Framework’s modular laptop design is a winner for everyone who’s sick of buying a four-figure machine that’s outdated in six months. But the imminently upgradable approach is a huge boon for hardware hackers, too. Just ask “What The Filament,” a 3D printing enthusiast who’s made a custom housing for the laptop parts and rolled their own high-end Windows tablet. If you have access to a 3D printer, you can follow along with the steps to re-arrange the Framework’s parts and do it yourself.
What The Filament shared the full build guide on Instructables (spotted by Hackaday) along with the 3D print files. In addition to the back case, middle bracket, front bezel, and power button extension, the creator even design a custom parts tray that holds all the screws and modular parts of the Framework for easy access. How thoughtful!
The biggest part of the design was creating the 3D printed backing case, which includes specific cutouts and cavities for all of the Framework’s modular parts. That includes the default battery, speakers, cooling unit, and even the distinctive, user-replaceable expansion cards. Aside from the custom printed case, screws, and screw mounts, the only additional hardware necessary is a short USB-C-to-C cable to connect the screen to the motherboard.
The resulting 12.3-inch tablet is a bit chunky, to be sure, because essentially every component except the screen is housed in a separate plastic box. But it’s also the only one on the market where each and every component is easy to access and replace. And when Framework releases new, updated hardware, it’ll be almost as easy to swap out as it is on the laptops…unless you need to re-print that case.