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Title:
A TRANSFORMABLE MOLD FOR PREPARING A FOOD ITEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/218050
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method of forming a mold includes providing a primary member including at least one area for receiving a support member, providing at least one support member, connecting a first end and a second end of said primary member, and affixing said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member to maintain said primary member in a desired shape.

Inventors:
SMITH, Jennifer (Unterbiberger Str. 15, Munich, Munich, DE)
Application Number:
US2018/034440
Publication Date:
November 29, 2018
Filing Date:
May 24, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
INTERCONTINENTAL GREAT BRANDS LLC (100 Deforest Avenue, East Hanover, New Jersey, 07936, US)
International Classes:
A21B3/13
Domestic Patent References:
WO2006066349A12006-06-29
Foreign References:
DE202007015560U12008-04-10
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAYTER, Alicia (Cantor Colburn LLP, 20 Church Street22nd Floo, Hartford Connecticut, 06103, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

What is claimed is:

1. A method of forming a mold, comprising: providing a primary member including at least one area for receiving a support member; providing at least one support member; connecting a first end and a second end of said primary member; affixing said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member to maintain said primary member in a desired shape.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein said connecting of said first end and said second end without said at least one support member being affixed to said at least one area for receiving said support member results in a first shape of said primary member, and wherein said desired shape is different than said first shape.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein said first shape is generally angular.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein said desired shape is a generally continuous curve.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein said primary member and said at least one support member are separate from one another.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein said first end includes a first engagement member and said second end includes a second engagement member, said connecting said first end and said second end further comprises connecting said first engagement member and said second engagement member.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein connecting said first engagement member and said second engagement member includes receiving a portion of said second engagement member within said first engagement member.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein affixing said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member includes inserting said at least one support member through a slot formed in said at least one area for receiving a support member.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein affixing said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member includes permanently affixing said at least one support member to said primary member.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein said at least one area for receiving a support member includes a fold line configured to bias said primary member into a first shape.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein affixing said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member counteracts said bias of said fold line.

12. The method of claim 1, further comprising positioning the mold adjacent a support surface to define a cavity for retaining a formable material.

13. A mold comprising: a primary member having a coupled first end and second end and at least one area for receiving a support member; and at least one support member connected to said at least one area for receiving a support member of said primary member, wherein said at least one support member opposes a bias of said primary member to maintain said primary member in a desired shape.

14. The mold of claim 11, wherein said desired shape is generally circular.

15. The mold of claim 11, wherein the mold is formed from a paper board.

16. The mold of claim 11, wherein a first surface of the mold includes a food-safe material.

17. The mold of claim 16, wherein said first surface of the mold includes a nonstick material.

18. The mold of claim 11, wherein said at least one area for receiving a support member includes a fold line.

19. The mold of claim 11, wherein said at least one support member is removably coupled to said primary member.

20. The mold of claim 11, further comprising at least one slot formed in said at least one area for receiving a supporting member, wherein said supporting member extends through said at least one slot.

21. The mold of claim 11, wherein said first end of said primary member includes a first engagement member and said second end of said primary member includes a second engagement member, said first engagement member being complementary to said second engagement member to couple said first end and second end.

22. The mold of claim 11, wherein said primary member defines a hollow cavity, said hollow cavity having being open at a first side and a second opposite side.

23. A blank of a forming system comprising: an elongated primary member; and at least one support member attached to said primary member at a first area of said primary member, wherein said at least one support member is configured for further attachment to said primary member at a second area of said primary member, and wherein the blank is maintained in a ready-to-use configuration when said at least one support member is affixed to said primary member at said second area.

24. The blank of claim 23, wherein said at least one support member is connected to said primary member via a perforated interface.

25. The blank of claim 23, wherein said at least one support member is separated from said primary member before said at least one support member is affixed to said second area.

26. The blank of claim 23, wherein the blank is transformable between a stowed configuration and said ready-to-use configuration, said stowed configuration being different than said ready-to-use configuration.

27. The blank of claim 26, wherein the blank is transformable between said stowed configuration and said ready-to-use configuration without additional materials.

28. The blank of claim 27, wherein the blank is transformable into said stowed configuration by folding said elongated primary member about at least one fold line.

29. The blank of claim 28, wherein said at least one fold line includes a plurality of fold lines, the blank being folded about each of said plurality of fold lines in said stowed configuration.

