Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
NON-INTERLOCKING MAGNETIC ZIPPER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/031090
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A non-interlocking magnetic zipper is provided which incorporates a first and second magnetic strip that connect together in response to movement of a magnetic slider which receives the second strip. The second strip includes a flexible, magnetic flap that is configured to repel the first strip and disable the magnetic attraction between the first and second strips based on the position of the slider. In operation, as the slider moves proximally along the second strip, the flap moves away from the first strip, thereby removing the repulsive force against the first strip and allowing the first and second strip to connect and close the zipper. Similarly, as the magnetic slider moves distally along the second strip, the flap moves back towards the first strip, thereby renewing the repulsive force against the first strip and allowing the first and second strips to disconnect and open the zipper.

More Like This:
Inventors:
PASALAGUA, Tianna (12292 Media Panorama, Santa Ana, CA, 92705, US)
Application Number:
US2017/033423
Publication Date:
February 15, 2018
Filing Date:
May 18, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PASALAGUA, Tianna (12292 Media Panorama, Santa Ana, CA, 92705, US)
International Classes:
A44B19/18; A41F1/00; A44B19/04; A44B19/26; H01F7/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016100553A12016-06-23
Foreign References:
US3008209A1961-11-14
US7451530B22008-11-18
US3827019A1974-07-30
US4399595A1983-08-23
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MITCHELL, Matthew, W. (P.O. Box 607, Fenton, MI, 48430, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A non-interlocking magnetic zipper comprising:

a first magnetic strip having proximal and distal ends and including a first tape and a first link;

a second magnetic strip having proximal and distal ends and including a second tape and a second link; and

a magnetic slider connected between the first strip and the second strip, the magnetic slider being shaped to receive the second magnetic strip;

wherein the first and second link are disconnected from each other in an open configuration when the magnetic slider is positioned at the distal ends of the first and second magnetic strips; and

wherein the first and second link are magnetically connected together in a closed configuration when the magnetic slider is positioned at the proximal ends of the first and second magnetic strips.

2. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 1, wherein the second

magnetic strip includes a flap flexibly disposed between the second tape and the second link, the flap being magnetically configured to repel the first link.

3. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 2, wherein as the magnetic slider moves proximally along the second magnetic strip towards the proximal ends, the second tape is magnetically configured to attract the flap and allow magnetic connection of the first link and second link.

4. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 3, wherein the second tape includes a raised platform magnetically configured to attract the flap.

5. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 3, wherein the second tape has a stronger magnetic flux than that of the second link, and wherein the magnetic slider has a stronger magnetic flux than that of the second tape.

6. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 2, wherein as the magnetic slider moves distally along the second magnetic strip towards the distal ends, the magnetic slider is magnetically configured to attract the flap and allow disconnection of the first link from the second link.

7. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 6, wherein the magnetic slider has a slider proximal end and a slider distal end, and the magnetic slider has a stronger magnetic flux at the slider proximal end than at the slider distal end.

8. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 2, wherein the magnetic slider includes a crown configured to repel the flap.

9. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 8, wherein the crown is a semicircular pull tab.

The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 1, wherein the magnetic slider includes a body having top and bottom lips defining a cavity therebetween, wherein the cavity is configured to receive the second link, wherein the second magnetic strip includes a track disposed within the second link, and wherein the magnetic slider includes a projection extending from the body within the cavity, the projection being configured to be slidably received into the track.

11. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 1, wherein the zipper

includes an extended portion at the proximal ends and at the distal ends each including one or more recesses configured to receive the magnetic slider.

12. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 1, wherein the zipper

includes at least one of rare earth magnets or programmable magnets.

13. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 1, wherein the zipper is one of 3D printed or 4D printed.

14. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 1, wherein the zipper

includes one of inserted magnets or printed magnets. A non-interlocking magnetic zipper comprising:

a first magnetic strip having proximal and distal ends and including a first tape and a first link;

a second magnetic strip having proximal and distal ends and including a second tape, a second link, and a flap flexibly disposed between the second tape and the second link, the flap being magnetically configured to repel the first link; and

a magnetic slider connected between the first magnetic strip and the second magnetic strip, the magnetic slider being shaped to receive the second magnetic strip;

wherein the first and second link are disconnected from each other in an open configuration when the magnetic slider is positioned at the distal ends of the first and second magnetic strips;

wherein the first and second link are magnetically connected together in a closed configuration when the magnetic slider is positioned at the proximal ends of the first and second magnetic strips;

wherein as the magnetic slider moves proximally along the second magnetic strip towards the proximal ends, the second tape is magnetically configured to attract the flap and allow magnetic connection of the first link and second link; and

wherein as the magnetic slider moves distally along the second magnetic strip towards the distal ends, the magnetic slider is magnetically configured to attract the flap and allow disconnection of the first link from the second link.

16. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 15, wherein the second tape has a stronger magnetic flux than that of the second link, and wherein the magnetic slider has a stronger magnetic flux than that of the second tape.

17. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 15, wherein the magnetic slider has a slider proximal end and a slider distal end, and the magnetic slider has a stronger magnetic flux at the slider proximal end than at the slider distal end.

18. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 15, wherein the magnetic slider includes a crown configured to repel the flap.

19. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 15, wherein the magnetic slider includes a body having top and bottom lips defining a cavity therebetween, wherein the cavity is configured to receive the second link, wherein the second magnetic strip includes a track disposed within the second link, and wherein the magnetic slider includes a projection extending from the body within the cavity, the projection being configured to be slidably received into the track.

20. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 15, wherein the zipper includes an extended portion at the proximal ends and at the distal ends each including one or more recesses configured to receive the magnetic slider.

21. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 15, wherein the zipper

includes at least one of rare earth magnets or programmable magnets.

22. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 15, wherein the zipper is formed by one of a 3D printing or 4D printing technique.

23. The non-interlocking magnetic zipper of Claim 15, wherein the zipper

includes one of inserted magnets or printed magnets.

24. A non-interlocking magnetic zipper comprising:

a first magnetic strip having proximal and distal ends and including a first tape and a first link;

a second magnetic strip having proximal and distal ends and including a second tape, a second link, a flap flexibly disposed between the second tape and the second link, the flap being magnetically configured to repel the first link, and a track disposed within the second link; and a magnetic slider connected between the first magnetic strip and the second magnetic strip, the magnetic slider including a body having top and bottom lips defining a cavity therebetween, the cavity being configured to receive the second magnetic strip, and a projection extending from the body within the cavity, the projection being configured to be slidably received into the track;

wherein the first and second link are disconnected from each other in an open configuration when the magnetic slider is positioned at the distal ends of the first and second magnetic strips;

wherein the first and second link are magnetically connected together in a closed configuration when the magnetic slider is positioned at the proximal ends of the first and second magnetic strips;

wherein the second tape has a stronger magnetic flux than that of the second link, and wherein the magnetic slider has a stronger magnetic flux than that of the second tape;

wherein the magnetic slider has a slider proximal end and a slider distal end, the magnetic slider having a stronger magnetic flux at the slider proximal end than at the slider distal end;

wherein as the magnetic slider moves proximally along the second magnetic strip towards the proximal ends, the second tape is magnetically configured to attract the flap and allow magnetic connection of the first link and second link; and

wherein as the magnetic slider moves distally along the second magnetic strip towards the distal ends, the body of the magnetic slider is magnetically configured to attract the flap and allow disconnection of the first link from the second link.

Description:
NON-INTERLOCKING MAGNETIC ZIPPER

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority from provisional U.S. Application No.

62/373,199, filed August 10, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention generally relates to a zipper, and more particularly relates to a magnetic non-interlocking zipper.

BACKGROUND

[0003] The statements in this section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure and may not constitute prior art.

[0004] Typical zippers are interlocking fastening mechanisms having metal or plastic teeth which interconnect in response to movement of a slider along a track.

They are used today as closures in many personal, industrial, and military applications, including apparel, accessories, and containers.

[0005] However, interlocking zippers are prone to breakage. Repeated usage can cause wear on the teeth, slider, or other zipper components. Breakage of even a single tooth or other component from wear can render the zipper inoperable.

Depending on the result, user embarrassment or irritability can result, valuables may be lost or damaged, and zipper replacement costs may be incurred.

