(19)
(11)EP 3 537 031 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
11.09.2019 Bulletin 2019/37

(21)Application number: 17868092.2

(22)Date of filing:  02.11.2017
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F21S 41/00  (2018.01)
F21S 45/00  (2018.01)
F21V 19/02  (2006.01)
F21W 104/00  (2018.01)
F16C 11/06  (2006.01)
F21S 43/00  (2018.01)
F21V 14/04  (2006.01)
F21W 103/00  (2018.01)
F21W 105/00  (2018.01)
F21W 102/00  (2018.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2017/039832
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/084270 (11.05.2018 Gazette  2018/19)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD

(30)Priority: 02.11.2016 JP 2016215541

(71)Applicant: Ichikoh Industries, Ltd.
Isehara-shi, Kanagawa 259-1192 (JP)

(72)Inventor:
  • KAIEDA, Yuji
    Isehara-shi Kanagawa 259-1192 (JP)

(74)Representative: Reeve, Nicholas Edward 
Reddie & Grose LLP The White Chapel Building 10 Whitechapel High Street
London E1 8QS
London E1 8QS (GB)

  


(54)PIVOT, BEARING MECHANISM, AND VEHICLE HEADLAMP


(57) To provide a compact pivot capable of efficiently transferring a load acting on the pivot to a case that bears the pivot, a pivot (1) includes a sphere unit (10) formed such that a through hole (11) capable of holding a shaft member (131) passes through a center of the sphere unit, and a sliding guide unit (20) to be suspended or mounted, wherein the sphere unit (10) is coupled to the sliding guide unit (20) via two legs (30). Further, a bearing mechanism (3) includes the pivot (1), and a case (2) that bears the pivot (1), the case (2) is formed of two half-split structures (40, 50) having receiving surfaces (41, 51) for bearing the sphere unit (10), and the two half-split structures (40, 50) are locked together by at least three locking means (42, 52).




Description

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0001] The present invention relates to a pivot for holding a shaft member, a bearing mechanism, and a vehicle headlamp.

BACKGROUND ART



[0002] Usually, a vehicle headlamp is provided with an optical axis adjustment mechanism in order to adjust an optical axis of a light source. There is known an optical axis adjustment mechanism configured to include an aiming screw (adjustment shaft), a nut member (pivot) with which a screw unit of the adjustment shaft is screwed, and a bearing member (case) that bears a main body (sphere unit) having a spherical outer peripheral surface of the pivot (see Patent Literature 1). The pivot is also provided with a sliding guide unit in order to absorb a vibrational load and the like of a vehicle. The pivot and the case are made of plastic resin and formed by injection molding.

CITATION LIST


PATENT LITERATURE



[0003] PTL 1: Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2007-055600.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED BY THE INVENTION



[0004] However, in the structure of the pivot described in FIG. 12 of Patent Literature 1, upper and lower portions of the sphere unit cannot be borne by the case, so an area of a receiving surface of the case cannot be expanded. Therefore, an allowable load of the case cannot be increased, and the case may be broken. On the other hand, in the structure of the pivot described in FIG. 23 of Patent Literature 1, upper and lower portions of the sphere unit can be borne by the case, but the sliding guide unit is coupled by a leg unit offset from a center of the sphere unit and a moment acts between the sphere unit and the sliding guide unit. As a result, breakage may occur between the sphere unit and the leg unit.

[0005] Therefore, the present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and an object thereof is to provide a compact pivot, a bearing mechanism, and a vehicle headlamp, by which it is possible to efficiently transmit a load acting on the pivot to a case that bears the pivot.

