drawings in which they are spaced from the
respective edges 28 and 32 a distance of somewhat more
than one-fourth of the radius of the substantially cir
cular edge 28 of the cup member 28. In general, ef
fective snap-back of the cup members 22 and 24 from
overfolded condition into cup form will be achieved as
preciable manual flexing of the cup members, for the
long as the radius of the substantially circular base-form
latter will respond by ?exing into .and from their partial
cone shapes largely to harmless and effortless twists of 10 ing edge of either cup member 22 or 24 is no more than
several times the distance of either pivot 36 from either
one of their adjacent ends about the pivot connection 26
cup member 24. This task does not even require ap
thereat.
Thus, in ‘the course of folding the cup as shown
nearest edge 28 or 32 of the cup members 22 and 24 in
any of their folded stages.
in FIG. 5A, the approximately folded ends at the top may
It is in view of this signi?cant substantially equal in
conveniently have been thus folded by holding the cup
members some distance inwardly from the top pivot con 15 ward spacing of the pivots from the base-forming edges
28 and 32 of the cup members 22 and 24 in any of their
nection 216' and primarily sliding the cup member 22 on
folded stages (FIGS. 3 to 8) and the requirement that
the other cup member 24 counterclockwise about the
the pivot connections 26 permit these cup member-s to lie
pivot connection 26' until the cup snaps into its normal
flat and superposed when unfolded (FIGS. 1 and 2), that
folded condition very shortly after passing through the
20 the slots 38 are arranged so that on engagement of the
condition shown in FIG. 5A.
pivots 36 with the slot ends 38" the former are substan
The arrangement of the ?oating pivot connections is
also advantageous in even further facilitating the ‘task of
folding the cup by dividing this task in two distinct suc
tially equally spaced from the base-forming edges of both
cessive manipulative steps of exceeding simplicity. Thus,
engagement of the pivots 36 with the opposite slot ends
cup members as desired for their cup formation, while on
the inclination of the slots 38 to the median line x (FIG. 25 38’ the former are much closer spaced from the base
forming edge 32 of the cup member 24 in order that
1) is such that they releasably lock the cup members in
both cup members may lie flat on each other when un
their preliminary partial cone shapes (:FIGS. 3 and 4),
folded (FIG. 1). It is for these purposes that the slots
with the user of the cup then free to pause and regr-asp
38 in the cup member 24 are designed in the ?rst place
the cup members for their most convenient further fold
to slant from their ends '38’ to their opposite ends 38"
ing into receptacle form as described.
away from the adjacent base-forming edge 32 of cup
The speci?c arrangement of the ?oating pivot connec
member 24 as shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 7. Of course,
tions 26 is further most signi?cant in obtaining a leak
the slant of the slots 38 in this respect has further been
proof seal between the cup members 22 and ‘24 in their
selected to achieve the previously described camming of
folded cup form. This, it will be noted in FIG. 1 that
each pivot 36 on the cup member 22 is spaced con 35 the cup members 22 and 24 into and releasable retention
siderably inwardly from the edge '28 thereof which is
preferably of circular, or nearly circular, outline so as
to lie substantially in a plane in the partial cup-shape of
in their intermediate folded stage (FIGS. 3 and 4) on
merely sliding them apart when unfolded (FIG. 1).
Further, while the ear extensions 40 on the cup member
2'2 will on overfolding of both cup members beyond their
22 (FIGS. 7 and 8). Each of these pivots
of the folded stages of the members 22 and 40 cup formation assist somewhat in their snap-‘back on re
lease into their cup formation, these ear extensions are
3 to 8 similarly widely spaced inwardly from
provided primarily for the purpose of sealing the consider
of the other cup member 24 which is also
ably inwardly spaced slots 38 (FIGS. 6 and 7) and there
of preferably circular, or nearly circular, outline so as
by greatly enhancing the leakproof volume of the folded
to lie substantially in a plane in the partial cup-shape of
the member '24 (FIGS. 7 and 8). In thus having the piv 45 cu .
lginally, reference is had to FIG. 9 which shows a
ots considerably spaced inwardly from the edges 28 and
?at folding cup 28a that may in all respects be like the de
32 of the cup members 22 and 24 in any of their folded
scribed cup 20, except that the cup member 22a of the
stages, these cup members will, on their ‘folding beyond
the member
36 is in any
24 in FIGS.
the edge 32
the normal cup formation in FIG. 8 to the overfolded
present cup lacks the ear extensions 40 of cup 20. The
ciently to become distorted as required in order to close
in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, and all
condition in FIG. 5, for example, become resiliently 50 present cup 20a, if in all other respects like the cup 20,
would, however leak at the slots 38a but would be leak
flexed increasingly ‘between their pivot connections 26,
proof therebelow in its folded condition.
with their resilient ?exure acting on release of either over
The invention may be carried out in other speci?c ways
folded members 22 and 24 to snap both members back
than those herein set ‘forth without departing from the
into their cup formation so forcefully that the sealing
edge 30 of the member 22 enters the interference region 55 spirit and essential characteristics of the invention, and
the present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered
of the other member 24 slightly, but nevertheless suf?~
any gap therealong. This explains the earlier described
changes coming within the meaning and equivalency
behaviour of the edge 30 of the cup member 22 that it
range of the appended claim are intended to be embraced
considerable inward spacing of the pivots 36 from the
unfolded and having opposite side edges of which op
posite ?rst side edges of said members are substantially
part-circular, and pivot connections between said mem
will even resort to snake-like distortion as required to 60 therein.
A folding cup, comprising two resiliently ?exible elon
close any gap therealong as much so at the receptacle
gated leaf-like members lying ?at on each other when
apex a as at any other place. It is, of course, due to the
edges 28 and 32 of the cup members 22 and 24 that the
latter will, on their over folding ‘beyond cup formation,
be compelled into increasingly steeper partial cone for
mations and, hence, increasing ?exure between their piv
bers about which to fold them into a cup of comple
mental partial cones in which said ?rst edges form the
bases of the respective partial cones and the other side
edge of one of said members bears against the remaining
member to seal the cup at the junction of said partial
cones, said pivot connections being formed by two pivots
on said one member spaced longitudinally thereof and
spaced radially inwardly a certain distance from said ?rst
inward spacing of the pivots 36 from the edges 28 and 75 edge thereof, and slots in the other member receiving said
ots 36, and their increasing ?exure from this cause is
clearly discernible from a comparison between the cup
members in their normal cup formation of FIG. 6 and
in their exemplary overfolded condition of FIG. 5.
To attain the described effective snap-back of the over
folded cup members 22 and 24 into their cup form, the
8,087,640
8
pivots, respectively, and having ?rst ends spaced from
than several times shorter than the radius of said ?rst
each other equally as said pivots and spaced less than
edge of said one member so ‘that no overfolding of both
said distance from said ?rst edge of said other member,
members ‘beyond their cup ‘form and release of either
and said slots extending toward the other side edge of said
member both overfolded members will snap back into
other member to their other ends at a slant away from 5 cup from and seal the same, and opposite ends of said
said ?rst edge thereof so as to be spaced substantially said
other side edge of said one member are formed by ears
distance therefrom at said other ends, with said other
on said one member covering said slots in the cup form
of said members to seal the cup thereat.
slot ends being spaced apart su?iciently wider than said
pivots to cause said slots and pivots to cam said members
into and releasably lock them in preliminary partial cone
formations on sliding said one member with its pivots to
said other slot ends, said certain distance being no more
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
1,117,109
Tichborne ___________ __ Nov. 10, 1914
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