[0006] Additionally, interlocking zippers can result in injury to the fabric or user. As the slider moves along the track, the zipper teeth or slider may catch on the bias tape or the underlying apparel. As a result, the zipper may pinch and stick to the fabric, which not only wears out the fabric but may cause tears in the fabric if too much force is used to reposition the zipper. Moreover, if the zipper pinches a user's skin, harm to the user can evidently result. This risk of harm is especially likely in children, who tend to excitedly slide the zipper during use and are therefore more prone to accidentally pinching themselves. Moreover, the colorful coating that is typically applied to these zippers may be composed of harmful chemicals, therefore increasing the risk of harm to children and other users as well as to the environment.

[0007] Hence, there is a need for a zipper that minimizes the risks of breakage and injury typically caused by interlocking mechanisms.

SUMMARY

[0008] The present invention provides for a magnetic non-interlocking zipper which incorporates first and second magnetic strips with opposite-facing magnetic poles that attract and connect together in response to movement of a magnetic slider which is mounted on and receives the second magnetic strip.

[0009] The first and second magnetic strips include distal and proximal ends. As used herein, the terms "distal" and "proximal" represent locations relative to a user's head when the zipper is applied to donned clothing and vertically zipped- up. Thus, the slider is positioned at the distal ends of the zipper when the zipper is in an open configuration, and at the proximal ends of the zipper when the zipper is [0010] The second magnetic strip includes a flexible, magnetic flap that is configured to repel the first magnetic strip and thus disable the magnetic attraction between the first and second strips based on the position of the magnetic slider. In particular, as the magnetic slider moves proximally along the second magnetic strip, the magnetic flap rotates or revolves away from the first magnetic strip, thereby removing the repulsive force against the first magnetic strip and allowing the first and second magnetic strip to connect and close the zipper. Similarly, as the magnetic slider moves distally along the second magnetic strip, the magnetic flap rotates or revolves back towards the first magnetic strip, thereby renewing the repulsive force against the first magnetic strip and allowing the first and second magnetic strip to disconnect and open the zipper.

[0011] In this way, the zipper of the present invention does not use teeth or other similar interlocking mechanisms to operate, but instead uses attractive and repulsive magnetic forces to connect the pair of magnetic strips. As a result, the zipper solves the aforementioned problems of breakage and injury associated with traditional interlocking zippers, results in less injuries than traditional zippers, is more child-safe, has improved durability, has lower risk of breakage, and has less risk of becoming stuck during use.

[0012] Accordingly, a non-interlocking magnetic zipper is provided including a first magnetic strip having proximal and distal ends and including a first tape and a first link, a second magnetic strip having proximal and distal ends and including a second tape and a second link, and a magnetic slider connected between the first strip and the second strip and configured to receive the second magnetic strip. The zipper includes an open configuration in which the first and second link are disconnected from each other when the magnetic slider is positioned at the distal ends of the first and second magnetic strips, and a closed configuration in which the first and second link are magnetically connected together when the magnetic slider is positioned at the proximal ends of the first and second magnetic strips.

[0013] The second magnetic strip includes a flap flexibly disposed between the second tape and the second link. The flap is magnetically configured to repel the first link. As the magnetic slider moves proximally along the second magnetic strip towards the proximal ends, the second tape is magnetically configured to attract the flap and allow magnetic connection of the first link and second link. Similarly, as the magnetic slider moves distally along the second magnetic strip towards the distal ends, the magnetic slider is magnetically configured to attract the flap and allow disconnection of the first link from the second link.

[0014] To control the attractive and repulsive magnetic forces of the zipper, the second tape has a stronger magnetic flux than that of the second link, and the magnetic slider has a stronger magnetic flux than that of the second tape.

Moreover, the magnetic slider has a slider proximal end and a slider distal end, and the magnetic slider has a stronger magnetic flux at the slider proximal end than at the slider distal end. The second tape also may include a raised platform which is magnetically configured to attract the flap. Moreover, the magnetic slider includes a crown such as a semicircular pull tab projecting from the body which is magnetically configured to repel the flap.

[0015] The magnetic slider includes a body having top and bottom lips defining a cavity between the top and bottom lips. The cavity is configured to receive the second link of the second magnetic strip. The magnetic slider may also include a projection extending from the body within the cavity. This projection is configured to be slidably received into a track disposed within the second link. The zipper additionally may include an extended portion at the proximal and distal ends of the first and second magnetic strips which includes the track as well as one or more recesses configured to receive the magnetic slider.