MEANS FOR SOLVING THE PROBLEM



[0006] 
  1. (1) One aspect according to the present invention is a pivot including a sphere unit formed such that a through hole capable of holding a shaft member passes through a center of the sphere unit, and a sliding guide unit to be suspended or mounted, wherein the sphere unit is coupled to the sliding guide unit through two leg units.
  2. (2) In the aspect of (1), the two leg units may be formed to overlap a plane that is orthogonal to an axial direction of the through hole and passes through the center.
  3. (3) In the aspect of (1) or (2), the sliding guide unit includes a tabular plate, and an elastic piece, wherein the two leg units may be coupled to one surface of the plate, and the elastic piece may be coupled to the other surface of the plate.
  4. (4) In the aspect of any one of (1) to (3), the elastic piece may have at least two convex units projecting toward a side opposite to the sphere unit.
  5. (5) Another aspect according to the present invention is a bearing mechanism including a pivot and a case that bears the pivot, wherein the pivot is the pivot according to the aspect of any one of (1) to (4), the case is formed of two half-split structures each having a receiving surface for bearing the sphere unit, and the two half-split structures are locked together by at least three locking means.
  6. (6) Further another aspect according to the present invention is a vehicle headlamp including a lamp housing on which a lens is mounted, a holding member that holds a light source, an optical axis adjustment mechanism that adjusts an optical axis, wherein the optical axis adjustment mechanism includes a shaft member as an adjustment shaft, the pivot according to the aspect of any one of (1) to (4), and a case that bears the pivot, the pivot holds the shaft member in the through hole by a screw structure including a male screw unit and a female screw unit, the case has an attached unit, the lamp housing has a guide unit to suspend or mount the sliding guide unit, and the holding member has an attachment unit to which the attached unit of the case is attached.

EFFECT OF THE INVENTION



[0007] According to the present invention, it is possible to provide a compact pivot, a bearing mechanism, and a vehicle headlamp, by which it is possible to efficiently transmit a load acting on the pivot to a case that bears the pivot.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0008] 

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view illustrating a vehicle headlamp provided with a pivot according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view illustrating the pivot according to the embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 3(a) and 3(b) illustrate the pivot according to the embodiment of the present invention, where FIG. 3(a) is a front view and FIG. 3(b) is a side view.

FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view illustrating a case.

FIGS. 5(a), 5(b), and 5(c) illustrate a developed state of the case, where FIG. 5(a) is a plan view, FIG. 5(b) is a front view, and FIG. 5(c) is a side view.

FIG. 6 is a schematic view illustrating a method of assembling a bearing mechanism.

FIG. 7(a) is a side cross sectional view illustrating a mounting state of an optical axis adjustment mechanism and FIG. 7(b) is a rear view of the same viewed from a rear side.

FIG. 8 is a front view illustrating a pivot having an elastic piece according to a modification.


MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION



[0009] With reference to the drawings, an embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail, below. It is noted that the same members are denoted by the same reference symbols throughout the embodiment herein. In addition, front and rear, left and right, and up and down indicate a direction when a vehicle headlamp is viewed from a front side on a lens side.

[0010] First, before a pivot 1 according to the embodiment of the present invention is described, a vehicle headlamp 100 will be described. FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a vehicle headlamp provided with a pivot according to the embodiment of the present invention.

[0011] The headlamp 100 illustrated in FIG. 1 is designed so that an optical axis of a light source 121 is adjusted when a reflector 120 provided inside a lamp housing 110 swings, and includes the lamp housing 110, the reflector 120, and an optical axis adjustment mechanism 130.

[0012] The lamp housing 110 is in a box shape with its front side being open, and is made of a plastic resin. In the lamp housing 110, a lens (outer lens) 111 is mounted to the front opening.

[0013] Further, the lamp housing 110 has a guide unit 112 to suspend the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130. The guide unit 112 includes a pair of left and right projection pieces projecting, in an L shape, inward from a ceiling surface of a peripheral wall of the lamp housing 110, as viewed from the front side, where each of the guide units 112 is formed in a dovetail groove shape. However, the guide unit 112 may be formed on a bottom surface or on a side to mount the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130.

[0014] The lens 111 transmits direct light or reflected light from the light source 121.

[0015] Next, the reflector 120 functions as a holding member to which the light source 121 is attached at a rear center thereof, and is formed of a curved surface to reflect light from the light source 121 forward. Therefore, the reflector 120 is made of a plastic resin, and the inside thereof is a reflective surface on which silver plating or silver deposition is performed.

