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Title:
BEAUTY TOOL HEAD LOCKING MECHANISM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/263286
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A handheld beauty tool includes a handle, a coupling on the handle, and a head connectable with the coupling. In an embodiment the handheld beauty tool can include an actuator movable with respect to the coupling. In another embodiment, the handheld beauty tool can include a biasing member cooperating with the coupling and the head. In the embodiment including the actuator, the biasing member may or may not be included. Also, in the embodiment including the biasing member, the actuator may or may not be included.

Inventors:
HILLEBRECHT LUKE (US)
THOMAS JESSE (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2019/043153
Publication Date:
December 30, 2020
Filing Date:
July 24, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
HELEN OF TROY LTD (BB)
HILLEBRECHT LUKE (US)
International Classes:
A45D20/10; A45D20/12
Foreign References:
KR760000958Y11976-07-17
KR0124556B11997-12-15
US6481763B22002-11-19
KR20070022320A2007-02-26
US20130015656A12013-01-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WITHROW, Jonathan, A. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A handheld beauty tool comprising:

a handle;

a coupling on the handle;

a head connectable with the coupling via a bayonet connection in which the head rotates with respect to the coupling about a rotational axis toward a locked position; and

an actuator movable with respect to the coupling between an engaged position in which rotation of the head with respect to the coupling from the locked position toward an unlocked position is inhibited and a disengaged position in which movement of the head with respect to the coupling from the locked position toward the unlocked position is uninhibited, the actuator being movable into the engaged position when the head is in the locked position.

2. The handheld beauty tool of claim 1 , wherein the bayonet connection includes a lug receivable in a lug recess, and when in the engaged position the actuator engages the head angularly offset from the lug with respect to the rotational axis.

3. The handheld beauty tool of claim 2, wherein the lug is provided on the coupling and the lug recess is provided on the head.

4. The handheld beauty tool of claim 2 or 3, wherein the lug includes a proximal lug surface with respect to the handle and the lug recess is defined at least partially by a proximal lug recess surface both oriented transverse to the rotational axis, wherein the proximal lug surface cooperates with the proximal lug recess surface to move the head toward the handle as the head rotates with respect to the coupling about the rotational axis toward the locked position.

5. The handheld beauty tool of claim 1 or 2, further comprising a biasing member cooperating with the coupling and the head to bias the head in a direction parallel with the rotational axis away from the handle when the head is in the locked position.

6. The handheld beauty tool of claim 5, further comprising an assembly including the biasing member and a frame to which the biasing member is attached.

7. The handheld beauty tool of claim 6, wherein the assembly is penannular in shape and concentric with the rotational axis so as to define a gap between opposite circumferential ends of the assembly.

8. The handheld beauty tool of claim 7, wherein at least a portion of the actuator is movable in a linear direction parallel with the rotational axis through the gap.

9. The handheld beauty tool of claim 1 or 2, wherein the actuator includes a tooth and the head includes a tooth recess, wherein the tooth is received in the tooth recess when the actuator is in the engaged position.

10. The handheld beauty tool of claim 9, wherein the actuator includes a base and a projection, the tooth extending from the base toward the head and the projection extending in a perpendicular direction outwardly from the tooth and/or the base, and the head includes a notch that receives the projection when the actuator is in the engaged position.

1 1. A handheld beauty tool comprising:

a handle;

a coupling on the handle;

a head connectable with the coupling via a connection in which the head rotates about and translates along a rotational axis with respect to the coupling toward a locked position; and

a biasing member cooperating with the coupling and the head to bias the head in a direction parallel with the rotational axis away from the handle when the head is in the locked position.

12. The handheld beauty tool of claim 1 1 , further comprising an assembly including the biasing member and a frame to which the biasing member is attached.

13. The handheld beauty tool of claim 12, wherein the assembly is penannular in shape and concentric with the rotational axis so as to define a gap between opposite circumferential ends of the assembly.

14. The handheld beauty tool of claim 13, further comprising an actuator movable in a linear direction parallel with the rotational axis, and at least a portion of the actuator is movable in the linear direction parallel with the rotational axis through the gap.

15. The handheld beauty tool of claim 14, wherein the actuator includes a tooth and the head includes a tooth recess, wherein the tooth is received in the tooth recess when the actuator is in an engaged position in which rotation of the head with respect to the coupling from the locked position toward an unlocked position is inhibited.

16. The handheld beauty tool of claim 15, wherein the actuator includes a base and a projection, the tooth extending from the base toward the head and the projection extending in a perpendicular direction from the tooth and/or the base, and the head includes a notch that receives the projection when the actuator is in the engaged position.

