US20110168062A1 - Mechanically adjustable work station with optional retractable work support ledge - Google Patents

Mechanically adjustable work station with optional retractable work support ledge Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110168062A1
US20110168062A1 US12684492 US68449210A US20110168062A1 US 20110168062 A1 US20110168062 A1 US 20110168062A1 US 12684492 US12684492 US 12684492 US 68449210 A US68449210 A US 68449210A US 20110168062 A1 US20110168062 A1 US 20110168062A1
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Prior art keywords
work
support
member
position
primary
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Abandoned
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US12684492
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Michael DellaVecchia
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Dellavecchia Michael
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B27/00Drawing desks or tables; Carriers for drawing-boards
    • A47B27/02Adjustable drawing tables without balancing means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B13/00Details of tables or desks
    • A47B13/08Table tops; Rims therefor
    • A47B13/088Sectional table tops
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B17/00Writing-tables
    • A47B17/02Writing-tables with vertically-adjustable parts
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B2200/00General construction of tables or desks
    • A47B2200/0035Tables or desks with features relating to adjustability or folding
    • A47B2200/004Top adjustment
    • A47B2200/0043Inclination adjustable work top
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B2200/00General construction of tables or desks
    • A47B2200/0035Tables or desks with features relating to adjustability or folding
    • A47B2200/004Top adjustment
    • A47B2200/0046Desks with double worktop of which one at least is separately height adjustable

Abstract

A work station with a built-in electric mechanical lift that will allow a user to adjust a work support member to a more ergonomically correct position (similar to a tilted drafting station) includes primary and, preferably, secondary work support members. A lifting structure urged by an actuator engages the primary work support member for pivoting from a position coplanar with the second work support member to a position at an angle relative to the secondary work support member. One or more structural support members are positioned to support the primary and secondary work support members, the lifting structure, and the actuator. The lifting structure includes first and second lifting arms pivotably connected to one another. A desk of any configuration has a work support member with at least one pop-up ledge engaged to a touch latch assembly configured to maintain the pop-up ledge at a first retracted position inside the work support member or at a second extended position extending from the work support member.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention is directed to a desk or work station which can be used as a traditional work surface, and additionally, the work surface's position can be angularly changed in relation to the user, similar to a tilted drafting table or drafting station. In the present application, the term “work station” is used to refer to a desk or a work station or a drafting station, and these terms are deemed to be interchangeable. Similarly, the terms “drafting station” and “drafting table” are used interchangeably. An electric lift mechanism allows the user to adjust the work surface from horizontal throughout a wide range of angular positions and back to horizontal. This adjustability creates a custom, more ergonomically correct and, therefore, beneficial position for the user. Additionally, the present invention is directed to a work station that includes at least one retractable ledge to secure work items through the effect of gravity on a tilted desk or work station to further serve the enhancement of the ergonomic benefit to the user, again similar to the benefits derived from using a tilted drafting station.
  • [0002]
    Desk or work station surfaces which are raised or tilted by motorized mechanisms are known in the art. Furthermore, utilizing retractable or removable ledges to secure items on a desk is known in the art. However, there is still a need for desks which can, with the use of a motor, easily and conveniently adjust from a flat, horizontal desk or work station to a tilted adjustable work surface as typified by drafting stations or drafting tables, and the present invention satisfies this need. Furthermore, retractable ledges that are easily and selectively placed in one of two different positions and remain in such position as desired are also needed and such need is satisfied by the present invention, optionally, but especially, in combination with the desk described above. Additionally, the mechanism for lifting all or a portion of a desk or work station to adjust the work surface(s) should be simple and inexpensive, features that are satisfied by the present invention.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    A first aspect of the present invention relates to a work station having a work support member and an electrically powered lifting structure that will allow a user to adjust the work support member to an ergonomic position, comprising: a primary work support member having a top, work support surface and a bottom surface, the top surface defining a first plane, the lifting structure being positioned to engage the bottom surface to pivot the primary work support member about a first pivot axis from a first position to a second position, the first pivot axis being at or proximate to an edge portion of the primary work support member; an actuator positioned to urge the lifting structure to pivot the primary support member about the first pivot axis; and one or more structural support members positioned to support the primary work support member, the lifting structure, and the actuator; wherein the first plane at the second position is at an acute angle with respect to the first plane at the first position; and wherein the lifting structure includes a first lifting arm having first and second ends and a second lifting arm having first and second ends, the first ends being associated with the actuator and the second ends being associated with the primary work support member, the first and second lifting arms being pivotably connected to one another at a location between their ends at a second pivot axis, each of the first ends of the lifting arms pivoting about a third axis and each of the second ends of the lifting arms pivoting about a fourth axis.