[0016] The zipper may include rare earth magnets or programmable magnets which may be inserted or printed into the zipper. Additionally, the zipper may be 3D printed or 4D printed.

[0017] These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of preferred

embodiments which, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrate by way of example the principles of the invention.

[0018] This summary is provided merely to introduce certain concepts and not to identify key or essential features of the claimed subject matter. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] One or more embodiments will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0020] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a magnetic non-interlocking zipper according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, including a first and second magnetic strip, a magnetic slider positioned at the distal ends of the magnetic strips, and a flexible magnetic flap, the zipper being illustrated in an open configuration, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0021] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the second magnetic strip used in the zipper of FIG. 1 illustrating the flexible magnetic flap in a resting state before magnetic forces are applied, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0022] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the magnetic slider used in the zipper of FIG. 1, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0023] FIG. 4 is a top, plan view of the zipper of FIG. 1 illustrating movement of the magnetic slider towards the proximal ends of the magnetic strips, resulting in partial movement of the flexible magnetic flap and partial connection of the magnetic strips, in accordance with the present disclosure; and

[0024] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the zipper of FIG. 1 in which the magnetic slider has been moved to the proximal ends of the magnetic strips resulting in their complete connection, the zipper being illustrated in a closed configuration, in accordance with the present disclosure. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0025] Reference throughout this specification to "one embodiment," "an embodiment," or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the subject matter of the present disclosure. Appearances of the phrases "in one embodiment," "in an embodiment," and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment.

[0026] Various embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings, where like reference numerals represent like parts and assemblies throughout the several views. Reference to various embodiments does not limit the scope of the invention, which is limited only by the scope of the claims attached hereto. Additionally, any examples set forth in this specification are not intended to be limiting and merely set forth some of the many possible embodiments for the claimed invention.

[0027] As used in the description herein and throughout the claims, the following terms take the meanings explicitly associated herein, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise: the meaning of "a," "an," and "the" includes plural reference, the meaning of "in" includes "in" and "on." The term "based upon" is not exclusive and allows for being based on additional factors not described, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Additionally, in the subject description, the word "exemplary" is used to mean serving as an example, instance or illustration. Any embodiment or design described herein as "exemplary" is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments or designs. Rather, use of the word exemplary is intended to present concepts in a concrete manner.

[0028] Referring to FIGS. 1 - 3, a non-interlocking magnetic zipper 10 is provided including a first magnetic strip 12 (see FIG. 1), a second magnetic strip 14 (see FIG. 2), and a magnetic slider 16 (see FIG. 3) connected between the first and second strips. The zipper 10 may be plastic or metal, or it may be any other monofilament or polyfilament material. The magnetic strips 12, 14 and the slider 16 preferably incorporate programmable magnets such as those marketed under the brand Polymagnet®, although general rare-earth magnets such as neodymium or other magnets can alternatively be used.

[0029] Each magnetic strip includes a distal end 18 and a proximal end 20. The magnetic slider is positioned at the distal ends 18 of the magnetic strips when the zipper is in an open configuration, as shown in FIG. 1, and at the proximal ends 20 of the magnetic strips when the zipper is in a closed configuration, as shown in FIG. 5.

[0030] The first magnetic strip 12 includes a tape 22 and a link 24. Tape 22 may be a fabric material, as in bias tape, or it may be plastic, metal, or any other monofilament or polyfilament material. Link 24 is magnetic and may vary in length relative to tape 22.

[0031] The second magnetic strip 14 also includes a tape 26 and a link 28. Tape 26 may be a fabric material, as in bias tape, or it may be plastic, metal, or any other monofilament or polyfilament material. Tape 26 also includes a raised platform 27, which may be part of tape 26 or a separate component. Both tape 26 (and/or raised platform 27) and link 28 are magnetic and are designed to have opposite poles facing those of link 24 such that the first and second magnetic strips 12 and 14 attract.

[0032] A magnetic flap 30 is flexibly disposed on the second magnetic strip 14 between tape 26 and link 28. The flap is magnetically designed to have like poles facing those of link 24 of the first magnetic strip such that the flap repels link 24 (see FIGS. 1 and 4). The flap is also magnetically designed to have opposite poles facing those of the tape 26 such that the flap attracts towards tape 26 (see FIG. 5).