17. The handheld beauty tool of claim 1 1 , further comprising an actuator movable in a linear direction parallel with the rotational axis, wherein the actuator is precluded from moving into an engaged position, in which rotation of the head with respect to the coupling from the locked position toward an unlocked position, is inhibited when the head is in the unlocked position.

18. The handheld beauty tool of claim 16 or 17, further comprising a spring biasing the actuator toward the engaged position.

19. The handheld beauty tool of claim 1 1 , wherein the connection is a bayonet connection including a lug receivable in a lug recess.

20. The handheld beauty tool of claim 19, wherein the lug includes a proximal lug surface with respect to the handle and the lug recess is defined at least partially by a proximal lug recess surface both oriented transverse to the rotational axis, wherein the proximal lug surface cooperates with the proximal lug recess surface to move the head toward the handle as the head rotates with respect to the coupling about the rotational axis toward the locked position.

Description:
BEAUTY TOOL HEAD LOCKING MECHANISM

BACKGROUND

[0001] In a conventional handheld hairstyling beauty tool, air is drawn into the beauty tool through an inlet by a fan connected with a motor and directed towards the hair through an outlet. Such handheld beauty tools can be provided with different detachable heads, each having a different function. Depending on the hairstyle desired, a different head is chosen.

[0002] The handle of the handheld beauty tool connects with each of the detachable heads via a connection mechanism. One problem to be overcome is to provide a robust connection between the detachable head and a handle of the handheld beauty tool to reduce the likelihood of the detachable head accidently being removed from the handle.

SUMMARY

[0003] In view of the foregoing, a handheld beauty tool includes a handle, a coupling on the handle, and a head connectable with the coupling. In one embodiment the handheld beauty tool can include an actuator movable with respect to the coupling. In another embodiment, the handheld beauty tool can include a biasing member cooperating with the coupling and the head. In the embodiment including the actuator, the biasing member may or may not be included. Also, in the embodiment including the biasing member, the actuator may or may not be included.

[0004] In the embodiment including the actuator, the head can be connectable with the coupling via a bayonet connection in which the head rotates with respect to the coupling about a rotational axis toward a locked position. The actuator is movable with respect to the coupling between an engaged position in which rotation of the head with respect to the coupling from the locked position toward an unlocked position is inhibited, and a disengaged position in which movement of the head with respect to the coupling from the locked position towards the unlocked position is uninhibited. The actuator is movable into the engaged position when the head is in the locked position. [0005] In the embodiment including the biasing member, the head is connectable with the coupling via a connection in which the head rotates about and translates along a rotational axis with respect to the coupling toward a locked position. The biasing member cooperates with the coupling and the head to bias the head in a direction parallel with the rotational axis away from the handle when the head is in the locked position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a handheld beauty tool with an actuator shown in an engaged position.

[0007] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the handheld beauty tool with the actuator shown in a disengaged position.

[0008] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the handheld beauty tool.

[0009] FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a head, a coupling and a biasing member assembly of the handheld beauty tool.

[0010] FIG. 5 is another exploded view of the head, the coupling and the biasing member assembly of the handheld beauty tool.

[0011] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view showing a connection between the head and the coupling.

[0012] FIG. 7 is a perspective cross-sectional view showing the connection between the head and the coupling.

[0013] FIG. 8 is a side view of the head of the handheld beauty tool.

[0014] FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective partially cross-sectional view of the head, the coupling, the biasing member assembly and the actuator.

[0015] FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view of the head, the coupling, the biasing member assembly and the actuator.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0016] The description and drawings herein are merely illustrative and various modifications and changes can be made in the structures disclosed without departing from the invention. Further, spatially relative terms which describe a relationship between features of a handheld beauty tool 20 relate to the handheld beauty tool 20 as oriented in the relative figure. Any terms of degree used herein, such as“parallel,”“perpendicular” and“normal” mean a reasonable amount of deviation such that the end result is not significantly changed. Movement of one element“with respect to” another element means that either the first mentioned element can be moved in space while the second mentioned element remains stationary, the second mentioned element can be moved in space while the first mentioned element remains stationary, or both elements can be moved simultaneously. With reference to FIG. 1 , the handheld beauty tool 20 includes a handle 22, a coupling 24 on the handle 22, and a head 26 connectable with the coupling 24. In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, the handheld beauty tool 20 also includes an actuator 28 that is movable with respect to the handle 22 and the coupling 24 between an engaged position, which is shown in FIG. 1 , and a disengaged position, which is shown in FIG. 2.