  • [0004]
    More particularly, this first aspect of the invention comprises a mechanically adjustable work station with an electrically powered lifting structure that will allow a user to adjust the position of the work surface to a more ergonomically correct position. The work station includes a primary work support member having a top, work support surface and a bottom surface, the top surface defining a first plane. The work station also includes a lifting structure positioned to engage the bottom surface to pivot the primary work support member about a first pivot axis from a first position to a second position, the first pivot axis being near or close to an edge of the primary work support member. Thus, the first pivot axis is at or proximate to an edge portion of the primary work support member. An actuator is positioned to urge the lifting structure to engage the bottom surface to pivot the primary support member about the first pivot axis. The work station optionally, but preferably, has a secondary work support member having an upper surface, the upper surface defining a second plane and being positioned adjacent to the primary work support member. Also, the desk includes one or more structural support members positioned to support the primary and secondary work support members, the lifting structure, and the actuator. At the first position, the first plane and the second plane are substantially coplanar, and at the second position, the first plane is at an acute angle with respect to the second plane and with respect to the first plane at the first position. The lifting structure includes a first lifting arm having first and second ends and a second lifting arm having first and second ends. The first ends are associated with the actuator and the second ends are associated with the primary work support. The first and second lifting arms are pivotably connected to one another at a location between their ends at a second pivot axis. Each of the first ends of the lifting arms pivot about a third axis and each of the second ends of the lifting arms pivot about a fourth axis.
  • [0005]
    A second aspect of the present invention relates to a work station including a work support member having a top surface, the top surface defining a first plane. The work station has one or more structural support members positioned to support the work support member. The work support member includes at least one pop-up ledge having a superior surface. The pop-up ledge is engaged to a touch latch assembly configured to maintain the pop-up ledge at a first retracted position or at a second extended position. At the first retracted position, the superior surface is substantially coplanar with the first plane, and at the second extended position, the superior surface is extended above the first plane.
  • [0006]
    The pop-up ledges can be included in any desk or work station regardless of configuration, including, but not necessarily limited to, the work station described above which has an electric mechanical lift mechanism to allow the work surface to be adjusted at an angle to the horizontal.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0007]
    The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of the invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in the drawings embodiments which are presently preferred. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
  • [0008]
    In the Drawings:
  • [0009]
    FIG. 1 shows a schematic front isometric view of a mechanically adjustable work station according to the present invention;
  • [0010]
    FIG. 2 shows a schematic partial front elevation view of the mechanically adjustable work station shown in FIG. 1, with the primary work surface in a first, lowered position;
  • [0011]
    FIG. 3 shows a schematic partial front elevation view of the mechanically adjustable work station as shown in FIG. 1, where the primary work surface is in a second, raised or tilted position;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 4 shows a schematic partial side elevation and partial cross-sectional view of the mechanically adjustable work station taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 2, with the primary work surface in a first, lowered position, and also showing the connection of portions of the first and second lifting arms together at a second pivot axis and at their ends at a third axis to a portion of a lift actuator assembly and at a fourth pivot axis to an upper guide rod or rail;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 5, which includes FIGS. 5, 5A and 5B, shows a schematic partial side elevation and partial cross-sectional view of the mechanically adjustable work station taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 3, with the primary work surface in a second, raised or tilted position, and also showing the connection of portions of the first and second lifting arms together at a second pivot axis and at their ends at a third axis to a portion of a lift actuator assembly and at a fourth pivot axis to an upper guide rod or rail;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 5A shows a schematic partial side elevation and partial cross-sectional view showing a connection at the second pivot axis between a first lifting arm and a second lifting arm.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 5B shows a schematic partial side elevation and partial cross-sectional view of a connection at a fourth pivot axis between a bushing and the guide rod or rail attached to the primary work support member;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 6 shows a partial isometric view of the work station shown in FIG. 1, also showing two ledges in an extended position supporting a plurality of papers, representative of work items on the tilted primary work surface;
  • [0017]
    FIGS. 7A and 7B show partial cross-sectional views along lines 7-7 of FIG. 6, where FIG. 7A shows the ledges in a retracted position and FIG. 7B shows the ledges in an extended position;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 8 shows an exploded view of an exemplary touch latch assembly;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 9 shows a partial side elevation and partial cross-sectional view of the touch latch assembly shown in FIG. 8;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 10 shows an isometric and partial cross-sectional view of the touch latch assembly shown in FIG. 9, being in a retracted position;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 11A shows an isometric and partial cross-sectional view of the touch latch assembly shown in FIG. 9, being in a partially extended position; and
  • [0022]
    FIG. 11B shows an isometric and partial cross-sectional view of the touch latch assembly shown in FIG. 9, being in a fully extended position.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0023]
    Regarding FIGS. 1-3 and 6, a desk or work station 9 is shown, having a primary work support member 10 with a top work surface 58 and which can be mechanically adjusted through a lifting structure 20 that is moved with an electric lift mechanism, resulting in the movement of the primary work support member 10 from a first, substantially horizontal position to a second tilted position. FIGS. 1 and 6 show the primary work support member 10 in the second position. The primary work support member 10 has a top work surface 58, which defines a first plane, shown in FIG. 6 as supporting a plurality of papers, representing work items, which also or alternatively can include writing implements, drafting tools, books or anything else. The primary work support member 10 also has a bottom surface 60. Essentially, the primary work support member 10 is part of a work station and is preferably much longer and wider than it is thick. In other words, it preferably has a plate-like form. The work station 9 need not have, but preferably, has a secondary work support member 12 having an upper surface 62 defining a second plane. Just like the primary work support member 10, the secondary work support member 12 is preferably much longer and wider than it is thick. The primary work support member 10 can be adjacent on at least one side, and preferably two or three sides, to the secondary work support member 12.