30. The blank of claim 28, wherein said at least one fold line is formed at said second area of said primary member.

31. The blank of claim 23, wherein the blank is transformable to said ready-to-use configuration by connecting a first end and a second end of said primary member and by mounting said at least one support member at said second area.

32. The blank of claim 23, wherein the blank is formed from a paper board.

33. The blank of claim 23, wherein a first surface of the blank includes a food- safe material.

34. A method of forming a mold, comprising: providing a blank including a primary member having at least one fold formed therein and at least one area for receiving a support member; unfolding said blank about said at least one fold; connecting at least one support member to said primary member at said at least one area for receiving said support member; and connecting a first end of said primary member to a second end of said primary member such that a shape of said primary member is determined by a natural equal stress of said primary member.

35. The method of claim 34, wherein said connecting of said first end and said second end of said primary member without said at least one support member being connected to said at least one area for receiving said support member results in another shape, the another shape being different than said shape determined by said natural equal stress of said primary member.

36. The method of claim 35, wherein said another shape is generally angular.

37. The method of claim 34, wherein said first end includes a first engagement member and said second end includes a second engagement member, said connecting said first end and said second end further comprises connecting said first engagement member and said second engagement member.

38. The method of claim 34, wherein connecting said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member includes inserting said at least one support member through a slot formed in said at least one area for receiving a support member.

39. The method of claim 34, wherein said at least one area for receiving a support member includes said at least one fold configured to bias said primary member into another shape different from said shape determined by said natural equal stress of said primary member.

40. The method of claim 39, wherein connecting said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member counteracts said bias of said at least one fold line.

Description:
A TRANSFORMABLE MOLD FOR PREPARING A FOOD ITEM

FIELD

[0001] The disclosure relates generally to a mold, and more particularly, to a mold configured to transform between a stowed configuration and a ready-to-use configuration.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Traditionally, desserts such as cakes are prepared in metallic or glass baking dishes having a cavity for receiving the cake batter. Prepackaged mixes used to prepare a cake batter have substantially reduced the effort and materials required by a consumer to prepare a cake. To further accommodate a consumer, some of these prepackaged cake mixes, in particular for cakes that do not require cooking, i.e. cheesecake, mousse, etc, even provide a mold or dish within which the food may be prepared. The mold typically included is formed from a plastic material. Although suitable for its intended purpose, these plastic molds are rigid and therefore require a substantial amount of space within the package. In some instances, the size of the packaging is increased to accommodate storing the mold therein .

[0003] Accordingly, there is a desire, not only to reduce the total amount of space occupied by the mold within the package, but also to reduce the overall size of the package, and the material used to form the package. In addition, a reduction in the size of the mold and therefore the package, may decrease the environmental impact while increasing the shipping efficiency of the package.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

[0004] According to one embodiment of the invention, a method of forming a mold includes providing a primary member including at least one area for receiving a support member, providing at least one support member, connecting a first end and a second end of said primary member, and affixing said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member to maintain said primary member in a desired shape.

[0005] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said connecting of said first end and said second end without said at least one support member being affixed to said at least one area for receiving said support member results in a first shape of said primary member, and wherein said desired shape is different than said first shape. [0006] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said first shape is generally angular.

[0007] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said desired shape is a generally continuous curve.

[0008] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said primary member and said at least one support member are separate from one another.

[0009] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said first end includes a first engagement member and said second end includes a second engagement member, said connecting said first end and said second end further comprises connecting said first engagement member and said second engagement member.

[0010] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments connecting said first engagement member and said second

engagement member includes receiving a portion of said second engagement member within said first engagement member.

[0011] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments affixing said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member includes inserting said at least one support member through a slot formed in said at least one area for receiving a support member.

[0012] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments affixing said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member includes permanently affixing said at least one support member to said primary member.

[0013] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said at least one area for receiving a support member includes a fold line configured to bias said primary member into a first shape.

[0014] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments affixing said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member counteracts said bias of said fold line. [0015] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments comprising positioning the mold adjacent a support surface to define a cavity for retaining a formable material.

[0016] According to another embodiment, a mold includes aa primary member having a coupled first end and second end and at least one area for receiving a support member. At least one support member is connected to the at least one area for receiving a support member of the primary member. The at least one support member opposes a bias of the primary member to maintain the primary member in a desired shape.