[0017] To allow a user to create different hairstyles and to provide the handheld beauty tool 20 multi-functionality, the head 26 is detachable to allow for replacement with another detachable head (not shown), for example one including bristles or having a shape different than the head 26 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Additionally, the head 26 can be removed to allow for easier storage of the handheld beauty tool 20. The handheld beauty tool 20 is configured to be gripped by a user at the handle 22 and includes an air inlet 30 through which air enters the handheld beauty tool 20 and flows through the handle 22, the coupling 24, and the head 26 to an air outlet 32. With reference to FIG. 3, a fan 34 driven by a motor 36 draws air in through the air inlet 30 and pushes the air past a heating element 38 toward the air outlet 32. The handheld beauty tool 20 may be connected to a power supply via a power cable 42 or could house batteries within the handle 22. The handheld beauty tool 20 may also include a user interface, which can include an on-off button (not shown) and temperature controls (not shown), and a controller similar to known hair drying devices.

[0018] With reference back to FIG. 1 , the handle 22 includes a first (top) housing 50 that connects with a second (bottom) housing 52 to define a hollow handle interior compartment 54 (FIG. 3) in which the fan 34, the motor 36, and the heating element 38 are housed. In the illustrated embodiment, the second housing 52 includes an actuator opening 56. The actuator opening 56 is elongated along a longitudinal axis 58 of the handheld beauty tool 20. In the illustrated embodiment, the coupling 24 connects with the handle 22; however, in an alternative arrangement, the handle 22 and the coupling 24 may be integrally formed.

[0019] With reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, the coupling 24 includes an outer wall 70, which is annular and concentric with the longitudinal axis 58 in the illustrated embodiment. The outer wall 70 includes a proximal end 72 and a distal end 74 with respect to the handle 22. The coupling 24 also includes detents 76 extending inwardly from the outer wall 70 located nearer to the proximal end 72 as compared to the distal end 74. The detents 76 facilitate connection of the coupling 24 to the handle 22 via a press on fit in which the coupling 24 is pressed onto the handle 22. In the illustrated embodiment, two detents 76 are provided angularly spaced 180° from one another with respect to the longitudinal axis 58. The coupling 24 further includes standoffs 78 that extend inwardly from the outer wall 70. The standoffs 78 are circumferentially spaced so as to provide frame channels 82 and an actuator channel 84 each extending in an axial direction substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis 58. The coupling 24 further includes assembly supports 86 which define respective assembly support surfaces 88. Each assembly support surface 88 is normal to the longitudinal axis 58.

[0020] The coupling 24 further includes lugs 100 that are positioned adjacent to the distal end 74 and extend inwardly from the outer wall 70. In the illustrated embodiment, two lugs 100 angularly spaced 180° from each other with respect to the longitudinal axis 58 are provided. With reference to FIG. 6, each lug 100 includes a proximal lug surface 102 and a distal lug surface 104 with respect to the handle 22. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the proximal lug surface 102 is offset at an angle a with respect to a plane normal to the longitudinal axis 58. The distal lug surface 104, however, is parallel with the plane that is normal to the longitudinal axis 58. The lugs 100 cooperate with the head 26 to allow for the detachable connection of the head 26 with the coupling 24. With reference to FIG. 7, the coupling 24 further includes barb catches 106, which are in the form of shoulders positioned beneath the lugs 100.

[0021] The head 26 is configured to be selectively connectable with the coupling 24 to allow for selective detachment of the head 26 from the handle 22 and the coupling 24. This also allows for replacement of another style of head having a similar connection with the coupling 24. The head 26 includes an outer surface 130 and an inner surface 132. The head 26 is hollow to allow air to flow through a head inlet 134 toward the air outlet 32. The head inlet 134 is provided at a proximal edge 136 of the head 26.

[0022] The head 26 is connectable with the coupling 24 via a connection in which the head 26 rotates about and translates along a rotational axis, which is collinear with the longitudinal axis 58 in the illustrated embodiment, with respect to the coupling 24 toward a locked position. In the illustrated embodiment, the connection between the head 26 and the coupling 24 is a bayonet connection; however, other rotatable connections are contemplated. In the illustrated embodiment, the connection between the coupling 24 and the head 26 is provided through the lugs 100 provided on the coupling 24 and lug recess 140 provided on the head 26; however, alternatively the lugs could be provided on the head and the lug recesses could be provided on the coupling.

