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Title:
SUITCASE WITH FOLDAWAY IRONING BOARD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/145983
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A suitcase which a foldaway ironing board is associated with. The ironing board comes out from a compartment and is slidingly associated with two vertical guides. The ironing board is rotationally connected to a support element and, in one preferred embodiment, the ironing board rotates about a horizontal axis.

Inventors:
LAPORTA, Giuseppe (VIA DI TORRONE 24, CAMAIORE, 55041, IT)
Application Number:
IT2018/050257
Publication Date:
August 01, 2019
Filing Date:
December 21, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LAPORTA, Giuseppe (VIA DI TORRONE 24, CAMAIORE, 55041, IT)
International Classes:
A45C9/00; D06F81/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FANFANI, Stefano (Via Giovanni Bovio 19, Firenze, 50136, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A suitcase with a foldaway ironing board (1) comprising a rigid or semirigid box- like body to the lower portion of which at least two wheels (2) are rotationally connected, including above a pull-out handle (3) characterized in that it comprises a vertical compartment (4) open above which receives internally thereto two vertical guide (5, 6) integral with said box-like body and which said ironing board (1) is slidingly associated with, the ironing board (1) being reversibly movable between a retracted travel position and an extracted work position; a support element (7), movable between a closed position adjacent to the lower face of said ironing board (1) and an open position wherein said support element (7) forms a right angle with said lower face of said ironing board (1), being rotationally coupled with the lower face of said ironing board (1); said suitcase comprising reversible locking means (8) for holding said ironing board (1) in said extracted work position.

2. The suitcase according to claim 1 characterized in that said support element (7) is of a telescopic type.

3. The suitcase according to claim 1 or 2 characterized in that said support element (7) comprises further reversible locking means which prevent it from passing from a closed position to an open position and/or vice versa.

4. The suitcase according to any of the previous claims characterized in that said ironing board (1) is rotationally associated with a first slider slidingly coupled with said vertical guide (5, 6) about a horizontal axis.

5. The suitcase according to the previous claim 4 characterized in that said first slider comprises two longitudinal elements (91), integrally connected to each other, each of which is telescopically coupled with inside either said vertical guides (5, 6).

6. The suitcase according to the previous claim characterized in that it comprises at least one second slider, intermediate between said longitudinal elements of said first slider and said vertical guides (5, 6), which it is telescopically coupled with.

7. The suitcase according to claim 4 characterized in that said first slider consists of a rigid frame (90) whose side edges are slidingly coupled with said vertical guides (5, 6) integral with the side edges of the box -like body.

8. The suitcase according to the previous claim characterized in that said guides (5, 6) consist of metal channel sections whose cross section is C-shaped.

9. The suitcase according to any of claims 5 thru 8 characterized in that said reversible locking means (8) prevent said first slider from sliding.

10. The suitcase according to the previous claim characterized in that said reversible locking means (8) identify a plurality of locking points with different extensions of said first slider along the vertical guides (5, 6).

11. The suitcase according to claim 5 or 6 characterized in that said reversible locking means (8) prevent said telescopic sliding movement from taking place.

12. The suitcase according to the previous claim characterized in that said reversible locking means (8) identify a plurality of locking points which allow for different extensions of said first slider and of said at least one second slider along the vertical guides (5, 6).

13. The suitcase according to claim 11 or 12 characterized in that said reversible locking means (8) are snap devices, operated by way of a push-button (13) placed close to gripping means (12) of said ironing board (1) which make it easier to pull the latter out.

14. The suitcase according to any of claims 1 thru 3 characterized in that the side edges of said ironing board (1) are slidingly coupled with said two vertical guides (5, 6).

15. The suitcase according to the previous claim characterized in that said guides (5, 6) consist of metal channel sections whose cross section is C-shaped.

16. The suitcase according to any of the previous claims characterized in that said vertical compartment (4) is located in the front portion of said suitcase and operates as an openable door of the suitcase itself.

17. The suitcase according to any of claims 1 thru 15 characterized in that said vertical compartment (4) is located at the back portion of said suitcase.

18. The suitcase according to any of the previous claims characterized in that the upper end of said ironing board (1) comprises gripping means (12) to make it easier to pull it out of said vertical compartment (4).

19. The suitcase according to any of the previous claims characterized in that it comprises a pull-out support (10) suitable for supporting an iron.

20. The suitcase according to the previous claim characterized in that said ironing board (1) comprises a housing (16) for accommodating said pull-out support (10) which is slidingly or rotationally coupled with the ironing board (1) itself.

21. The suitcase according to any of the previous claims characterized in that the opening of said vertical compartment (4) comprises a zip (11).