[0016] Further, the reflector 120 has an attachment unit 122 that attaches the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130. The attachment unit 122 is in a bracket shape extending rearward from the reflector 120, and has a rectangular opening at its distal end.

[0017] A discharge lamp such as a metal halide lamp or an LED element is employed for the light source 121.

[0018] Here, the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130 will be described.

[0019] The optical axis adjustment mechanism 130 adjusts the optical axis of the light source 121, and includes two optical axis adjustment mechanisms 130, that is, those at an upper left and an upper right on a rear side of the reflector 120, when the headlamp 100 is viewed from the front side (see FIG. 1). One end side on the front side of the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130 is attached to the reflector 120 and the other end side on the rear side thereof is attached to the lamp housing 110. It is noted that a swinging fulcrum for adjusting the optical axis is provided at a lower left on the rear side of the reflector 120.

[0020] The optical axis adjustment mechanism 130 is configured to include a shaft member 131 as an adjustment shaft, the pivot 1 that holds the shaft member 131, and a case 2 that bears the pivot 1.

(Shaft member)



[0021] The shaft member 131 is a substantially round rod-like member, and is made of a plastic resin. On a front side of the shaft member 131, a male screw unit 132 is formed on an outer periphery of the shaft member 131. On the other hand, on a rear side of the shaft member 131, an unillustrated operated unit is formed to allow an operator to rotate the shaft member 131 by using a tool or the like, and the shaft member 131 is rotatably supported so that the operated unit is exposed to the outside of the lamp housing 110.

(Pivot)



[0022] FIG. 2 is a rear perspective illustrating a pivot according to the embodiment of the present invention, and FIGS. 3(a) and 3(b) illustrate the pivot according to the embodiment of the present invention, where FIG. 3(a) is a front view and FIG. 3(b) is a side view. In addition, in FIG. 3(b), a right direction is a front direction of the vehicle.

[0023] The pivot 1 includes a sphere unit 10 that holds the shaft member 131 and a sliding guide unit 20 to be suspended or mounted on the guide unit 112 formed in the lamp housing 110, and is made of a plastic resin (see FIG. 2).

[0024] An outer periphery of the sphere unit 10 is generally spherical, a through hole 11 to pass through a center C is formed inside the sphere unit 10, and both sides in an axial direction of the through hole 11 are chamfered. Moreover, on an inner periphery of the through hole 11, a female screw unit 12 with which the male screw unit 132 of the shaft member 131 is screwed is formed (see FIG. 3(a)). If the male screw unit 132 of the shaft member 131 is screwed into the female screw unit 12 of the through hole 11 and held in the sphere unit 10, when the shaft member 131 is rotated, a screw structure including the male screw unit 132 and the female screw unit 12 allows the pivot 1 to move relatively back and forth.

[0025] Further, the sphere unit 10 is coupled to the sliding guide unit 20 via the two leg units 30. An outer surface of the sphere unit 10 other than a region where the two leg units 30 are coupled is finished to be a smooth surface to serve as a received surface borne by a below-described case 2.

[0026] Next, the sliding guide unit 20 includes a tabular plate 21 and an elastic piece 22. The plate 21 is designed so that the two leg units 30 are coupled to a top surface 21a being one surface, and the elastic piece 22 is coupled to a bottom surface 21b being the other surface.

[0027] Further, the end surface of the plate 21 at one (left) side of in the axial direction of the through hole 11 is substantially flush with the chamfered outer edge of the sphere unit 10, and the end surface of the plate 21 at the other (right) side thereof extends to a position offset outside of the chamfered outer edge of the sphere unit 10. Moreover, a region outside the two leg units 30 of the top surface 21a is finished to be a smooth surface to facilitate sliding when suspended or mounted on the guide unit 112 of the lamp housing 110.