[0023] With reference back to the illustrated embodiment, the head 26 includes two lug recesses 140 which are generally L-shaped to provide a bayonet connection. With reference to FIG. 8, each lug recess 140 is provided in the outer surface 130. Each lug recess 140 includes an axial (vertical) section 142 that extends from the proximal edge 136 of the head 26 and a transverse (horizontal) section 144. With particular reference to FIG. 8, the transverse section 144 of the lug recess 140 includes a proximal lug recess surface 146 spaced nearer to the proximal edge 136 and a distal lug recess surface 148 spaced from the proximal lug recess surface 146 in a distal direction so as to accommodate an axial dimension of the lug 100 (see FIG. 6). The proximal lug recess surface 146 is angled with respect to a plane normal to a rotational axis, which is coaxial with the longitudinal axis 58, of the head 26 such that the proximal lug surface 102 of the lug 100 cooperates with the proximal lug recess surface 146 to move the head 26 toward the handle 22 as the head 26 rotates with respect to the coupling 24 about the rotational axis toward a locked position, which is shown in FIG. 6. As illustrated in FIG. 8, the proximal lug recess surface 146 is offset at the angle a (see also FIG. 6) with respect to the plane normal to the longitudinal axis 58. As such, when the lug 100 is inserted into the axial section 142 it moves in an axial direction until it contacts the distal lug recess surface 148. The head 26 is then rotated with respect to the coupling 24 so that the lug 100 moves transversely in the transverse section 144 until it contacts a first end 152 of the transverse section 144, at which time the head 26 is in the locked position. To remove the head 26 from the coupling 24, the head 26 is then rotated with respect to the coupling 24 so that the lug 100 moves transversely in the transverse section 144 until it contacts a second end 154 of the transverse section 144, at which time the head 26 is in the unlocked position where the lug 100 is aligned with the axial section 142. With the lug 100 aligned with the axial section 142 of the lug recess 140, the head 26 can be pulled in an axial direction parallel with the longitudinal axis 58. Because of the angle a, when the lug 100 moves transversely in the transverse section 144 toward the first end 152 of the transverse section 144, the head 26 translates along the rotational axis (coincident with the longitudinal axis 58) drawing the head 26 toward the coupling 24 and the handle 22.

[0024] With reference to FIGS. 7 and 9, the head 26 also includes an actuator tooth recess 160 provided at the proximal edge 136 and extending outwardly from the inner surface 132. The head 26 can include two actuator tooth recesses 160 each diametrically opposed from the other. Each actuator tooth recess 160 can also be angularly offset 90 degrees with respect to the longitudinal axis 58 from a respective lug recess 140. The head 26 can also include an actuator notch 162 extending in a distal direction from the proximal edge 136. The head 26 can include two actuator notches 162, each actuator notch 162 being radially aligned with a respective actuator tooth recess 160. Each actuator notch 162 can extend out to the outer surface 130 of the head 26.

[0025] With reference to FIGS. 9 and 10, the handheld beauty tool 20 also includes the actuator 28, which is movable with respect to the coupling 24 between an engaged position in which rotation of the head 26 with respect to the coupling 24 from the locked position toward the unlocked position is inhibited and a disengaged position in which movement of the head 26 with respect to the coupling 24 from the locked position toward the unlocked position is uninhibited. The actuator 28 generally includes a base 180 that is elongated in an axial direction parallel with the longitudinal axis 58. The base 180 includes a base proximal end 182 and a base distal end 184. Spring receiving recesses 186, which are shown in phantom in FIG. 7, extend into the base 180 from the base proximal end 182. The actuator 28 further includes elongate flanges 188 that are elongated in an axial direction parallel with the longitudinal axis 58 extending from each side of the base 180. The actuator 28 further includes a tooth 200 that extends in a distal direction from the base distal end 184. The tooth 200 is configured to be selectively received in the actuator tooth recess 160 of the head 26. The actuator 28 further includes a projection 202, which is elongated and extends in an outward perpendicular direction from both the tooth 200 and the base 180. The projection 202 is configured to be received in the actuator notch 162 provided in the head 26 when the actuator 28 is in the engaged position. The actuator 28 further includes a button 204 extending from the base 180 in the same direction and axially spaced from the projection 202.

