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Molded Ball and Socket

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000084382D
Original Publication Date: 1975-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 56K

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Related People

Wilzbach, BL: AUTHOR


A ball and socket molded out of plastic serves as a hinge, latch and bearing.

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Molded Ball and Socket

A ball and socket molded out of plastic serves as a hinge, latch and bearing.

Four spherical balls are mounted on a door and four mating snap-retainer sockets are supported by a frame in Fig. 1. A rectangular shaft supporting each ball has a cross section narrower than the openings in the socket. Therefore, the door may be swung about its lower edge as the bottom two balls rotate in their mating sockets. The door will then be held in the closed position when the mating balls are snapped into their mating sockets.

The top latching balls and sockets can be eliminated by shaping the bottom two balls into ellipsoids, Fig. 2. The ball will then retain the door in the closed position when the small arcs of the balls are in the detents. If the ellipsoid shape is rotated 90 degrees, the door can instead be detented while open.

An easily separated cantilever bearing is provided by rotating a ball in a socket as shown in Fig. 3.


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