Optical Illuminated Rule

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The current invention relates to improvements in basic gross measurement tools. It is an improvement on what may be the oldest of measuring instruments. It is particularly suited to people that "don't look so good". As you get older and your eyesight begins to fail, you can no longer resolve the finer divisions on a scale. With that in mind divisions are made every 1/16". The user can interpolate to 1/32" . Additionally this device is suited to making measurements where there is inadequate light. So if you have to make measurements in the dark you wont have to worry about having to say afterward, - Well, it looked like that to me.

The device consists of a segment of an arc-a chord, essentially a half round profile made from clear acrylic or other suitable clear plastic, with divisions every 1/16". The 1/8, 1/2 and 1'' divisions are progressively longer to facilitate easy reading. A novel feature of this device is the magnifying effect of the arc which acts as a linear lens producing approximately 50% magnification when placed over an object.. The magnifying effect further facilitates easy reading. The device may be produced economically from extruded 1/2 round acrylic which has a portion machined to accept a light source which is glued in place. The prototype show has a solar powered light source. Alternatively, the device may be machined & polished from cast acrylic rod for the best optical properties albeit at a higher cost. Or it could be injection molded for very large quantities. The division markings are best produced using a laser marker. Not only for it speed ,but the geometric variation of extrusions create problem in engraving. to different depths. The other novel feature of this invention is that when light is shone on the etched or engraved divisions , - they light up like a Christmas tree. This can be seen in the two photo's one with the light off & 1 with the light on. The effect is more dramatic observed in person. and even when removing my glasses the markings stand out vividly. And unlike conventional scales which can be hard to read if the ambient light hits it the wrong way -it is always easy to read.

Of all measuring instruments the rule has universal application. Everybody at one time or another has had a need to make basic measurements. It is designed to compete against the 6" scale so it may be carried in one's pocket to always be "at the ready" . This should thus appeal to machinists, mechanics, craftsmen, homeowners, and layman alike. Submission to create the future constitutes public disclosure of this invention, and if this invention gains market approval a patent will be filed within the next year


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  • Name:
    Randy Andronica
  • Type of entry:
  • Patent status: