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United States Patent Application 20170312648
Kind Code A1
Brown; Suzanne ;   et al. November 2, 2017

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR SIMPLE AND SAFE HEATING OF CRAFT OBJECT(S)

Abstract

Apparatus and methods for safe-heated transformation of one or more two- or three-dimensional craft objects (FIG. 1). A color or symbol coded push-button control panel allows for the execution of a complete cycle of use for a particular craft object with little or no opportunity for operator error. For example, pressing a single button would control the temperature, time of heating, time of cool down, and locking of the access door to the heated object until after the cool down period is complete, thereby providing for effective and safe completion of a correspondingly coded craft object.


Inventors: Brown; Suzanne; (Tucson, AZ) ; Brown; Lawrence; (Tucson, AZ)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Suzy Brown IP, LLC

Tucson

AZ

US
Family ID: 1000002779892
Appl. No.: 15/520736
Filed: October 9, 2015
PCT Filed: October 9, 2015
PCT NO: PCT/US2015/054896
371 Date: April 20, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62065766Oct 20, 2014

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63H 33/26 20130101; A63H 33/3055 20130101
International Class: A63H 33/30 20060101 A63H033/30; A63H 33/26 20060101 A63H033/26

Claims



1. A toy electric oven operable to heat an item, comprising: an insulated housing containing a heating chamber with a heating element, an automatically lockable door coupled to said housing and immediately adjacent to said heating chamber, a cooling system including a powered cooling fan; and a control panel and controller, wherein said control panel contains a plurality of depictions, pads or buttons that are coded by color, symbol or both and that executes upon actuation of a single particular depiction, pad or button, a predetermined heating program, said predetermined heating program including locking said door, heating to a predetermined temperature for a predetermined duration, cooling for a predetermined period after heating ceases, and unlocking said door, and said predetermined program corresponding with a like-coded item or medium to be heated or a cooling program, wherein each predetermined heating program utilizes a different temperature and duration that correspond to a particular like-coded item or medium.

2. The oven of claim 1, further comprising a cooling program that includes a safety feature whereby said lockable door remains locked until a cooling cycle is complete when a depiction, pad or button corresponding to said cooling program initiates the cooling program or upon loss of power to said oven.

3. The oven of claim 1, wherein said door further contains a window through which said item in the heating chamber is viewable and said door is a least 3 inches wide by 3 inches high such that a human hand fits within said heating chamber.

4. The oven of claim 1, wherein said housing contains a window through which said item in the heating chamber is viewable and said door is a least 3 inches wide by 3 inches high such that a human hand fits within said heating chamber.

5. The oven of claim 1, further including a texture depicting a design or pattern.

6. A method of processing a craft item with an oven having a heating chamber, control interface, and predetermined heating and cooling programs, comprising the steps of: actuating a single depiction, keypad or button, thereby executing a particular predetermined heating and cooling program, said predetermined heating and cooling program including locking said door, heating to a predetermined temperature for a predetermined duration, cooling for a predetermined period after heating ceases, and unlocking said door, and said predetermined program corresponding to a medium of a particular craft item, wherein each predetermined heating program utilizes a different temperature and duration that correspond to a particular like-coded craft item.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein said medium is selected from the group consisting of a ceramic item, a clay item, a stained glass item, a plastic item, a wax item, and a metal/plastic combination item.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein said predetermined heating and cooling program comprises the following: 1. engage the heating chamber door latch to lock out access to the heating chamber, 2. turn on power to the heating chamber heating element to produce a temperature required for the craft medium corresponding to the depiction, keypad or button actuated, 3. turn off power to the heating chamber heating element after the programmed time has expired, 4. turn on power to the cooling system, thereby providing an airflow to the heating chamber, 5. turn off power to the cooling system after the programmed time has expired; and 6. disengage the heating chamber door latch to allow access to the heating chamber.

9. The method of claim 6, wherein the heating and cooling program comprises stopping heat generation and keeping a door of said oven locked until cooling to a predetermined temperature, or for a predetermined time, occurs.