  • [0024]
    The work station 9 also includes the lifting structure 20 positioned to engage the bottom surface 60 to pivot the primary work support member 10 about a first pivot axis 16 from the first position to the second position, the first pivot axis 16 being at or proximate to an edge portion of the primary work support member 10, and as shown in FIG. 6, a front edge portion. At the first position, the first plane and the second plane are substantially coplanar, and at the second position, the first plane is at an acute angle θ with respect to the second plane and is at an acute angle θ with respect to the first plane in the first position. Thus, at the first position, the primary and secondary work support members 10, 12 are essentially coplanar and preferably form, except for a narrow gap along the border between the primary and secondary work support members 10, 12, a continuous surface on which a user can work where the desk is utilized as a working surface which is essentially horizontal or at a slight angle to horizontal. In the first position, the top surface 58 and upper surface 62 (also referred to as primary and secondary work surfaces 58, 62) are co-planar, so the angle between them is zero. Small differences in height between the first and second planes that would not adversely affect work items supported by both the primary work support member 10 and the secondary work support member 12 are considered to still mean that they are substantially coplanar. At the second position, the primary and secondary work support members 10, 12 are at an angle θ to one another because of the pivoting of the primary work support member 10. The primary work support member 10 at the second position is at an angle θ with respect to the primary work support member 10 at the first position. The angular range for θ can vary by a number of factors (user requirements, cost, available space for the lift mechanism within overall desk design, appearance), but can be customized to a range from any angular dimension between 0 and 90, which tilts the back of the primary work support member 10 upward (similar to a tilted drafting table). Any range or ranges between zero and ninety degrees is envisioned as supported by the present disclosure, such as ten degrees to thirty degrees, fifteen degrees to twenty degrees, or any other range. Thus, the primary work support member 10 can be used as a fully adjustable work surface with a top, work surface 58 at an angle from the horizontal.
  • [0025]
    The work station 9 also includes one or more structural support members 14 positioned to support the primary and secondary work support members 10, 12, the lifting structure 20, and an actuator 18 (described more fully below). The structural support members 14 can be any structure, such as filing cabinets or other structures including drawers, as well as pedestals, legs, pillars, and/or any other structure that can support the primary and/or secondary work support members 10, 12, directly or indirectly. The desk 9 further preferably includes a support frame 22 supported by the secondary work support member 12 or by at least one of the structural support members 14, and which supportably engages the primary work support member 10. The support frame 22 preferably includes first and/or second and/or third side structures 22 a, 22 b, and 22 c, one of which, such as 22 c shown in FIGS. 1-5, may form or be part of a back wall of the work station 9. Additional structures may form part of the support frame 22. Side structures 22 a, 22 b, 22 c are preferably elongated board-like structures supported by the secondary work support member 12 and/or by one or more structural support members 14. Preferably, side structures 22 a and 22 b support the sides of the primary work support member 10 at opposite sides of a first pivot axis 16. However, the primary work support member 10 can be directly supported by one or more structural support members 14. It is preferred that the primary support member 10 be indirectly supported by one or more structural support members 14 through the support frame 22. This way, the support frame 22 can be attached to off-the-shelf support members 14 and avoid the need to modify existing support members 14 to support the primary work support member 10.
  • [0026]
    The desk 9 also preferably, but not necessarily, includes a slide-out shelf 24, best seen in FIGS. 1 and 6, slidably supported by the support frame 22. Again, it is also possible for the slide-out shelf 24 to be directly supported by the one or more structural support members 14 rather than the support frame 22, but it is preferable for the slide-out shelf to be supported by the support frame 22.
  • [0027]
    The primary work support member 10 preferably includes pivot rods 90 which define the first pivot axis 16. The pivot rods 90 preferably are short rods of circular cross-section that extend into apertures 92 (see FIG. 3) or bushings formed within the secondary work support member 12, the support frame 22 or the structural support members 14 and the sides proximate to the front edge of a front portion of the primary work support member 10 to engage the secondary work support member 12. The primary work support member 10 then pivots about the first axis 16 which is axially aligned with the pivot rods 90. If desired, one pivot rod 90 could extend through a bore from one side of the primary work support member 10, which may be lined with an elongated bushing, and opposite ends of the pivot rod 90 would then extend into apertures 92 in the secondary work support member 12 that can accommodate the pivot rod 90 rotatably so that the pivot rod 90 will be supported by the secondary work support member but also be permitted to rotate. Other ways to rotatably support the primary work support member 10 are envisioned by the present invention.