[0028] The elastic piece 22 includes at least two convex units 22a projecting toward the side opposite to the sphere unit 10. The elastic pieces 22 have the same width (length in a front-rear direction) as those of left and right sides of the plate 21, extend toward the side opposite to the sphere unit 10, and have its center narrowed in the front-rear direction. The convex units 22a are located on both sides across a center portion of the elastic piece 22. Further, a surface of each of the convex unit 22a opposite to the sphere unit 10 is finished to be a smooth surface to facilitate sliding when suspended or mounted to the guide unit 112.

[0029] The two leg units 30 are coupled to the above-described sphere unit 10 and sliding guide unit 20. The two leg units 30 extend from the left and right of the sphere unit 10 toward the sliding guide unit 20, as viewed from the front, and an area surrounded by the sphere unit 10, the sliding guide unit 20, and the two leg units 30 forms a space S (see FIG. 2 and FIG. 3A).

[0030] Further, the two leg units 30 are formed to overlap a plane L that is orthogonal to the axial direction of the through hole 11 of the sphere unit 10 and passes through the center C (see FIG. 3B). The end surface of each of the leg units 30 at one (left) side in the axial direction of the through hole 11 is substantially flush with the chamfered outer edge of the sphere unit 10, and the end surface of each of the leg units 30 at the other (right) side thereof is further curved toward the other side toward the sliding guide unit 20 from a position offset outward of the plane L. When the two leg units 30 are overlapped on such a plane L, the pivot 1 can be formed with a simple mold even in a case of the pivot 1 including the sphere unit 10 because a mold can be manufactured with no undercut by using the plane L as a parting surface. It is noted that a reinforcement unit 31 is integrally formed between the two leg units 30 and the top surface 21a of the plate 21.

(Case)



[0031] FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view illustrating a case, and FIGS. 5(a), 5(b), and 5(c) illustrate a developed state of the case, where FIG. 5(a) is a plan view, FIG. 5(b) is a front view, and FIG. 5(c) is a side view.

[0032] The case 2 bears an outer surface of the sphere unit 10 of the pivot 1 with receiving surfaces 41 and 51, and is formed of two half-split structures 40 and 50 (see FIG. 4). The two half-split structures 40 and 50 are made of a plastic resin, and are further formed into an integrally molded article coupled to each other. In the case 2, attached units 46 and 56 to be attached to the attachment unit 122 of the reflector 120 are formed on the front side and the receiving surfaces 41 and 51 are formed on the rear side.

[0033] The two half-split structures 40 and 50 are locked together with at least three locking means 42 and 52 when assembled to bear the sphere unit 10. It is noted that the two half-split structures 40 and 50 of the present embodiment may be formed separately, and in this case, the number of the locking means 42 and 52 is not limited to three.

[0034] First, the half-split structure 40 bears an upper side of the sphere unit 10 opposite to the sliding guide unit 20 with the substantially hemispherical receiving surface 41 (see FIG. 5). The receiving surface 41 is finished to be a smooth surface to facilitate sliding when bearing the sphere unit 10.

[0035] The locking means 42a of the half-split structure 40 has an opening and is formed on an end side being a front side when assembled to the half-split structure 50 while the locking means 42b and 42c have protrusions and are formed on the left and right.

[0036] Further, a positioning means 43b is a cylindrical shape with a distal end thereof cut, and a positioning means 43c is a circular hole, each of which is formed on either left or right of the attached unit 46.

[0037] Next, the half-split structure 50 bears a lower side of the sphere unit 10 on the side of the sliding guide unit 20 by the substantially hemispherical receiving surface 51 (see FIG. 5). However, the lower side of the sphere unit 10 is coupled to the two leg units 30, and thus, the receiving surface 51 is divided into three regions, that is, a receiving surface 51a for bearing a lower portion of the sphere unit 10, a receiving surface 51b and a receiving surface 51c for bearing left and right portions of the sphere unit 10. The receiving surface 51a is formed in a size to be inserted into the space S of the pivot 1. Further, a gap G is each formed between the receiving surface 51a and the receiving surface 51b and between the receiving surface 51a and the receiving surface 51c so that the leg unit 30 can be inserted. The receiving surface 51 is finished to be a smooth surface to facilitate sliding when bearing the sphere unit 10.