[0017] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said desired shape is generally circular.

[0018] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the mold is formed from a paper board.

[0019] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments a first surface of the mold includes a food-safe material.

[0020] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said first surface of the mold includes a non-stick material.

[0021] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said at least one area for receiving a support member includes a fold line.

[0022] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said at least one support member is removably coupled to said primary member.

[0023] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments comprising at least one slot formed in said at least one area for receiving a supporting member, wherein said supporting member extends through said at least one slot.

[0024] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said first end of said primary member includes a first engagement member and said second end of said primary member includes a second engagement member, said first engagement member being complementary to said second engagement member to couple said first end and second end. [0025] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said primary member defines a hollow cavity, said hollow cavity having being open at a first side and a second opposite side.

[0026] According to yet another embodiment, a blank of a forming system includes an elongated primary member and at least one support member attached to the primary member at a first area of said primary member. The at least one support member is configured for further attachment to the primary member at a second area of said primary member. The blank is maintained in a ready-to-use configuration when the at least one support member is affixed to the primary member at said second area.

[0027] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments wherein said at least one support member is connected to said primary member via a perforated interface.

[0028] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said at least one support member is separated from said primary member before said at least one support member is affixed to said second area.

[0029] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the blank is transformable between a stowed configuration and said ready-to-use configuration, said stowed configuration being different than said ready-to-use configuration.

[0030] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the blank is transformable between said stowed configuration and said ready-to-use configuration without additional materials.

[0031] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the blank is transformable into said stowed configuration by folding said elongated primary member about at least one fold line.

[0032] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said at least one fold line includes a plurality of fold lines, the blank being folded about each of said plurality of fold lines in said stowed configuration.

[0033] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said at least one fold line is formed at said second area of said primary member. [0034] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the blank is transformable to said ready-to-use configuration by connecting a first end and a second end of said primary member and by mounting said at least one support member at said second area.

[0035] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the blank is formed from a paper board.

[0036] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments a first surface of the blank includes a food-safe material.

[0037] According to yet another embodiment, a method of forming a mold includes providing a blank including a primary member having at least one fold formed therein and at least one area for receiving a support member, unfolding said blank about said at least one fold, connecting at least one support member to said primary member at said at least one area for receiving said support member, and connecting a first end of said primary member to a second end of said primary member such that a shape of said primary member is determined by a natural equal stress of said primary member.

[0038] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said connecting of said first end and said second end of said primary member without said at least one support member being connected to said at least one area for receiving said support member results in another shape, the another shape being different than said shape determined by said natural equal stress of said primary member.

[0039] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said another shape is generally angular.

[0040] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said first end includes a first engagement member and said second end includes a second engagement member, said connecting said first end and said second end further comprises connecting said first engagement member and said second engagement member.

[0041] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments connecting said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member includes inserting said at least one support member through a slot formed in said at least one area for receiving a support member. [0042] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments said at least one area for receiving a support member includes said at least one fold configured to bias said primary member into another shape different from said shape determined by said natural equal stress of said primary member.

[0043] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments connecting said at least one support member to said at least one area for receiving a support member counteracts said bias of said at least one fold line.

[0044] These and other embodiments are described in detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0045] The accompanying drawings incorporated in and forming a part of the specification embodies several aspects of the present disclosure and, together with the description, serves to explain the principles of the present disclosure. In the drawings:

[0046] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a ready-to-use mold positioned on a support surface according to an embodiment;

[0047] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the transformable mold of FIG. 1 in a an un folded configuration according to an embodiment;

[0048] FIG. 3 is a plan view of the transformable mold of FIG. 1 during

transformation between an unfolded configuration and a ready-to-use configuration;

[0049] FIG. 4A is a plan view of a support member of the transformation mold according to an embodiment;

[0050] FIG. 4B is a plan view of a support member assembled to the primary member according to an embodiment;

[0051] FIG. 4C is a plan view of an opposite side of the support member assembled to the primary member of FIG. 4B according to an embodiment;

[0052] FIG. 5 is a plan view of a mold in a ready-to-use configuration according to an embodiment;

[0053] FIG. 6 is a plan view of a blank in a stowed configuration according to an embodiment; and

[0054] FIG. 7 is a plan view of a blank in a partially unfolded configuration according to an embodiment. [0055] The detailed description explains embodiments of the invention, together with advantages and features, by way of example with reference to the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0056] Referring now to the FIGS., an example of a mold is illustrated. The mold illustrated and described herein may be used during the preparation of a consumable edible item, such as a cake for example. However, it should be understood that the mold may be suitable for use in other applications.