[0033] The magnetic slider 16 includes a body 32 having top and bottom lips 34, 36 defining a cavity 38 (see FIG. 3) which receives the link 28 of the second magnetic strip 14. To facilitate movement of the slider along the second magnetic strip, a track 40 is disposed within link 28 (see FIG. 2), and the slider includes a projection 42 extending from the body 32 within cavity 38 which is slidably received into the track.

[0034] The magnetic slider 16 is magnetically designed to have opposite poles facing those of the link 24 of the first magnetic strip such that slider 16 and link 24 attract and connect as shown in FIG. 1. Consequently, the slider 16 will have like poles facing those of the link 28 of the second magnetic strip such that slider 16 and link 28 repel. However, due to the attractive force of the link 24 on the slider 16 as well as the opposing repulsive forces exerted by link 28 on the top and bottom lips 34, 36 of the body, the net magnetic force applied on the slider allows the slider to maintain its position relative to the second magnetic strip 14 as illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0035] A crown 44 also projects from the body 32 of the magnetic slider 16 which may be semi-circularly shaped to act as a pull tab. The crown 44 is magnetically designed to have like poles facing those of the flap 30 such that the crown 44 repels the flap 30.

[0036] In order to allow the above-described components to intemperate as a zipper, the magnetic strips 12, 14 and magnetic slider 16 (the part on the cranium that touches/ kisses on the strip on 24) are designed to have different strengths of magnetic field or flux. In particular, the raised platform 27 is designed to have a stronger magnetic flux than link 28, and the body 32 and lips 34, 36 of the slider are designed in combination to have an even stronger magnetic flux than the raised platform 27 and crown 44 individually. This difference in magnetic field strengths may accomplished by sizing the link 24, the tape 26, and the body 32 of slider to have increased respective material densities or thicknesses, as represented in the illustrated embodiment, for example, by incorporation of the raised platform 27 onto the tape 26. The raised platform 27 may be an extension of tape 26, thereby providing increased magnetic field strength to tape 26, or alternatively may be a separate magnetic component with its own magnetic flux. Consequently, due to the variation in magnetic field strengths, the flap 30 will attract towards the tape 26 when the magnetic slider 16 is distant, but attract towards the magnetic slider 16 when the slider is nearby, subject of course to repulsive forces by the crown 44. In addition, for industrial manufacturing purposes the magnetic fluxes do not have to be different in order to function and operate. In one embodiment, a magnetic flux of the slider 16, the link 24, the raised platform 27, the link 28, the flap 30, the body 32, the track 40, the projection 42, and the crown 44 is the same.

[0037] In one embodiment, moreover, the body 32 and crown 44 of the magnetic slider 16 are designed to have different strengths of magnetic field or flux. In particular, the body 32 and crown 44 are magnetically designed such that their magnetic field strengths or flux at the slider's proximal end 46 are stronger than at the slider's distal end 47. In this way, body 32 attracts the portion of the flap proximal to the slider up to the proximal ends 20 of the magnetic strips 12, 14, while crown 44 repels that portion into an arc-shaped configuration as illustrated in FIG. 1. In contrast, tape 26 or platform 27 attracts the portion of the flap distal to the slider as shown in FIG. 5 and described above.

[0038] The operation of zipper 10 is hereafter described with reference to FIGS. 1, 4, and 5. Referring to FIG. 1, the flap 30 is initially attracted to the body 32 of the magnetic slider 16 due to the slider's superior magnetic field strength or flux compared to that of tape 26 or platform 27. Simultaneously, the crown 44 of the slider repels the flap 30, thus resulting in the flap's illustrated arc-shaped configuration. Additionally, the flap repels the link 24 of the first magnetic strip 12, thereby preventing link 24 from connecting to the link 28 of the second magnetic strip 14. The magnetic forces thus result in the zipper 10 being in an open configuration. [0039] Now referring to FIG. 4, as the magnetic slider 16 is moved proximally along the track 40 of the second magnetic strip 14 towards proximal ends 20, the net magnetic force applied to the flap 30 in the direction of tape 26 or platform 27 increases. This force consequently draws the flap 30 onto raised platform 27, the drawn portion of the flap being represented herein by distal portion 48. In response to this movement, the repulsive magnetic force previously applied by the distal portion 48 of the flap to the link 24 is removed, thereby allowing the corresponding portion of link 24 of the first magnetic strip 12 to attract to and connect with opposite portion of link 28 of the second magnetic strip 14. Connection of the first and second magnetic strips 12, 14 thus continues as the slider 16 moves proximally along the track 40 until the slider reaches the proximal ends 20 of the strips as shown in FIG. 5, resulting in the closed configuration of the zipper 10.