[0038] The locking means 52a formed on the receiving surface 51a of the half-split structure 50 includes a projection, while the locking means 52b and 52c respectively formed on the receiving surfaces 51b and 51c include an opening, where the locking means 52a, 52b, and 52c are formed at positions corresponding to the locking means 42a, 42b, and 42c of the half-split structure 40. Further, a positioning means 53b is a circular hole, and a positioning means 53c is in a cylindrical shape with a distal end thereof cut, each of which is formed at a position corresponding to each of the positioning means 43b and 43c of the half-split structure 40.

[0039] The attached units 46 and 56 are hollow square pillars in an assembled state, and have locking claws 47 and 57, respectively. When the attached units 46 and 56 are inserted into the rectangular openings of the attachment unit 122 of the reflector 120, the locking claws 47 and 57 are locked in the openings and attached to the reflector 120 (see FIG. 7).

(Assembling method of bearing mechanism)



[0040] A method of assembling a bearing mechanism 3 that bears the pivot 1 by the case 2 will be described. FIG. 6 is a schematic view illustrating the method of assembling the bearing mechanism.

[0041] First, the case 2 in a developed state is set while placing the half-split structure 50 at the head, and the receiving surface 51a of the half-split structure 50 is inserted into the space S of the pivot 1 and the two leg units 30 are inserted into the gap G.

[0042] Next, the half-split structures 40 is bent toward the half-split structure 50, the pillar of the positioning means 43b is inserted into the circular hole of the positioning means 53b, and the pillar of the positioning means 53c is inserted into the circular hole of the positioning means 43c. Further, protrusions of the locking means 42b and 42c are respectively inserted into openings of the locking means 52b and 52c, and a projection of the locking means 52a is inserted into an opening of the locking means 42a.

[0043] Thus, the two half-split structures 40 and 50 of the case 2 are positioned relative to each other and the case 2 is locked to bear the pivot 1.

[0044] It is noted that a relationship between the projections and the openings of the locking means 42 and 52 and a relationship between the positioning means 43 and 53 are relative to each other, and therefore, these may be interchangeably formed on the opposite side, and may be another locking structure.

[0045] The shaft member 131 is attached, as an adjustment shaft, to the bearing mechanism 3 to configure the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130. In other words, when the male screw unit 132 of the shaft member 131 is screwed into the female screw unit 12 of the through hole 11 of the pivot 1, the shaft member 131 is attached to the bearing mechanism 3 to configure the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130.

[0046] Further, when the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130 is attached to the headlamp 100, the optical axis of the light source 121 can be adjusted.

[0047] FIG. 7(a) is a side cross sectional view illustrating a mounting state of the optical axis adjustment mechanism and FIG. 7(b) is a rear view of the same viewed from a rear side.

[0048] As illustrated in FIG. 7, the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130 is suspended from the guide unit 112 of the lamp housing 110 and attached to the attachment unit 122 of the reflector 120. Specifically, the sliding guide unit 20 of the pivot 1 is slidably locked into a dovetail groove of the guide unit 112, and the attached units 46 and 56 of the case 2 are inserted into a rectangular opening of the attachment unit 122 to be attached non-rotatably, and are prevented from removal by the locking claws 47 and 57.

[0049] Next, when an operator operates an operated unit with a tool to rotate clockwise the shaft member 131 of the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130 at an upper right of the headlamp 100 when viewed from the front, the male screw unit 132 formed on an outer periphery of the shaft member 131 is simultaneously rotated and the pivot 1 having the female screw unit 12 to be screwed into the male screw unit 132 moves axially rearward, and the reflector 120 swings obliquely upward to the right. Thus, each optical axis adjustment mechanism 130 swings the reflector 120 in the vertical and horizontal directions to adjust the optical axis of the light source 121.

[0050] As described above, the pivot 1 of the embodiment includes the sphere unit 10 formed such that the through hole 11 capable of holding the shaft member 131 passes through the center C of the sphere unit 10, and the sliding guide unit 20 to be suspended or mounted, where the sphere unit 10 is coupled to the sliding guide unit 20 via the two leg units 30. As a result, when the pivot 1 is suspended or mounted, the received surface of the sphere unit 10 can be formed also in a direction where a load is applied, that is, in a vertical direction, and thus, even the compact pivot 1 can efficiently transmit the load acting on the pivot 1 to the case 2 that bears the pivot 1.

[0051] In the embodiment, the two leg units 30 are formed to overlap the plane L running perpendicular to the axial direction of the through hole 11 and passing through the center C. As a result, also when the pivot 1 including the sphere unit 10, the sliding guide unit 20, and the leg units 30 is formed by injection molding, in a molding mold, there is no undercut between the sphere unit 10 of the pivot 1 and the sliding guide unit 20 thereof, and thus, no complicated structure is necessary, a cost of the mold can be reduced, and the number of molding steps can also be reduced.

[0052] In the embodiment, the sliding guide unit 20 includes the tabular plate 21, and the elastic piece 22, wherein the plate 21 is designed so that the two leg units 30 are coupled to the top surface 21a being one surface, and the elastic piece 22 is coupled to the bottom surface 21b being the other surface. As a result, when the pivot 1 is suspended or mounted, even if a load or an impact is applied, the elastic piece 22 can bend to absorb the load or the impact.

[0053] In the embodiment, the elastic piece 22 includes at least two convex units 22a projecting toward the side opposite to the sphere unit 10. As a result, when the pivot 1 is suspended or mounted, even if a load or an impact is applied, the load or the impact can be distributed, and thus, an allowable strength of the elastic piece 22 of the sliding guide unit 20 of the pivot 1 can be increased.

[0054] The bearing mechanism 3 of the embodiment includes the pivot 1 and the case 2 that bears the pivot 1, and the case 2 that bears the sphere unit 10 of the pivot 1 is formed of the two half-split structures 40 and 50 having the receiving surfaces 41 and 51 for bearing the sphere unit 10, and the two half-split structures 40 and 50 are locked together by at least three locking means 42 and 52. As a result, even if the pivot 1 has the received surfaces of the sphere unit 10 in the vertical direction and the case 2 is formed of the two half-split structures 40 and 50, when the pivot 1 is borne by the case 2, it is possible to prevent a case where the two half-split structures 40 and 50 of the case 2 are unlocked and developed.

[0055] The vehicle headlamp 100 according to the embodiment includes the lamp housing 110 on which the outer lens 111 is mounted, the reflector (holding member) 120 to which the light source 121 is attached, and the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130 that adjusts an optical axis, wherein the lamp housing 110 has the guide unit 112 to suspend or mount the sliding guide unit 20 of the pivot 1, the reflector 120 has the attachment unit 122 that attaches the case 2, the optical axis adjustment mechanisms 130 includes the shaft member 131 as an adjustment shaft, the pivot 1, the case 2 that bears the sphere unit 10 of the pivot 1, the pivot 1 holds the shaft member 131 in the through hole 11 by a screw structure, and the case 2 has the attached units 46 and 56 to be attached to the attachment unit 122. As a result, even if a vehicle vibrates up and down and the like, a load or an impact can be absorbed by the sliding guide unit 20, and therefore, the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130 is not broken and is durable for use with the headlamp 100.

(Modification)



[0056] FIG. 8 is a front view illustrating a pivot having an elastic piece according to a modification.

[0057] In the above embodiment, the elastic piece 22 includes the two convex units 22a. However, as illustrated in FIG. 8, the elastic piece 22 may have three convex units 22a. If there are two convex units 22a of the elastic piece 22, when a load is applied to the convex units 22a, stress may be concentrated at a center because a center side is recessed. If the pivot 1 is formed by injection molding, a gate is formed near the sphere unit 10, and thus, at a portion of the elastic piece 22, a weld line formed when molten resin fronts meet is generated near the center, and as a result, a position where the stress concentrates and a position of the weld line substantially coincide, and a sufficient strength may not be secured.