  • [0028]
    Regarding FIGS. 2-5B, the lifting structure 20 includes a first lifting arm 32 having first and second ends 50, 68 and a second lifting arm 34 having first and second ends 52, 70, respectively, the first and second lifting arms 32, 34 being pivotably connected to one another at a location between their ends at a second pivot axis 46 formed by a pin, rod, rivet, screw, or other structure that allows pivoting of the lifting arms 32, 34 about the second pivot axis 46. To lift the primary work support member 10 from the first position to the second position, the first lifting arm 32 and the second lifting arm 34 pivot about the second pivot axis 46, a third pivot axis 102, and a fourth pivot axis 104, such that the primary work support member 10 pivots about the first pivot axis 16 from the first position to the second position.
  • [0029]
    The force to pivot the first and second lifting arms 32, 34 is generated by an actuator 18, which is positioned to urge the lifting structure 20 to engage the bottom surface 60 to pivot the primary work support member 10 about the first pivot axis 16. Essentially, the lifting structure 20 is connected to the bottom surface 60 to push the bottom surface 60 to pivot the primary work support member 10 about the first pivot axis 16. The lifting structure 20 can also be connected to one or more side surfaces 82 (see FIG. 6) of the primary work support member 10 to be able to pivot the primary work support member 10. However, the connection to the bottom surface 60 is preferred, as explained in more detail below.
  • [0030]
    The actuator 18 preferably includes a motor 26, preferably an electric motor (DC or AC, but preferably DC powered by an AC transformer), to provide the force for pivoting the primary work support member 10 from the first, lower position to the second, tilted position. The actuator 18 has the motor 26 rotatably connected to a lead screw 27 to turn the lead screw 27, where the lead screw 27 has a first threaded portion 28 and preferably a second threaded portion 29 that is preferably reverse threaded compared to the first threaded portion 28 and is operably connected to the lifting structure 20 to urge the primary work support member 10 from the first position to the second position. The lead screw 27 is preferably rotatably connected to a first bushing 30 and to a second bushing 48, where the bushings 30 and 48 have internal threads matched to the threads of the lead screw 27. The first bushing 30 is pivotably connected as shown by a pivot connection 31, forming a compound pivot joint, to a first end 50 of the first lifting arm 32 such that rotation of the lead screw 27 causes linear motion along and rotational motion about the third pivot axis 102 by the first bushing 30 through at least a portion of the longitudinal length of the lead screw 27 and pivoting of the lifting arms 32, 34 about the second pivot axis 46. The second bushing 48 is pivotably connected as shown by a pivot connection 49, to a first end 52 of the second lifting arm 34. The rotatable connection between the second threaded portion 29 of the lead screw 27 and the second bushing 48 is preferably inversely related to the rotatable connection between the lead screw 27 and the first bushing 30, such that upon rotation of the lead screw in one direction, say clockwise for example, the first bushing 30 and the second bushing 48 move in opposite linear directions. The second ends 68, 70, respectively, of the first and second lifting arms 32, 34 are pivotably connected to third and fourth bushings 54, 56, by respectively by pivot joints 55, 57. Also, pivoting of the first and second lifting arms 32, 34, and the first and second bushings 30, 48 about the third pivot axis 102 via the pivot connections 31 and 49, each forming compound pivot joints and pivoting of the first and second lifting arms 32, 34 and third and fourth bushings 54, 56 about the fourth pivot axis 104 via the pivot connections 55 and 57, each forming other compound pivot joints, also occurs.
  • [0031]
    The third and fourth bushings 54, 56 move along and rotate about the fourth pivot axis 104, which is comprised of one or more respective upper rods 74 positioned parallel to the lead screw 27, the one or more upper rods 74 being connected to the bottom surface 60 such that the movement of the first and second bushings 30, 48 towards one another will cause a sliding of the third and fourth bushings 54, 56 towards one another and an urging of the primary work support member 10 from the first position to the second position. The rods 74 may have a circular cross-section, a square or rectangular cross-section, a T-shaped cross-section, an I-shaped cross-section or any other suitable shape, such that the term “rod” with respect to rod 74, as used herein, may also be include a rail having a cross-section other than a circular cross-section.
  • [0032]
    It is also possible for the motor 26 to be a linear motor that causes a rod to move linearly (the motor 26 and the rod in combination being a linear actuator). Thus, rather than having a lead screw 27 which rotates to move the first bushing 30, the motor 26 can merely push a rod linearly, and the first lifting arm 32 can be pivotably connected to the linearly movable rod. Other ways to push the end 50 of the first lifting arm 32 are also envisioned in the present invention. For example, a rack and pinion assembly can be utilized as well as a movable chain. Further explanation regarding various types of actuators 18 is unnecessary since their structures are well-known in the art.
