Framedeck: A Cyberdeck built with the framework mainboard

 1 month ago
source link: https://github.com/brickbots/framedeck
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A Cyberdeck built with the framework mainboard.


Framework has created a really slick, fully user servicable, laptop and have recently started selling the mainboard as a SBC for general use. To better support folks who may want to integrate it into their projects, they are also releasing technical documentation including pinouts, cad models and other resources.

As they were preparing this documentation release, they emailed me to see if I'd be interested in a collaboration of sorts. They would provide one of their laptops and some additional modules for me to build something unique with the only condition being that I released the designs for public use. So here we are!

The mainboard is a great little unit, being a full Intel based system on a single obard with great storage and memory expansion, decent on-board graphics and full power management. Since it was designed to fit into the laptop first and foremost, some of the connectors are fairly specialized, but with the pinouts available there are a lot of opportunities for expansion. The board also has four standard USB-C ports which provide many possibilities without even trying any of the other on-board connectors.

That's all to say that when they reached out and explained thier plans and offered to let me play with one, I jumped at the chance and this is what I came up with after some experimentation.


It's my take on the slab style computers that were somewhat popular before the world settled on clamshell designs for portable computers. I really wanted a TRS-80 model 100 when I was young so this sort of design was a big influence.

To complete the unit I added battery from the framework laptop, custom mechanical keyboard, wifi card, ssd storage, 16gb of memory, 7" IPS display and some speakers in the hopes of making a fairly useful computer. I ended up using the mainboard with their battery rather than roll my own power solution as it has solid capacity and is already desinged to work with the onboard power management. For other uses the mainboard can be powered via USB-C, so a solid powerbank would provide plenty of runtime or it can run off any USB-C power brick for stationary use.


For the case, I wanted something interesting that showed off the mainboard, custom keyboard PCB and just looked unusual... so clear acrylic and brass won the day! I thought about 3d printing, and I could have done it in several sections, but building the unit up with layers of laser-cut acrylic offered some interesting challenges and opportunities.


Consider this repo a sort of 'guided tour' to give some inspiration and show what might be done with the framework mainboard. I'll highlight some things that I think are interesting, or that were tricky, but it's not meant to be a comprehensive guide so all the normal caveats apply if you want to dive in and build something based off this material. I'm including all of my design files for reference, but there are lots of details of the build I probably won't cover.
If you want to build one, or something similar, feel free to reach out and I'd be happy to answer and questions or provide advice.

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