[0057] A ready-to-use mold 20, shown in FIG. 1, includes a side wall 22 defining a hollow interior cavity 24. In the illustrated, non-limiting embodiment, the mold 20 is generally circular in shape. However, a mold having another shape is also contemplated herein. In use, an edge 26 of the sidewall 22 is positioned in contact with a support surface 28 selected by a user. The support surface 28 may be defined by a plate (as shown in FIG. 1), baking sheet, or other suitable food-safe component. The support surface 28 abuts the edge 26 of the mold 20 about the periphery of the side wall 22 such that the support surface 28 functions as a base of the mold 20, thereby sealing an end of the hollow cavity 24.

Accordingly, when the mold 20 is positioned adjacent a support surface, as shown in the FIG., the sidewall 22 and the support surface 28 cooperate to contain a formable edible material within the hollow cavity 24. As used herein, the term "formable material" is understood to include flowable materials, such as cake batter, as well as powdered materials, crumb like structures, and larger solids for example.

[0058] The mold 20 is formed by transforming a blank indicated generally at 30 in FIG. 2. The blank 30 may be made from any suitable material, including, but not limited to paper board. At least one surface of the blank 30 includes a food-safe material. In an embodiment, both a first surface and a second, opposite surface of the blank 30 are formed from a food-safe material. The food safe material may be integrated into the paper board, or alternatively, may be applied as a coating. The food-safe material may additionally include non-stick properties to allow the mold 30 to be easily removed from the food item after preparation thereof. In an embodiment, the food- safe, non-stick surface may be provided in the form of a lamination of aluminum foil, wax, or another non-stick coating. In

embodiments where the food prepared within the mold 30 requires cooking, i.e. application of heat, both the blank 30 and the support surface 28 associated therewith are formed from suitable materials, such as microwave safe materials for example. In an embodiment, the first surface of the blank 30 intended to contact the formable material includes a coating that prevents or hinders the absorption of liquid into the material of the blank 30. However, embodiments where both the first surface and the second surface include such a coating are also contemplated herein.

[0059] With reference now to FIGS. 2-5, the blank 30 is illustrated in more detail. The blank 30 includes a generally elongated primary member 32 which in combination with one or more support members 50 (described in more detail below) forms the sidewall 22 of the mold 20. In the illustrated, non-limiting embodiment, the primary member 32 is rectangular in shape and has first and second major surfaces 34, 36, defined by a length and height of the primary member. The length may be selected to achieve a mold 20 having a cavity 24 of a desired dimension and the height is selected to extend beyond an upper surface of a formable material positioned within the cavity 24. However, other configurations of the primary member 32 are also contemplated herein.

[0060] A first end 38 of the primary member 32 and a second, opposite end 40 of the primary member 32 are configured to couple to one another. In an embodiment, a first engagement member 42 is arranged adjacent the first end 38 and a second engagement member 44 is arranged adjacent the second end 40. The first and second engagement members 42, 44 are generally complementary to one another and cooperate to retain the primary member 32 in a configuration where that the cavity 24 of the mold 20 is defined by the first surface 34 of the primary member 32 (see FIG. 3).

[0061] The first and second engagement members 42, 44 may be operable to removably couple the first and second ends 38, 40, as shown in the FIGS., or alternatively, may be configured to permanently couple the ends 38, 40. The first and/or second engagement members 42, 44 may be affixed to a surface of the primary member 32, or alternatively, may be formed directly into the body of primary memberv32. In the illustrated, non-limiting embodiment, one of the first engagement member 42 and the second

engagement member 44 includes an opening, such as a slot for example, formed in the primary member 32, and the other of the first engagement member 42 and the second engagement member 44 includes a tab receivable within the opening. It should be understood that any combination of first and second engagement members 42, 44 capable of affixing the ends 38, 40 of the primary member 32is within the scope of the disclosure. [0062] The blank 30 additionally includes one or more support members 50. In the illustrated, non-limiting embodiment, three support members 50 are shown; however it should be understood that embdoiments having any number of support members are within the scope of the disclosure. As shown the one or more support members 50 may be attached to a portion of the primary member 32, such as to a first edge 52, or a second opposite edge 54 for example. The interface between the one or more support members 50 and the primary member 32 may be scored or perforated. As a result, the one or more support members 50 are easily separable from the primary member 32 along the perforated interface 56 without causing damage to either the support members 50 or the primary member 32. However, embodiments where the support members 50 are located separate from the primary member 32 are also contemplated herein.