Description:
DESCRIPTION

Title

SUITCASE WITH FOLD AW AY IRONING BOARD

Technical field

The present invention belongs to the sector of travel accessories and, more specifically, to the sector of suitcases equipped with accessories for care of clothes.

Specifically, the sector is that of rigid or semirigid suitcases that can be converted into objects susceptible of another use, in particular into an ironing board.

Present status of the art

The need for having a transportable container that, in case of need, can be easily transformed into an ironing board, so as to allow to tidy up the clothes possibly crumpled during a transportation in a suitcase, is a very real problem in the world of travel accessories.

US 2969603 (A) discloses a device which comprises a plurality of hinged panels; US 4412604 (A) discloses a combined suitcase for luggage, comprising a support for removing its contents without bending, a table with an extension that can be used as an ironing board or even as a display table. Its foldable support structure comprises a fork shaped pedestal at one end and a front panel, which can be combined together to form a top to be used as a table or, by way of an auxiliary support structure, an extension table to be used as an ironing board.

In both cases, they are intricated and complex solutions, expensive to manufacture and in any case uncomfortable to use.

Objects and summary of the invention

A first object of the present invention is thus to provide a compact suitcase with a foldaway board that is simultaneously easy to manufacture, handy to transport, and easy to use, without altering the appearance of the suitcase.

A second object of the invention is to provide a suitcase with a foldaway ironing board that is cost-effective to manufacture, in order to curb the costs as much as possible.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading the following text.

The above-described objects are achieved by a substantially box -like shaped, rigid or semirigid suitcase, which incorporates an ironing board to be folded away in case of need.

According to a preferred embodiment, the suitcase is of the so-called trolley type, i.e. it is a suitcase that comprises two or more lower wheels which enable it to run on a floor or on a sidewalk thanks to the traction exerted by a user by way of an upper handle. The latter is often secured to one or several telescopic elements which are accommodated at the back, inside the suitcase body, or in any case close to the back wall of the suitcase, in order to reduce the overall dimensions when not used, and are built in such a way as to be possibly extended to make it possible to raise up the handle and make traction easier whenever the suitcase is made run on the ground.

The foldaway table is accommodated in a compartment which is open above; the compartment is either separated, or not, from the remaining internal volume of the box- like body. According to a particularly simple and practical embodiment, the compartment constitutes the front portion of the rigid suitcase and is hinged laterally, so as to operate as an openable door of the suitcase.

In a different version, the compartment is located at the back, so as to reduce the overturning action with respect to the rear lower wheels induced by the ironing board whenever the latter is put inside the compartment.

Particularly valuable results have been achieved by using snap closures or zips, both for opening the door of the suitcase and for opening and closing the compartment that contains the foldaway ironing board. The compartment might not be provided with closing means, if so desired.

According to the teachings of the present invention, the ironing board is slidingly associated with two vertical longitudinal guides. Sliding can take place either directly on said guides or by way of one or several sliders. According to some embodiments, the slider, or the upper slider if there are more sliders in series, is rotationally coupled with the ironing board about a horizontal axis.

In a particularly simple embodiment, two longitudinal guides are provided in correspondence with the side inner edges of the compartment that receives the ironing board, which the side edges of the ironing board are slidingly coupled with, so that the latter can go out from the compartment by sliding along said guides.

Reversible locking means are provided to prevent the ironing board from being inadvertently folded back into the compartment; also, the outer end of the ironing board comprises appropriate gripping or holding means, such as for instance a handle, in order to make its extraction easier.

A movable support element adjacent to the lower face of the ironing board when the latter is in the transportation position inside the compartment, is rotationally coupled with the lower part of the ironing board; after extracting the ironing board from the compartment, the movable support element is rotated by 90 sexagesimal degrees, so as to constitute a rest point. Said movable support element can be of a telescopic type and can advantageously comprise reversible locking means which, hold it in a closed position or in an open position, prevent it from being inadvertently closed or opened.

It is worth pointing out that the invention according to the present patent application can be applied both to small-size suitcases, such as the so-called handle luggage or cabin luggage, and to bigger-size, bulky and heavy suitcases.

As far as small-size suitcases are concerned, a particularly practical and cost-effective solution is one wherein the ironing board is preferably used after putting the suitcase horizontally on a support top, such as for instance a table, a writing desk, or even a bed. For this reason, in the case of small-size suitcases, the length of the movable support element substantially equals the height of a rigid suitcase, so as to make the ironing board form a straight surface when the suitcase lays on a horizontal plane.