  • [0033]
    The desk/work station 9 also includes at least one controller 76 operatively connected to the actuator 18 and configured to command the actuator 18 to operate in a forward direction to urge the primary work support member 10 from the first position to the second position, and in a reverse direction to urge the primary work support member 10 from the second position to the first position. The controller 76 can be any type of switch, keypad, wired or wireless remote control, or other device to communicate with the actuator 18 to activate the motor movement in a forward direction or in a reverse direction. The controller 76 can be used to set the speed at which the lifting structure 20 raises or lowers the primary work support member 10. Additionally, the user may want to preset angles for the position of the primary work support member 10, and the controller can optionally be programmable to set different positions to which the primary work support member 10 will move, including multiple positions that can be identified with a keypad or other input device to automatically have the primary work support member 10 move to a desired position. The speed and multiple positions described above can be saved to a memory device (e.g., a magnetic recorder, a suitably programmed computer, or other memory devices well known in the art) for use at a later time by one or more users, each of whom may program in their own settings, if desired.
  • [0034]
    The movement of the lifting structure 20 will now be explained in reference to FIGS. 2-5. FIG. 2 shows the primary work support member 10 in the first lowered position. A user then activates the controller 76 to command the motor 26 to move in a forward direction. As a result, the lead screw 27 will be rotated by the motor 26 in a forward direction. The rotating threads of the lead screw 27 will push the first and second bushings 30, 48 in opposite longitudinal directions of the lead screw 27 (i.e., the third pivot axis 102), and about the third pivot axis 102. The movement of the first bushing 30 is shown with Arrow A in FIG. 2, which will cause a pivoting of the first lifting arm 32 about the second pivot axis 46, about the third pivot axis 102 and about the fourth pivot axis 104 (see FIGS. 4 & 5). The movement of the first bushing 30 will also cause an exertion of force on the third bushing 54 as shown by Arrow B in FIG. 2. As can be seen in FIG. 2, Arrow B has an upward component and an inward component. The movement of fourth bushing 56 is similar, represented by Arrow C. The upward component of the force shown by Arrows B and C will push the upper rod or a rail 74 upward and the inward component of the force shown by Arrows B and C will cause the third bushing 54 and fourth bushing 56 to slide inward along the upper rod 74, and to rotate about rod 74 (i.e., to rotate about the fourth pivot axis 104 (see FIGS. 4 and 5)).
  • [0035]
    FIG. 4 shows the third and fourth pivot axes 102, 104 when the primary work support member 10 is in a first position (not lifted). FIGS. 5 and 5B show the third and fourth pivot axes 102, 104 when the primary work support member 10 is in a second position (lifted). A comparison between FIG. 4 on the one hand, and FIGS. 5 and 5B on the other hand, shows the movement of the first bushing 30 and the first and second lifting arms 32, 34 about the third pivot axis 102, and the movement of the fourth bushing 56 and the first and second lifting arms 32, 34 about the fourth pivot axis 104.
  • [0036]
    The upper rod 74 is connected to at least rod mount 84, and also preferably to rod mounts 86 and 88. Rod mount 84 and also preferably rod mounts 86 and 88, are connected to and evenly spaced laterally along a back portion of the bottom surface 60 of the primary work support member 10. It is possible for rod 74 to be, for example, two rods which are both connected to the central rod mount 88.
  • [0037]
    The upward force of the rod 74 is transferred to at least the rod mount 84, preferably also rod mounts 86 and 88, and to bottom surface 60 of the primary work support member 10 to push the primary work support member 10 to pivot about the first pivot axis 16 (see FIGS. 1 and 6). The locations of the rod mounts 84, 86, and 88 can vary, but are preferably at a back portion of the primary work support member 10 so as to maximize the distance between the first pivot axis 16 and the rod mounts to increase the torque applied to the primary work support member 10 about the first pivot axis 16.
  • [0038]
    The engagement of the second bushing 48 to the second lifting arm 34 and the lead screw 27 will also urge the second lifting arm 34 to pivot about the second pivot axis 46 in an opposite direction as the first lifting arm 32. As explained above, the threads of the lead screw 27 which engage the threads of the second bushing 48, and the threads of the second bushing 48 are such that the second bushing 48 moves in an opposite direction as the first bushing 30. When the motor 26 is operated in a reverse direction, the opposite movements take place and the primary work support member 10 moves (to tilt) down.
  • [0039]
    Regarding FIGS. 1-3, the lifting structure 20 is supported by a side frame, such as back side support 22 c (also referred to as third side structure 22 c or back side structure 22 c), which is preferably part of the frame 22, but can be separate from the frame 22. The lifting structure 20 can be screwed, riveted, glued, or otherwise attached to the back side structure 22 c. For example, lead screw mounts 96 can be attached to the back side structure 22 c, and the lead screw 27 can be supported by the screw mounts 96, which would be screwed or riveted or glued to the back side structure 22 c. The actuator 18 may also be screwed, riveted, glued, or otherwise attached by a mounting bracket 100 that be screwed, riveted, glued, or otherwise attached to the frame 22, such as to the back side structure 22 c. Alternatively, the actuator 18 may be screwed, riveted, glued, or otherwise attached directly or by any other suitable mounting bracket to other side supports, 22 a or 22 b, or otherwise to the support frame 22 or to a supporting structure 14.