[0058] However, the elastic piece 22 of the modification includes the three convex units 22a to form two concave units, and thus, the stress by the load applied to the convex units 22a disperses near the two concave units. Therefore, the allowable strength of the sliding guide unit 20 of the pivot 1 can be further enhanced, and even if the vehicle intensively vibrates up and down and the like, the load or the impact can be absorbed.

[0059] In the above embodiment, the swinging fulcrum for adjusting the optical axis is provided at the lower left of the headlamp 100; however, the swinging fulcrum may be provided at any position including a lower right or an upper right. Further, all of the swinging fulcrums may be used as the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130, and instead of the swinging fulcrum, an optical axis adjustment unit may be provided, the optical axis adjustment unit being configured to perform an automatic adjustment in accordance with a posture of a vehicle.

[0060] Further, in the above embodiment, the holding member 120 that holds the light source 121 is the reflector; however, the holding member 120 is not limited to the reflector, and may be held by a member such as a bracket or a heat sink for heat radiation.

[0061] In addition, the bearing mechanism 3 including the pivot 1 and the case 2 may be applied not only to a product such as the optical axis adjustment mechanism 130 described above but also to an articulating portion of various types of machines requiring a spherical sliding bearing.

[0062] Although the preferred embodiment of the present invention is described above in detail, the present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiment, and various modifications and changes may be made within the scope of the subject matter of the present invention described in the claims.

REFERENCE SIGNS LIST



[0063] 
1
Pivot
10
Sphere unit
11
Through hole
12
Female screw unit
20
Sliding guide unit
21
Plate
21a
Top surface
21b
Bottom surface
22
Elastic piece
22a
Convex unit
30
Leg unit
31
Reinforcement unit
2
Case
40
Half-split structure
41
Receiving surface
42, 42a, 42b, 42c
Locking means
43, 43b, 43c
Positioning means
46
Attached unit
47
Locking claw
50
Half-split structure
51, 51a, 51b, 51c
Receiving surface
52, 52a, 52b, 52c
Locking means
53, 53b, 53c
Positioning means
56
Attached unit
57
Locking claw
3
Bearing mechanism
100
Head lamp
110
Lamp housing
111
Lens
112
Guide unit
120
Reflector (holding member)
121
Light source
122
Attachment unit
130
Optical axis adjustment mechanism
131
Shaft member
132
Male screw unit
C
Center
L
Plane
S
Space
G
Gap



Claims

1. A pivot, comprising:

a sphere unit formed such that a through hole capable of holding a shaft member passes through a center of the sphere unit; and

a sliding guide unit to be suspended or mounted, wherein

the sphere unit is coupled to the sliding guide unit through two leg units.


 
2. The pivot according to claim 1, wherein
the two leg units are formed to overlap a plane that is orthogonal to an axial direction of the through hole and passes through the center.
 
3. The pivot according to claim 1, wherein
the sliding guide unit includes a tabular plate and an elastic piece, and
the two leg units are coupled to one surface of the plate and the elastic piece is coupled to the other surface of the plate.
 
4. The pivot according to claim 3, wherein
the elastic piece includes at least two convex units protruding toward a side opposite to the sphere unit.
 
5. A bearing mechanism, comprising: a pivot; and a case that bears the pivot, wherein
the pivot is the pivot according to claim 1,
the case is formed of two half-split structures each having a receiving surface for bearing the sphere unit, and
the two half-split structures are locked together by at least three locking means.
 
6.  A vehicle headlamp, comprising: a lamp housing on which a lens is mounted; a holding member that holds a light source; and an optical axis adjustment mechanism that adjusts an optical axis, wherein
the optical axis adjustment mechanism includes a shaft member as an adjustment shaft, the pivot according to claim 1, and a case that bears the pivot,
the pivot holds the shaft member in the through hole by a screw structure including a male screw unit and a female screw unit,
the case has an attached unit,
the lamp housing has a guide unit to suspend or mount the sliding guide unit, and
the holding member has an attachment unit to which the attached unit of the case is attached.
 




Drawing


































REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description