[0040] Similar principles apply when opening the zipper 10 from the closed configuration. As the magnetic slider 16 moves back distally along the track 40 of the second magnetic strip 14 towards distal ends 18, the net magnetic force applied to the flap 30 in the direction of the body 32 of the slider increases. This force consequently draws the flap towards the body 32 of slider 16, the drawn portion of the flap being represented herein by proximal portion 54 in FIG. 4. Additionally, the crown 44 of the slider 16 repels the proximal portion 54 of the flap 30, thus resulting in the flap's arc-shaped configuration over the slider. As a result, the repulsive magnetic force previously applied by proximal portion 54 to the link 24 is renewed, thereby repelling and disconnecting the links of the first and second magnetic strips 12, 14. Disconnection of the first and second magnetic strips 12, 14 thus continues as the slider 16 moves distally along the track 40 until the slider reaches the distal ends 18 of the strips as shown in FIG. 1, resulting again in the open configuration of the zipper 10.

[0041] Additionally, the zipper 10 may include an extended portion 56 (see FIG. 4) at the distal ends 18 of the first and second magnetic strips 12, 14 through which the track 40 extends to prevent further distal movement of the slider 16. The extended portion 56 includes one or more recesses 58 which can receive the slider 16 as it distally moves along the track, thereby allowing the entire flap 30 to be attracted towards the slider and resulting in a completely open configuration.

[0042] Similarly, the zipper may include an extended portion 60 at the proximal ends 20 of the first and second magnetic strips 12, 14 through which the track 40 extends to prevent further proximal movement of the slider 16. The extended portion 60 also includes one or more recesses 62 which can receive the slider 16 as it proximally moves along the track, thereby allowing the entire flap 30 to be attracted towards the tape 26 or platform 27 and resulting in a completely closed configuration.

[0043] Various advantages of the zipper of the present invention are contemplated. The zipper does not interlock, therefore reducing the risk of breakage and injury inherent in traditional interlocking zippers. The zipper can be applied for common and industrial use such as infant, toddler and children's wear in replacement of traditional zippers. The zipper can improve the safety and durability of personal apparel and children's wear, military gear, and other applications, and it can be easier to fix and require less materials to create than typical zippers. The zipper can also be easily dyed without the harmful effects of paint or finish coating, and can be machine washable. The components of the zipper may also be covered or concealed with fabric for aesthetic purposes without affecting the zipper's magnetic functionality.

[0044] The various components of the zipper can be molded and

manufactured according to various principles known to those of ordinary skill in the art. For example, the first and second magnetic strips and magnetic slider may be manufactured by injecting monofilament or polyfilament material into molds of the individual components, and by inserting magnets into the structures as they are being manufactured. Alternatively, the strips and slider may be

manufactured by directly injecting magnetic material into the molds. The manufactured zipper can thereafter be inserted into a manufactured good.

[0045] The zipper components can alternatively be 3D or 4D printed to simplify the manufacturing process. For example, monofilament or polyfilament material can be printed to form the zipper of the present invention. The magnetic slider can be easily replaced if it detaches from a printed zipper by purchasing or printing a replacement component. Programmable magnets such as those marketed under the brand Polymagnet® can also be manufacturer-printed into the strips and slider with a predetermined magnetic flux depending on the zipper's application. The zipper can be easily printed and replicable for use in various personal, industrial, or military applications. In space, where manufactured replacement zipper components may be in short supply and where gear, clothing, containers, or other goods need to be immediately repaired, this printing capability can be especially useful.

[0046] While the foregoing disclosure discusses illustrative embodiments, it should be noted that various changes and modifications could be made herein without departing from the scope of the described embodiments as defined by the appended claims. Accordingly, the described embodiments are intended to embrace all such alterations, modifications and variations that fall within scope of the appended claims. Furthermore, although elements of the described

embodiments may be described or claimed in the singular, the plural is contemplated unless limitation to the singular is explicitly stated. Additionally, all or a portion of any embodiment may be utilized with all or a portion of any other embodiments, unless stated otherwise.