  • [0040]
    Regarding FIGS. 6-11B, another aspect of the present invention involves a work support member, which may be, but is not necessarily, the primary work support member 10 of the work station 9 of the first aspect of the present invention, that includes a first pop-up ledge 36, optionally a second pop-up ledge 38, and potentially more pop-up ledges. The pop-up ledge aspect of the present invention will be described for convenience with respect to the primary work surface 58 of the work station 9.
  • [0041]
    The pop-up ledges 36, 38 each includes a respective superior surface 66. Each pop-up ledge 36, 38 is engaged to at least one, and preferably at least two touch latch assemblies 40 configured to maintain the pop-up ledges 36, 38 at a first retracted position shown in FIG. 7A or at a second extended position shown in FIG. 7B. At the first retracted position, the superior surfaces 66 are substantially coplanar with the first plane that is coextensive with the top, work surface 58 of the primary work support member 10, and at the second extended position, the superior surfaces 66 are extended above the first plane. Thus, the primary work support member 10 has one or more pop-up ledges 36, 38 which can independently be extended (“popped up”) or retracted (“popped down”) by a user to accommodate work papers, writing implements or other utensils, and other desirable work items, without their falling off the primary work support member 10, especially when the work surface is tilted from the horizontal. When a pop-up ledge 36, 38 is at the first retracted position, the pop-up ledge 36, 38 must be pushed by a user to then move to the second extended position, otherwise the pop-up ledge will remain at the first retracted position. When the pop-up ledge 36, 38 is at the second extended position, if a user wants to put it back in the first retracted position, the user must push the pop-up ledge 36, 38 to at least the first retracted position and preferably slightly beyond the first retracted position for the touch latch assembly to engage the pop-up ledge 36, 38 to be at the first retracted position.
  • [0042]
    Each touch latch assembly 40 preferably includes a spring 114 configured to urge the pop-up ledge 36, 38 from the first retracted position to the second extended position. In the first retracted position, the pop-up ledges 36, 38 are positioned within an elongated channel 78 formed in the primary work support member 10. The pop-up ledges 36, 38 preferably extend along a longitudinal direction of the primary work support member 10 substantially parallel to a first edge 80 of the primary work support member. Any touch latch assembly can be utilized in the present invention. The structure of touch latch assemblies 40 is known in the art. For instance, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,986,193 and 5,301,616 are directed to various types of exemplary touch latches and the disclosures of each of these patents is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • [0043]
    Regarding FIGS. 8-11B, an exploded view of a touch latch assembly 40, such as a magnetic touch latch, Item No. 98568 available from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware Catalog of the Rockler Companies, Inc., is shown at FIG. 8. There, a threaded base 110 is configured to receive a threaded sleeve 112. The spring 114 is designed to penetrate the threaded sleeve 112 along with a portion of a post 118. An insert 122 and a magnet 120 are configured to be inserted into the post 118. A tabbed rotating guide wheel 116 is positioned around the post 118 to engage the spring 114 in a direction towards compression of the spring 114. A washer 130, such as a washer made of steel or other magnetic material, is configured to be positioned opposite the magnet 120 of the insert 122. The washer 130 is not necessary for the use of the touch latch assembly 40 in the present invention, as the top of the post 118 can bear directly against an underside portion of the ledges 36 or 38 to engage the first pop-up ledge 36 or second pop-up ledge 38 to urge the first or second pop-up ledges 36, 38 up and down. However, for a more positive connection between the touch latch assembly 40 and the ledges 36, 38, the washer 130 preferably is retained within a blind hole 124 extending into each of the ledges 36, 38, from underneath the ledges 36, 38 by attaching (adhesively, mechanically, or otherwise) the washer 130 to an inner surface of the ledges 36, 38 opposite the superior surface 66 at the end of the blind hole 124.
  • [0044]
    FIGS. 9 and 10 show the touch latch assembly 40 in a contracted position, corresponding to the retracted position of the pop-up ledges 36, 38. FIGS. 11A and 11B show the touch latch assembly 40 in a partially extended position and in a fully extended position, respectively. The spring 114 urges the tabbed rotating guide wheel 116 outward from the threaded sleeve 112, but the tabs of the tabbed rotating guide wheel 116 extend and are retained within a guide channel 117 formed within the inner surface of the threaded sleeve. The guide channel 117 has ridges which retain the tabbed rotating guide wheel in a retracted or extended position on alternate presses of the touch latch post 118, based on pressure applied to the superior surface 66 of each of the pop-up ledges 36, 38. Thus, the latch assembly 40 can expand and urge pop-up ledges 36, 38 to move from a retracted position to an extended position, as desired by the user.
  • [0045]
    The present invention is also directed to a work station with a tilted work surface having at least one pop-up ledge 36, 38, of any construction, and not necessarily a desk or work station according to the first aspect of the invention. The pop-up ledges 36, 38 could also be embedded in a flat desk or other work surface, if desired, such as a desk or tray of a vehicle, such as a motor vehicle travelling over roads, like a car, van, bus, truck, or the like, or a train, as well as airplanes and boats. However, the combination of pop-up ledges 36, 38 with a desk or work station with a mechanically adjustable work surface is preferred.
