US 9,808,867 B2
Flexible shaft for holding a tool of rotary driven motion
William R. Krause, Charlottesville, VA (US); and Garland Edwards, Midlothian, VA (US)
Assigned to Flex Technology, Inc., Charlottesville, VA (US)
Filed by William R. Krause, Charlottesville, VA (US); and Garland Edwards, Midlothian, VA (US)
Filed on Aug. 31, 2015, as Appl. No. 14/840,185.
Prior Publication US 2017/0056979 A1, Mar. 2, 2017
Int. Cl. B23B 45/00 (2006.01); B25B 23/00 (2006.01); A61B 17/16 (2006.01); B25B 15/02 (2006.01)
CPC B23B 45/005 (2013.01) [A61B 17/162 (2013.01); B25B 15/02 (2013.01); B25B 23/0021 (2013.01); B23B 2260/068 (2013.01)] 43 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A flexible shaft for a tool, said flexible shaft being a rigid material and comprising:
a. a rigid first end, said rigid first end being capable of receiving an instrument to impart rotary motion,
b. a rigid second end, said rigid second end being dimensioned to receive a tool to receive said rotary motion and transmit said rotary motion to a tool,
c. a body between said rigid first end and said rigid second end, said body having:
an outer surface,
an inner cavity having a surface,
a longitudinal surface,
at least one segment, each of said at least one segment having a segment proximal end and a segment distal end,
at least one sinuous slot within at least one of said at least one segment, each of said at least one sinuous slot having:
a width,
a depth from said outer surface to said inner cavity,
a start point, said start point having a circular end, said start point being a first predetermined distance from said rigid first end, and
an end point, said end point having a circular end, said end point being a second predetermined distance from said rigid first end,
said at least one sinuous slot being cut in a helical path along said longitudinal surface of said body to form interlocking teeth to enable flexibility within said at least one segment, a first of said at least one sinuous slot ascending a first of said at least one segment from said start point of said first of said at least one sinuous slot to said end point of said first of said at least one sinuous slot, in a first rotational direction,
wherein said rotary motion is transferred by said interlocking teeth locking with adjacent teeth to transfer said rotary motion from said rigid first end to said rigid second end while said body is unbent or bent about an axis.