10. A kit comprising the oven of claim 1 and one or more of said a like-coded item to be heated.

11. The toy electric oven of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of depictions, pads or buttons that are coded by color, symbol or both executes, upon actuation of a single depiction, pad or button, said predetermined heating program or a cooling program.

12. The method of claim 6, wherein actuating any of a single depiction, keypad or button, except a cooling program depiction, keypad or button, executes said particular predetermined heating and cooling program.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/065,766, filed Oct. 20, 2014, which is incorporated herein by reference as if set forth in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] This disclosure relates to the field of craft making and in particular to apparatus and methods for heating craft items.

BACKGROUND

[0003] There are several child-safe toy ovens in the market place today. Generally they are related to baking a variety of foods and some limited non-food items. Each of these toy ovens is designed to minimize the ability for a child to place their hand inside the heating chamber even when the oven is in a cool state. In some ovens, the opening to the heating chamber is very narrow and/or the opening to the heating chamber is offset from the opening in the external housing by a passageway through to the heating chamber. Both of these designs pose problems to the user interested in heating craft items due to the variety of sizes and shapes of such items and/or the inability to easily place, manipulate, and remove the item from the oven.

[0004] For example, a craft kit that contains an aluminum metal frame, a variety of colored plastic baking crystals and a pair of plastic tweezers to help a user place the baking crystals strategically by color into the aluminum frame was used in a typical toy oven. The aluminum metal frame is made up of cavities so the user can separate the colors and keep them from melting together. If a user melts all colors together, it normally ends up an unattractive brown instead of a multi-colored stained glass window.

[0005] If a toy oven of one of the designs mentioned above is used for this stained glass window project, the act of placing the pan into the narrow opening of the external housing and pushing it into the heating chamber using the plastic tool provided with the oven often causes the crystals to fall out of place/mix together. Moreover, even in toy ovens featuring a window, a user cannot access the heating chamber to fix a problem (such as the shifting of baking crystals) until it the heating cycle was over or the heating chamber was cool if the cycle could be stopped before completion. However, even if it was not too late to correct the problem, putting the "fixed" project back in the oven presents the risk of the same problem occuring again.

SUMMARY

[0006] The disclosure herein relates to new and useful apparatus and methods for simple and safe heating of one or more craft objects such that mistake-free objects are more reliably produced.

[0007] In one embodiment, the apparatus features a front-mounted oven door that is locked automatically and hinged adjacently to the heating chamber, a heating chamber with a big enough opening allowing an average user to place a project inside and remove it by hand, as well as to view the project to ensure correct placement/arrangement of any components, a simple operation interface and controller that provides different settings/operation for different types of projects or mediums as well as the ability to stop a heating cycle before completion, and a safety feature that ensures the cooling cycle is complete prior to the door being unlocked.

[0008] In one embodiment, a window is provided in the heating chamber door to allow a user to monitor the progress inside the heating chamber and watch the craft project take its final form. Alternatively or additionally, a window may be provided in the top or a wall of the oven.

[0009] In another embodiment, the safety feature provides that the oven door will remain locked until the heating chamber is cool even if power is lost (or the oven is unplugged).

[0010] A simple push button control panel coded to particular types of craft projects significantly simplifies the selection of necessary project parameters, (temperature, timing, cooling, and locking and unlocking the door), thereby ensuring efficient and safe completion of the chosen craft project within.

[0011] Moreover, coding each button or interface of the control panel with something besides words or letters (e.g., colors) provides an extra measure of safety and ease of operation for young children or those with reading difficulty.

[0012] These and other aspects of the embodiments disclosed herein will be apparent upon reference to the following detailed description and figures.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 illustrates front elevational view of the exterior of a toy oven embodiment.

[0014] FIG. 2 illustrates schematically the internal components of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

[0015] FIG. 3 is a flow chart depicting a methodology/functionality and operation of an embodiment.

[0016] FIG. 4 depicts sample programming/functionality associated with each coded button or interface of the control panel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0017] In one embodiment as depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, an electric toy oven apparatus is provided that includes an insulated housing 2 and a control panel 4 featuring multiple color, symbol, or both color and symbol coded buttons (6, 8, and 10). By pressing a single control panel button, a preprogrammed temperature, timing of heated period, timing of cool down period, and the locking out of access to the heating chamber until after the cooling period is executed. In lieu of buttons, any actuation mechanism or interface, such as a touch screen or pad, may be used instead of buttons.

[0018] The color coded (6) or symbol coded (8) buttons actuate a program that corresponds to a specific type or types of craft project, or to a programmed functionality, such as the "stop/override cycle" of "red" button 10. While the program(s) are contemplated for use with non-food "craft" items, the apparatus and methods herein can be used for any item capable of being safely heated in a toy oven.

[0019] A door 12 located immediately adjacent to the oven heating chamber is configured to be selectively opened by handle 14 when a craft project is being manually inserted into the heating compartment or chamber 15 (inside insulated housing 2; shown in phantom lines) and closed when a product is located in the heating compartment 15. The door 12 may further include a heating chamber window 16 configured and located to enable the craft project to be viewed while in the heating chamber before, during, and after the heating process. Alternatively or additionally, a window may be located in the housing.

[0020] A caddy 18 may be present proximal to the door 12 so as to provide ready access to implements that may be needed to place or otherwise manipulate the item in the oven. The door 12 is configured to provide at least a height 22 that accommodates a closed hand or first and more than a hand width 24, which based on typical human hand measurements corresponds to an approximate door width and height of at least 3 inches by 3 inches. These dimensions also are found in the heating chamber 15 to provide flexibility, as use of the oven is not limited to relatively flat projects.

[0021] In addition, the outer surface of insulated housing 2 can be textured 28. The texture may be a design or pattern that provides for frictional engagement when a user desires to hold or move the oven while also providing a surface for altering or adorning a medium, such as clay.

[0022] As shown schematically in FIG. 2, the electric toy oven includes a controller, a broadband source heating element located within the insulated heating chamber 15, a timer, a temperature sensor, and a powered fan or other cooling system for producing a fluid flow that cools the heating chamber after a predetermined heating cycle for an item or project is provided proximal to the heating chamber. In addition, circuitry and a power supply are provided to make the oven operational.

[0023] A method of heating an item using an apparatus embodiment is described in the following example. However, the disclosure of the example is not intended to be limiting.

[0024] From FIG. 3, a Craft Project is acquired 50 and prepared for heating 52. The item next is placed (preferably by hand) into the heating chamber 54, and then the door is closed 56. Then, the appropriately correlated control panel button is pressed 58. If the heating program needs to be stopped, the stop/override button can be pushed to initiate cooling and then unlatching of the oven door 59.

[0025] The control panel circuit board will then proceed to control the oven operation from start to finish, including process steps: [0026] 1. Engage the heating chamber door latch to lockout access to the heating chamber (60); [0027] 2. Turn on correct power to the heating chamber heating element to produce the appropriate temperature required for the craft project coded button pressed (62); [0028] 3. Turn off power to the heating chamber heating element after the appropriate time has expired, providing the appropriate amount of time for the selected (coded) button that was pressed (64); [0029] 4. Turn on power to the heating chamber cooling fan providing an airflow internally to the craft project heating chamber (66); [0030] 5. Turn off power to the heating chamber cooling fan after the appropriate time has expired, providing the appropriate amount of time for the selected (coded) button that was pressed (68); and [0031] 6. Disengage the heating chamber door latch to allow access to craft project heating chamber (70).

[0032] As shown in FIG. 4, each program associated with a particular button/interface on the control pad can be tailored to a specific medium. For example, the heating and cooling profile of a stained glass project will be different from a clay or ceramic profile. Common mediums include a ceramic item, a clay item, a stained glass item, a plastic item, a wax item, and a metal/plastic combination item. By having each button associated with a particular item or medium, consistent and mistake free results has been found to be provided more often. Furthermore, coding each button or interface of the control panel with something besides words or letters (e.g., colors) provides an extra measure of safety and ease of operation for young children or those with reading difficulty.

[0033] The embodiments described above are not intended to be limiting. All programming and control may be accomplished by firmware (permanent software programmed into a read-only memory) and/or any other means known in the art.

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