My innovation of the day

A cupholder that works for all cars… well, for those that has floor mats.

PVC pipes, laser cut acrylic, a piece of steel and loads of epoxy resin. All scrap material + 2 hrs of work.

It clips onto the passenger side floor mat(I have a coupe), near the seat. So the passenger’s legs goes over it, therefore there is no obstruction problem(unless I got an over weight guy to keep my car on the ground).

I have wanted to do this for the longest time but never got myself to start it. Anyways, I’m sure many have thought of this, but why isn’t something like this on the market yet? All that I’ve seen are add-ons to the center console, which is very subjective in design.

I’m going to have to test how many Gs it can take… :smiley:

Clever. Really clever actually. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if someone rips that off. Do a nice one out of carbon or aluminum and you could sell a bunch to the Lotus Elise owners- one of the few cars sold in America with no cupholders at all.

Oh well, I don’t think this is something worth patenting. Like you said, if I patent it here, it will be ripped else where, but at least there will be something decent in walmart.

It also doesn’t need to be cupholders. It can be anything, from storage compartments to thrash bins. My dad actually made something similar for his car but I took it further and made this an add-on, as opposed to “fixed-on”.

I think an even better design is to somehow attach to the passenger seat in the similar location, so that you won’t have any problem when you need to adjust the sitting position.

cool idea!

The only mass-production problem I see is the current trend of “command seating” or high seating positions that are common in even pedestrian cars. So this would only work in those niche vehicles that continue to be produced with low centre of gravity in mind. Lotus, Porsche, etc.

How is that so? Well, granted that it won’t work for the driver, but nobody is encouraged to be drinking while driving anyways. So I guess it’s more like a storage compartment as opposed to a “dispensing” device.

since I carry a bottle of water in my car, my personal purpose for this cupholder is to stop it from rolling around, from the seat to the floor.

Feel so honored that my 9 yrold Honda is being placed along side with Lotus, Porsche etc… :stuck_out_tongue: [/quote]

Have you tried the cupholder test yet?

(Driving like a nut in the parking lot)

Never seen that idea before- interested to see if it works.

Been using it for the 2nd day. It’s snowing a lot here so I am not going crazy with G-force testing etc, furthermore, I don’t want to be pulled over because of a cupholder.

So far it holds well. If the whole part(excluding the metal clip) is made out of a single piece of injection molded plastic, it will definitely hold. There are definitely things that I would have improve on if I could, but I was left with only a set of table clamp and my bare hands to shape that 16 guage steel into the clip that I am using now. It’s definitely sturdy!

Like you said, if I patent it here, it will be ripped else where, but at least there will be something decent in walmart.

At this point I don’t believe it is patentable. Unless, of course, you started the patent process before you posted these pics.

It is my understanding of patent law that once you post something like this to a public forum (i.e. a public discussion board), it is deemed public domain and technically can’t be patented.

Or, more to the point…if you DO patent it and someone (say jimr) decides to manufacture it 3 years from now. You try and sue him for patent infringement. He can bring up this web page as a notice of prior art. No one on here has signed a non-disclosure agreement to any ideas that are posted on this site

Yeap I know. Just didn’t think I want to bring it that far.

I may further develop this design for my own pleasure or include in my portfolio, but this isn’t something that will change the world, so I am not too stressed about getting it out there.

I welcome any weekend warriors to make one for their own cars.

Speaking of Lotus, when I used to drive mine daily (A 73 Europa, but just like the Elise, it has no cup holders) I devised a similar way to hold a drink. Since I can’t wear shoes and drive the car - pedals are so close together you can’t operate it while wearing more or less any men’s shoes - I simply sat my drink in one of my shoes laying in the floor. Worked well enough as long as the cup wasn’t so tall it tipped easily or I didn’t try to go around a corner at high speed.

Attaching the cup holder to the floor mat is genious, and I’m a bit jeleous I never made the connection myself. Nice work!

(I’m not a lawyer, and not trying to get into a nerd fight, but…)

The general rule of thumb in the US is he would have 1 year to submit a patent application since showing it to the public. (I do believe that this is unique to US patent law).

I’m guessing that it would be patentable, though it would also be easy to get get around.

Still, cool idea- you could do a creative commons license.

(I’m not a lawyer, and not trying to get into a nerd fight, but…)

The general rule of thumb in the US is he would have 1 year to submit a patent application since showing it to the public. (I do believe that this is unique to US patent law).

Nerd fights are great. Just don’t make fun of my Sand People costume or I will go all Crichton on your ass! (an extra 10 dork points if you get my second reference).

I think you might be right about the one year from public disclosure…I will check with my IP buddy and get back to you on this.

Remember to post it here!

So if anyone is interested in mass producing it, contact me!

So did the remainding heat from your coffee kept your feet warm or did it work the other way round??? :open_mouth:

So if anyone is interested in mass producing it, contact me!

WTF cow ! Cleaver idea … and low tech. Why aren’t YOU producing it?

Source out the materials, fabricate some tooling, hire a high school kid to assemble it, get a DBA, place an ad in a couple of car rags … and you’re in business.

The thing doesn’t have to be an injection molded, double-throw-me-down, high-tech production to determine the interest in the product … and if there is a larger market, the low-tech version will pay for the tooling.

SCREW the patent! Think guerilla manufacturing here cow. Hit 'em had and fast. By the time someone tries to rip you off, you’ll be on to the MarkII model. And if interest (sales) in the product is less than what you anticipated, just cease operations, and rack it up to experience.

In the early nineties, I sold six thousand PAIRS of ergonomic knobs for R/C transmitters, and every one of them was cast urethane (from a hand-made pattern, and RTV tooling) with a brass thread insert. I sold them for $14.95 a pair, and the margin was acceptable. The next thirty-five thousand were injection molded, and the margin was considerably better.

If you were molding this, I would throw some spiky nubbins on the bottom surface (like what they have on the bottom of those plastic tray style floor mats). It wouldn’t go anywhere then.

If you use that idea, I want half a point. :slight_smile:

No you won’t get half a point, or any point, because all floor mats already have those nibbins on the under side of the mat. So clipping onto those will help prevent unwanted slidings.

I look at this design as a modular system, not just a cup holder. I love modular designs, can’t help it. I’m cranking out a few illustrations, maybe I’ll post them later in the day.

Alright, here’s a concept for the modular system that I was thinking about.

It is basically a common base that clips onto the floor mat, and you can have different items mounted onto it.

First is the cupholder

Then the thrash can

And the storage compartment

The storage compartment is for drivers who drive alone(which includes many of us). This is a derivation from my school project where I was trying to explore storage space for the driver in the same situation.

Just follow the file numbering sequence. It’s supposed to be a 2 page spread for each pic.

Irritatingly nice sketches cow…meant in the most complementary way.

Do you use templates and straight edges while you sketch?


I use straight edges and french curves only on the final lines, as well as to construct those rough perspective guidelines. I don’t have elipse guides.