The assignee for this patent, patent number 8708689, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The application relates to methods and tooling for making bodies for mobile devices and the resulting body for a mobile device.
"Bodies for mobile devices usually include multiple materials. For example, glass or other transparent material is often used for the display while the majority of the remainder of the body is often molded plastic or another molded material. The molding can be accomplished by injection molding. Traditionally, the display portion of the device is assembled to the rest of the molded body during the assembly process. The later addition of the display portion and other components to the molded portion of the body requires gaskets and the like to mate the display portion to the other components. In addition to being aesthetically unappealing, the gaskets and having multiple seams where the various materials meet the gasket may undesirably capture dust and dirt, which, over time, works to loosen the seal between the various portions of the body. Moisture has more entry routes into the device, leading to corrosion of internal components. Each of the multiple seams are also a weak portion in the body where the body is most likely to break when dropped."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Tooling and methods for co-molding a body of a device that comprises more than one material are described. The tooling comprises an external die assembly and an internal die assembly for forming an exterior and an interior of the body of the device. The internal die assembly is further configured for placement of a component of the device that is exposed to the exterior, such as a display screen. The apparatus holds the body component of the first material in place while the remainder of the body is applied around that component.
"The internal die assembly comprises a top and a bottom internal die. The bottom internal die comprises a top side and a bottom side opposite the top side, wherein the top side is sloped at an angle relative to the bottom side and wherein the top side comprises a notch. The top internal die comprises a top side comprising an depression having a shape of a component of the body, the depression having a depth. The top internal die further comprises a bottom side opposite the top side, wherein the second bottom side is sloped at the same angle relative to the second top side as the top side relative to the bottom side of the bottom internal die. The second bottom side also comprises a notch.
"In a method for forming the body of the device, a first component of the body is placed in the depression on the top internal die. In one embodiment, this first component is a piece of glass or acrylic used for a display of the device. The device's body is then molded around the first component, e.g., by injection molding. In one embodiment, the body of the device is formed from a material that is different from the first material, such as a plastic. The finished body with first component is open on all but one side and the open side is a narrow opening.
"After forming the body with first component, the internal die assembly is removed by first withdrawing the bottom internal die through the narrow opening. As the bottom internal die is withdrawn, the top internal die drops at least the distance of the depth of the depression so that the top internal die clears the first component that had been placed in the depression and the top internal die can be withdrawn from the finished body.
"The finished body comprises at least two materials, the first component and the molded body of the device. Since the first component has been co-molded with the body, the two materials are in direct contact with each other resulting in a better integration of the two materials into a single body. In one embodiment, the finished body with first component comprises a housing for a mobile device, wherein the first component is a display for the mobile device. The display may be glass and the body a plastic, where the glass display and the plastic body are co-molded."
For more information, see this patent:
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