In the case of big-size and heavy suitcases, it would be uncomfortable and tiring to lift them in order to put them flat on a horizontal top; therefore, according to a different embodiment of the invention, the ironing board is extracted from the compartment while the suitcase is held in the upright position.

In a first version as illustrated in the attached drawings, this result is achieved by rotationally coupling the lower edge of the ironing board with a rigid frame which slides inside the internal guides of the compartment, operating as a slider. The sliding movement of the rigid frame within the guides can be blocked at different positions thanks to appropriate reversible locking means, consequently the rigid frame can be extracted, either fully or partially; in this way, the ironing board can be positioned at different heights.

In the case of big-size suitcases, the movable support element that is located below the ironing board shall rest on the ground, which is the reason why it is of a telescopic type, adjustable to several positions, in order for it to possibly fit the different heights of the ironing board, if any, that result from the different intermediate positions of the rigid frame along the vertical guides inside the compartment.

In one different embodiment, the ironing board is extracted by way of a telescopic guide. In this case, a first slider is slidingly coupled with the two vertical guides and preferably comprises two longitudinal elements, integrally connected to each other, each of which is telescopically coupled with inside either vertical guide. Several sliders can be provided in a series arrangement, in which case at least one second slider rests on between the guides and said first slider.

The free end of the slider, or that of the upper slider that is most far away from the guides, is rotationally connected to the ironing board about a horizontal axis. The sliders can be blocked in one or several positions thanks to locking means such as, for instance, a system of snap pins controlled by way of a push-button.

Brief description of the drawings

Figures 1 thru 6 show some views of an embodiment of the invention implemented on small-size suitcases. In figure 1 the external envelope of the suitcase has been partially cut away to make it possible to look at the side vertical guides (5, 6). Figure 2 and figure 3 show two different embodiments of the opening of the vertical compartment (4), the former being equipped with a zip (11), the second being open. These figures also show the handle (3) which can be pulled out for transportation and the reversible locking means (8).

Figure 4 shows a pull-out support (10) suitable for supporting an iron in a work position, after being partially pulled out from an appropriate housing (16) formed on the ironing board (1).

Figure 5 and figure 6 show two cross-sectional views along the line of the sectioning plane shown in figure 4, which, in particular, highlight the rotation of the pull-out support (7).

Figures 7 thru 12 show some views of one embodiment of the invention, implemented on big-size suitcases, in particular they show a rigid frame (90) and a support element (7) of a telescopic type.

In figure 7 the external envelope of the suitcase is partially cut away to show the side vertical guides (5, 6).

Figures 9 thru 12 show cross-sectional views along the line of the sectioning plane shown in figure 8, their background having been removed in order to better emphasize the elements that make up the invention. The support element (7) switches from a closed position adjacent to the lower face of the ironing board to an open position.

Figure 12 shows a suitcase, the ironing board (1) being completely folded away and arranged in a work position.

Figures 13 thru 25 show one embodiment, applied to a big-size suitcase, wherein the ironing board (1) is secured to the suitcase structure by way of a telescopic guide and a hinge.

The figures show a compartment placed at the back, but the same teachings might be applied to a compartment placed on the front; this second option more easily applies to four-wheeled suitcases. In the case here shown, the handle (3) used for transportation and its respective pull-out system are placed outside the box -like body.

Figures 17, 18, and 19 make it possible to appreciate the ironing board assembly, complete with vertical guides (5, 6) to be associated with the suitcase box -like body. The line of the sectioning plane of figure 18 is shown in figure 17.

Figures 20 and 21 show a sequence of the operations for pulling the support (10) out of the housing (16), by way of a clockwise rotation thereof.

Figures 22 thru 25 show a sequence which allows for the ironing board (1) to switch from a retracted travel position to an extracted work position.

The telescopic guide comprises a first slider and a second slider, which are telescopically connected to the vertical guides (5, 6) which are integral with the suitcase body. The former slider comprises two longitudinal elements (91) which are integrally connected to each other, each running inside a respective longitudinal element (92) of the second slider. A first hinge (14) makes it possible for the ironing board (1) to rotate up to reaching a horizontal position, whereas a second hinge (15) enables the telescopic support element (7) to rotate from a closed position to an open position.

Figures 26 thru 30 show one embodiment, applied to a suitcase easily positionable on a table, wherein the ironing board (1) is secured to the suitcase structure by way of a telescopic guide.

Figure 29 shows a version using a support element (7) of a telescopic type, which can be advantageously used in the case that the rest plane of the suitcase is staggered with respect to that of the support element. The line of the sectioning plane in figure 30 corresponds to that shown in figure 13.