[0063] Each of the one or more support members 50 is configured to mount to a portion of the primary member 32 to provide structural support to the primary member 32 at a desired area. In an embodiment, the areas for receiving a support member, illustrated schematically at 58 are arranged at locations where the rigidity of the primary member 32 along a longitudinal axis L, oriented parallel to the length of the primary member 32, is weakened or compromised. In the illustrated, non-limiting embodiment, the primary member 32 of the blank 30 is formed having one or more folds or creases 60 formed therein. As shown, the primary member 32 includes three creases, formed substantially equidistantly along the length of the primary member 32. However, embodiments having any number of creases 60 formed at any position are contemplated herein. Each of the creases 60 creates a bias in the contour of the primary member 32 when the first and second ends 38, 40 of the primary member 32 are coupled (FIG. 3). Accordingly, the one or more areas for receiving a support member 58 may be substantially aligned with, or in overlapping arrangement with the at least one crease 60.

[0064] In the illustrated, non-limiting embodiment, each of the support members 50 is generally rectangular in shape and has a height substantially equal to a height of the primary member. As shown, the corners of the support members 50 may be rounded to increase the ease of assembly, thereby reducing overall assembly time and potential user frustration. By forming the support members 50 with a substantially uniform shape, the support members 50 may be mounted to the primary member 32 in a variety of configurations (i.e. right side up, right side down etc...). In addition, in an embodiment, the length of the support member 50, measured parallel to the longitudinal axis L of the primary member 32, is generally larger than the crease 60. As a result, when the support member 50 is connected to the primary member 32 at an area for receiving a support member 58, the support member 50 generally overlaps a portion of the primary member 32 on both sides of the crease 60. By positioning the support member 50 directly adjacent the crease 60, the rigidity of the primary member 32 at the area for receiving a support member 58, and more particularly at the crease 60, is improved. As a result, the support member 50 may counteract or overcome the bias created in the contour of the primary member 32 formed by the crease 60. It should be understood that support members 50 of another size and shape are also contemplated herein. It should also be understood that both the support member 50 and the area for receiving the support member 58 may vary in proportion to the primary member 32 based on the flexibility of the materials being used.

[0065] In an embodiment, the one or more support members 50 may be permanently affixed to the primary member 32, such as with an adhesive for example, at the areas for receiving a support member 58. Alternatively, the one or more support members 50 may be removably connected to the primary member 32. For example, one or more slots 62 may be formed at each area for receiving a support member 58. In the illustrated, non-limiting embodiment of FIG. 4A, multiple slots 62, oriented parallel to the longitudinal axis L, are formed in the primary member 32 at each area for receiving a support member 58 to define a retaining body 64 extending generally perpendicular to the crease 60. The retaining body 64 is configured to cooperate with the adjacent portion of the primary member 32 to restrict movement of the support member 50 relative to the primary member 32.

[0066] As shown in FIG. 4B, the support member 50 is insertable through the slots 62 formed in the primary member 32 such that the retaining body 64 is disposed adjacent a first surface 66 of the support member 50 and the body of the primary member 32 is arranged adjacent second, opposite surface 67(FIG. 4C) of the support member 50. Alternatively, in embodiments having a single slot 62 formed at each area for receiving a support member 58, the support member 50 may extend through the slot 62 such that a first end 68 of the support member 50 is arranged adjacent a first surface 34 of the primary member 32 and a second end 70 of the support member 50 is arranged adjacent the second, opposite surface 36 of the primary member 32. However, any mechanism or configuration suitable for coupling the support member 50 to the primary member 32 is within the scope of the disclosure. . In the illustrated, non-limiting embodiment, an opening 72 is formed in the primary member 32 adjacent each slot 62 to increase the ease of assembling the support members 50 to the primary member 32.