[0026] With reference to FIG. 7, a spring 210 having two terminal ends 212 biases the actuator 28 in an axial direction parallel with the longitudinal axis 58 toward the head 26. Each terminal end 212 of the spring 210 is received in a respective spring receiving recess 186. The spring 210 depicted in FIG. 7 is a wire spring; however, other biasing mechanisms for biasing the actuator 28 toward the head 26 could be provided. With reference back to FIGS. 1 and 2, the button 204 extends through the actuator opening 56 provided in the handle 22 to provide an operator access to the button 204. The button 204 has a smaller axial dimension (with respect to the longitudinal axis 58) to allow an operator to move the actuator 28 toward the disengaged position (shown in FIG. 2) against the biasing force of the spring 210. When the user removes the force from the button 204 with the actuator 28 in the disengaged position, the spring 210 biases the actuator 28 so that it moves in a direction parallel with the longitudinal axis 58 toward the head 26 to allow the actuator 28 to move into the engaged position in which the tooth 200 is received in the actuator tooth recess 160 and the projection 202 is received in the actuator notch 162. As such, with the actuator 28 in the engaged position, the head 26 is in a locked position such that rotation of the head 26 with respect to the coupling 24 from the locked position toward the unlocked position is inhibited by the actuator, and more specifically the tooth 200 being received in the actuator tooth recess 160 and the projection 202 being received in the actuator notch 162. This inhibits unintentional rotational movement of the head 26 with respect to the handle 22.

[0027] To attach the head 26 to the coupling 24, each lug 100 is aligned with an axial section 142 of a respective lug recess 140. The head 26 is then moved in an axial direction toward the handle 22. At this stage, the actuator tooth recess 160 is not aligned with the tooth 200, and the actuator 28 is precluded from moving into the engaged position with the head 26 in the unlocked position. At this stage, the proximal edge 136 of the head 26 contacts the tooth 200 which results in the actuator 28 moving in an axial direction toward the handle 22. Next, the head 26 is rotated with respect to the coupling 24 until the lug 100 contact the first end 152 of the transverse section 144. As this stage, the actuator tooth recess 160 is aligned with the tooth 200 and the spring 210 biases the actuator 28 in an axial direction toward the head 26 such that the tooth 200 is received in the actuator tooth recess 160. To detach the head 26 from the coupling 24, an operator pulls on the button 204 to move the button to the disengaged position, which is shown in FIG. 2. The head 26 can now be rotated with respect to the coupling 24 to align the lugs 100 with the axial section 142 of each lug recess 140, and then the head 26 can be pulled in a direction parallel with the longitudinal axis 58 away from the handle. The projection 202 moves within the actuator channel 84 as the actuator 28 moves in the axial direction.

[0028] To provide a robust connection between the handle 22 and the head 26, which is detachable from the handle 22, a biasing member, which is part of an assembly 250 (see FIGS. 3 and 4) in the illustrated embodiment, can be provided in addition to or in lieu of the actuator 28. The biasing member biases the head 26 in a direction parallel with the rotational axis of the head 26, which is coaxial with the longitudinal axis 58 in the illustrated embodiment, away from the handle 22 when the head 26 is in the locked position. As such, either the actuator 28 or the aforementioned biasing member or both can be provided as part of the connection between the head 26 and the coupling 24.

[0029] In the illustrated embodiment, the assembly 250 includes a frame 252 and resilient material 254, which is made from a more resilient material than the frame 252, connected with the frame 252. The resilient material 254 can be silicone or a similar rubber-like material and can operate both as the aforementioned biasing member and also as a gasket to inhibit airflow leakage through the coupling 24 and the head 26. The assembly 250 including the frame 252 and the resilient material 254 are penannular or substantially C-shaped and concentric with the longitudinal axis 58 so as to define a gap 256 between opposite circumferential ends 258 of the assembly 250. In an embodiment that does not include the actuator, the assembly 250 can be annular. The frame 252 further includes locator prongs 270 which are received in the frame channels 82 of the coupling 24. The frame 252 further includes barbs 274 which cooperate with the barb catches 106 on the coupling 24 to connect the assembly 250 with the coupling 24. The assembly 250 is supported on the assembly support surfaces 88 of each assembly support 86. The actuator 28 and more particularly the tooth 200 of the actuator 28 are movable in a linear direction parallel with the longitudinal axis 58 through the gap 256 provided in the assembly 250, which can be seen in FIG. 7. The resilient material 254 of the assembly 250 presses the head 26 in a direction parallel with the longitudinal axis 58 in a distal direction to urge the distal lug surface 104 of each lug 100 toward the distal lug recess surface 148 in the transverse section 144 of each lug recess 140, which also provides a more robust connection between the head 26 and the coupling 24 and handle 22. As such, the resilient material 254 can act as a biasing member to bias the head 26 in a direction parallel with the rotational axis away from the handle 22 when the head 26 is in the locked position so as to inhibit rotational movement of the head 26 with respect to the coupling 24 from the locked position toward the unlocked position.

[0030] A handheld beauty tool has been described above with particularity. Modifications and alterations will occur to those upon reading and understanding the preceding detailed description. The invention, however, is not limited to only the embodiments described above. Instead, the invention is broadly defined by the appended claims and the equivalents thereof.