Detailed description of one embodiment of the invention

In a particularly complete embodiment, the suitcase with a foldaway ironing board according to the present patent application comprises a rigid box -like body which rests at least on wheels suitable for making it run on the ground; generally the wheels are two or four and the sliding action is induced by a user by operating on a handle (3) located in the higher part of the suitcase; the handle is often of a pull-out type, so as to make the use of the suitcase more comfortable and prevent the user from being obliged to bend too much. In the case of a two-wheeled suitcase, this one usually comprises feet as appropriate to hold its base horizontal.

In a first version, a vertical compartment (4) is derived from the front vertical face of the suitcase, internally to which an ironing board (1) is slidingly coupled with; in another version, the vertical compartment (4) is derived at the back.

According to a particularly simple embodiment, in order to make it easier to foldaway the ironing board, in correspondence with the inner side edges of the compartment (4) there are laterally secured two vertical longitudinal guides (5, 6), which are slidingly engaged by the respective side edges of the ironing board.

In one simple and practical embodiment, the side vertical guides (5, 6) consist of metal channel sections, whose cross section is C-shaped, with opposed openings. Locking means (8) are provided to prevent the ironing board from being inadvertently pulled back into the vertical compartment (4).

The use of a telescopic guide comprising two vertical guides (5, 6) and one or several sliders in series is also possible.

In this way, the ironing board (1) can run between a retracted travel position, wherein it is closed inside the vertical compartment (4), and an extracted work position after being made come out from the compartment (4).

The telescopic devices usually used to make the handle pullable out are generally adjacent to the back vertical face of the suitcase; therefore, in one particularly advantageous embodiment, the front vertical compartment (4) also operates as an openable door of the suitcase to make it possible to access its inside.

Conveniently the upper compartment can be held closed with a zip (11) and the same type of closure can be used to open and close the suitcase via the access door consisting of the vertical compartment (4).

An appropriate support element (7), hinged to the lower face of the ironing board (1), is used to support the free end of the ironing board (1) after its extraction from the compartment (4).

In small-size suitcases, i.e. the so-called cabin luggage ones, the length of the support element (7) substantially equals the thickness of the suitcase so that, whenever this one rests on a plane, the lower end of the support element also rests on the same plane. If necessary, the length of the support element (7) might take account of the presence of wheels and/or might be of a telescopic type or might comprise adjustment means at its end to fit non-perfectly flat surfaces.

When the ironing board (1) is in a retracted position and is inside the front compartment (4), the support element (7) is in a closed position, adjacent to the lower surface of the ironing board, so as to minimize its overall dimensions and not to constitute a hindrance to the sliding movement of the ironing board. Once the ironing board (1) is folded away, the support element (7) is made rotate by a right angle, up to reaching a position substantially orthogonal to the ironing board, in an open position.

Conversely, in the case of bigger-size suitcases provisions are made in order for the ironing board to be used, the suitcase being standing; to this end, a slider, which is slidingly coupled with the vertical guides, is rotationally coupled with the lower edge of the ironing board (1).

In a fist version, the edge of a rigid frame (90), whose side edges slidingly engage the side vertical longitudinal guides (5, 6), realized as described above, is rotationally coupled with the ironing board. After being completely pulled out from the compartment (4), the ironing board (1) is free to rotate about the side of its own lower edge hinged to the upper edge of the frame (90), about a substantially horizontal axis. Once the lower edge of the ironing board (1) reaches the desired working height, the operator shall reversibly engage the rigid frame by using the reversible locking means (8), so as to prevent it from sliding any longer, after what the user shall rotate the ironing board (1) and lower it down to reaching a horizontal position. The support element (7), which is a telescopic one in suitcases equipped with a rigid frame (90), is pulled out to support the free end of the ironing board. The support element (7) is first set to a substantially upright position, its free end facing downwards, and finally the support element (7) is extended until its free end touches the ground.

The use of the version equipped with a telescopic guide is substantially similar. In the case illustrated in the drawings, the ironing board (1) is first raised up to enabling the support element to rotate, then it is brought to the height desired by the user and is held here in position by way of the reversible locking means (8). In one preferred embodiment, the latter comprise a number of pins which lock the telescopically coupled elements in one or several positions in order to prevent them from reciprocally sliding. Preferably their operation is controlled by way of a push-button (13) located close to the gripping means (12) of the ironing board (1).

According to a particularly complete embodiment, the ironing board (1) is associated with a pull-out support (10) suitable for supporting an iron, so as to make the use of the invention more comfortable. If desired, the ironing board might include a housing, consisting of an opening or a compartment, to store said pull-out support, slidingly or rotationally connected to the ironing board itself.