  • [0046]
    It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes could be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but it is intended to cover modifications within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A work station having a work support member and an electrically powered lifting structure that will allow a user to adjust a position of the work support member, comprising:
    a primary work support member having a top, work support surface and a bottom surface, the top surface defining a first plane, the lifting structure being positioned to engage the bottom surface to pivot the primary work support member about a first pivot axis from a first position to a second position, the first pivot axis being at or proximate to an edge portion of the primary work support member;
    an actuator positioned to urge the lifting structure to pivot the primary support member about the first pivot axis; and
    one or more structural support members positioned to support the primary work support member, the lifting structure, and the actuator;
    wherein the first plane at the second position is at an acute angle with respect to the first plane at the first position; and
    wherein the lifting structure includes a first lifting arm having first and second ends and a second lifting arm having first and second ends, the first ends being associated with the actuator and the second ends being associated with the primary work support member, the first and second lifting arms being pivotably connected to one another at a location between their ends at a second pivot axis, each of the first ends of the lifting arms pivoting about a third axis and each of the second ends of the lifting arms pivoting about a fourth axis.
  2. 2. The work station according to claim 1, further comprising: a secondary work support member having an upper surface, the upper surface defining a second plane and being positioned adjacent to the primary work support member;
    wherein the one or more structural support members are positioned to support the secondary work support member; and
    wherein at the first position, the first plane and the second plane are substantially coplanar, and at the second position, the first plane is at an acute angle with respect to the second plane.
  3. 3. The work station according to claim 2, further comprising a support frame supported by the secondary work support member or by at least one of the structural support members, and which supportably engages the primary work support member.
  4. 4. The work station according to claim 3, further comprising a slide-out shelf, slidably supported by the support frame.
  5. 5. The work station according to claim 1, wherein the actuator includes a motor rotatably connected to a lead screw to turn the lead screw, wherein the lead screw has a thread and is operably connected to the lifting structure to urge the first lifting arm and the second lifting arm to pivot about the second pivot axis, such that the primary work support member pivots about the first pivot axis from the first position to the second position.
  6. 6. The work station according to claim 5, wherein the lead screw has a first threaded portion and is rotatably connected to a first bushing having an internal thread matched to the first threaded portion of the lead screw and being pivotably connected to a first end of the first lifting arm such that rotation of the lead screw causes linear motion of the first bushing along a longitudinal length of the lead screw and pivoting of the lifting arms about the second pivot axis.
  7. 7. The work station according to claim 6, wherein the lead screw has a second threaded portion reverse threaded compared to the first threaded portion, and wherein the first end of the second lifting arm is pivotably connected to a second bushing having and internal thread matched to the second threaded portion of the lead screw and which moves along the longitudinal length of the lead screw;
    wherein the second ends of the first and second lifting arms are pivotably connected to third and fourth bushings, respectively; and
    wherein the third and fourth bushings slide along one or more respective rods positioned parallel to the lead screw, the one or more rods being connected to the bottom surface such that the movement of the first and second bushings towards one another will cause the third and fourth bushings to slide towards one another and urge the primary work support member from the first position to the second position.
  8. 8. The work station according to claim 1, further comprising a controller operatively connected to the actuator and configured to command the actuator to operate in a forward direction to urge the primary work support member from the first position to the second position, and in a reverse direction to urge the primary work support member from the second position to the first position.
  9. 9. A work station comprising:
    a work support member having a top surface, the top surface defining a first plane;
    one or more structural support members positioned to support the work support member;
    wherein the work support member includes at least one pop-up ledge having a superior surface;
    wherein the pop-up ledge is engaged to at least one touch latch assembly configured to maintain the pop-up ledge at a first retracted position or at a second extended position; and
    wherein at the first retracted position, the superior surface is substantially coplanar with the first plane, and at the second extended position, the superior surface is extended above the first plane.
  10. 10. The work station according to claim 9, wherein the at least one touch latch assembly comprises a spring configured to urge the pop-up ledge from the first retracted position to the second extended position; and
    wherein the pop-up ledge, when in the first retracted position, is positioned within an elongated channel formed in the work support member, the pop-up ledge extending in a longitudinal direction of the work support member substantially parallel to a first edge of the work support member.
  11. 11. The work station according to claim 10, wherein the at least one pop-up ledge comprises first and second pop-up ledges positioned substantially parallel to and spaced from one another.