[0067] When the first and second ends 38, 40 of the primary member 32 are connected and each of the plurality of support members 50 is mounted to the primary member 32 at an area for receiving a support member 58, as shown in FIG. 5, a ready-to-use mold 20 is formed from the blank 30. It should be understood that when transforming the blank 30 to a ready to use mold 20, the at least one support member 50 may be coupled to area for receiving a support member 58 and then the first and second ends 38, 40 of the primary member 32 may be coupled. Alternatively, the first and second ends 38, 40 of the primary member 32 may be coupled prior to installation of the one or more support members 50.

[0068] When the first and second ends 38, 40 of the primary member 32 are coupled without any support members 50 connected thereto, the primary member 32 forms a first shape. Although the first shape has an equal stress, the first shape is distinguishable from a second shape of the primary member 32 formed by a natural equal stress. The second shape formed by a natural equal stress occurs when there are no weaknesses (i.e. folds or creases 60) in the primary member 32. Inclusion of the support members 50 at the creases 60 overcomes these weaknesses, such that when the first and second ends 38, 40 of the primary member 32 are coupled, the primary member 32 takes the second shape of natural equal stress.

[0069] With reference now to FIGS. 6 and 7, the blank 30 may be adapted for storage within a container or package (not shown) substantially smaller than the blank 30. The blank 30 may be transformed into a "stowed" configuration by folding the blank 30 about the one or more creases 60 formed within the primary member 32. Accordingly, the positioning and total number of creases 60 formed in the blank 30 will vary based not only on the size of the desired ready to use mold 30, but also on the size of the packaging within which the blank 30 may be arranged.

[0070] An example of the blank 30 in a stowed configuration is illustrated in FIG. 6. In the stowed configuration, the primary member 32 of the blank 30 has been folded at each of the three creases 60 formed therein. In the stowed configuration, the length of the blank 30 is about a quarter of the length in an unfolded configuration (FIG. 2). As shown, the primary member 32 is folded about the crease 60 located adjacent the first end 38 and the crease 60 adjacent the second end 40 (see FIG. 7). Both folds are formed in a direction such that the first surface 34 of the primary member 32, such as the surface including the food safe and/or non-stick materials for example, is folded on top of itself. In the partially folded configuration of FIG. 7, the blank 30 is formed into a first half 70 and a second half 72. To transform the blank 30 from the partially folded to a stowed configuration, the partially folded blank 30 is additionally folded about a central crease 60 to position the first half 70 in overlapping alignment with the second half 72. In an embodiment, an adhesive 74 or another coupling mechanism may be arranged on the surface 36 of primary member 32 of at least one of the first half 70 and/or the second half 72 to retain the blank 30 in the stowed

configuration. By folding the blank 30 such that the surface having the coating to prevent liquid absorption onto is in contact with itself, the adhesive or coupling mechanism 74 may be positioned on the second, opposite surface.

[0071] To transform the blank 30 from the stowed configured to a ready-to-use mold 20, a user must perform at least one unfolding operation, such as a first unfolding operation and a second unfolding operation, to achieve a blank in an unfolded configuration (FIG. 2). Once unfolded, the support members 50 must be attached to the primary member 32 at an area for receiving a support member 58, and the ends 38, 40 of the primary member 32 must be coupled to form a mold 20. The mold 20 may then be positioned adjacent any desired support surface 28 for use. As described herein, it should be understood that the blank 30 may be transformed from a stowed configuration into a ready-to-use mold 20 without requiring the use of additional materials or tools.

[0072] The mold 20 illustrated and described herein easy to assemble and

disassemble and may be reusable. Further, because the mold is able to transition between a stowed configuration and a ready-to-use, the mold requires substantially less space in a package than conventional thermoplastic molds.

[0073] This written description uses examples to disclose the invention, including the best mode, and also to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the invention. The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal language of the claims. [0074] All cited patents, patent applications, and other references are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. However, if a term in the present application contradicts or conflicts with a term in the incorporated reference, the term from the present application takes precedence over the conflicting term from the incorporated reference.

[0075] All ranges disclosed herein are inclusive of the endpoints, and the endpoints are independently combinable with each other. Each range disclosed herein constitutes a disclosure of any point or sub-range lying within the disclosed range.

[0076] The use of the terms "a" and "an" and "the" and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. Further, it should be noted that the terms "first," "second," and the like herein do not denote any order, quantity, or importance, but rather are used to distinguish one element from another. The modifier "about" used in connection with a quantity is inclusive of the stated value and has the meaning dictated by the context (e.g., it includes the degree of error associated with measurement of the particular quantity).