  12. 12. A work station having a work support member and an electrically powered lifting structure that will allow a user to adjust a position of the work support member, comprising:
    a primary work support member having a top, work support surface and a bottom surface, the top surface defining a first plane, the lifting structure being positioned to engage the bottom surface to pivot the primary work support member about a first pivot axis from a first position to a second position, the first pivot axis being at or proximate to an edge portion of the primary work support member;
    an actuator positioned to urge the lifting structure to pivot the primary support member about the first pivot axis; and
    one or more structural support members positioned to support the primary work support member, the lifting structure, and the actuator;
    wherein the first plane at the second position is at an acute angle with respect to the first plane at the first position;
    wherein the lifting structure includes a first lifting arm having first and second ends and a second lifting arm having first and second ends, the first ends being associated with the actuator and the second ends being associated with the primary work support, the first and second lifting arms being pivotably connected to one another at a location between their ends at a second pivot axis, each of the first ends of the lifting arms pivoting about a third axis and each of the second ends of the lifting arms pivoting about a fourth axis;
    wherein the primary work support member includes at least one pop-up ledge having a superior surface;
    wherein the pop-up ledge is engaged to a touch latch assembly configured to maintain the pop-up ledge at a first retracted position or at a second extended position; and
    wherein at the first retracted position, the superior surface is substantially coplanar with the first plane, and at the second extended position, the superior surface is extended above the first plane.
  13. 13. The work station according to claim 12, further comprising a secondary work support member having an upper surface, the upper surface defining a second plane, wherein at the first position, the first plane and the second plane are substantially coplanar, and at the second position, the first plane is at an acute angle with respect to the second plane.
  14. 14. The work station according to claim 12, further comprising a support frame supported by the secondary work support member or by at least one of the structural support members, and which supportably engages the primary work support member, and further comprising a slide-out shelf, slidably supported by the support frame.
  15. 15. The work station according to claim 12, wherein the actuator includes a motor rotatably connected to a lead screw to turn the lead screw, wherein the lead screw has a thread and is operably connected to the lifting structure to urge the first lifting arm and the second lifting arm to pivot about the second pivot axis, such that the primary work support member pivots about the first pivot axis from the first position to the second position.
  16. 16. The work station according to claim 15, wherein the lead screw has a first threaded portion and is rotatably connected to a first bushing having an internal thread matched to the first threaded portion of the lead screw and being pivotably connected to a first end of the first lifting arm such that rotation of the lead screw causes linear motion of the first bushing along a longitudinal length of the lead screw and pivoting of the lifting arms about the second pivot axis.
  17. 17. The work station according to claim 16, wherein the lead screw has a second threaded portion reverse threaded compared to the first threaded portion, and wherein the first end of the second lifting arm is pivotably connected to a second bushing having and internal thread matched to the second threaded portion of the lead screw and which moves along the longitudinal length of the lead screw;
    wherein the second ends of the first and second lifting arms are pivotably connected to third and fourth bushings, respectively; and
    wherein the third and fourth bushings slide along one or more respective rods positioned parallel to the lead screw, the one or more rods being connected to the bottom surface such that the movement of the first and second bushings towards one another will cause the third and fourth bushings to slide towards one another and urge the primary work support member from the first position to the second position.
  18. 18. The work station according to claim 12, further comprising a controller operatively connected to the actuator and configured to command the actuator to operate in a forward direction to urge the primary work support member from the first position to the second position, and in a reverse direction to urge the primary work support member from the second position to the first position.
  19. 19. The work station according to claim 12, wherein the at least one pop-up ledge comprises first and second pop-up ledges positioned substantially parallel to and spaced from one another.
  20. 20. The work station according to claim 12, wherein each touch latch assembly comprises a spring configured to urge the pop-up ledge from the first retracted position to the second extended position; and
    wherein the pop-up ledge, when in the first retracted position, is positioned within an elongated channel formed in the primary work support member, the pop-up ledge extending in a longitudinal direction of the primary work support member being substantially parallel to a first edge of the primary work support member.
US12684492 2010-01-08 2010-01-08 Mechanically adjustable work station with optional retractable work support ledge Abandoned US20110168062A1 (en)

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US20080203041A1 (en) * 2007-02-26 2008-08-28 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Variable shelf assembly and refrigerator having the same
US20100024691A1 (en) * 2008-07-30 2010-02-04 Weber Jeffrey A Computer work station with moveable monitor support
US20120026663A1 (en) * 2009-03-31 2012-02-02 Unidida S.R.L. Work station for computers and the like, particularly for didactic use
US20130134280A1 (en) * 2011-11-30 2013-05-30 Performance Enclosures Limited Display device
CN103144469A (en) * 2013-03-26 2013-06-12 重庆大学 Auxiliary adjusting device for drawing
US20130167757A1 (en) * 2011-12-28 2013-07-04 Chi-Cheng Tsai Adjustable desk
US20140048671A1 (en) * 2012-08-14 2014-02-20 Chi-Cheng Tsai Angle Inclining Structure for a Desk
CN105167409A (en) * 2015-08-07 2015-12-23 青岛农业大学 Multifunctional drawing table for art designs
FR3028735A1 (en) * 2014-11-26 2016-05-27 Leonidas Kalogeropoulos Element forming blotter indicated to be placed on a desktop map

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FR3028735A1 (en) * 2014-11-26 2016-05-27 Leonidas Kalogeropoulos Element forming blotter indicated to be placed on a desktop map
CN105167409A (en) * 2015-08-07 2015-12-23 青岛农业大学 Multifunctional drawing table for art designs

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