Framework Laptop Community: DIY custom expansion cards

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

After doing its rounds on the internet over the last month or so and first units shipping to customers the Framework Laptop has received a lot of praise from reviewers, fans, and customers. A standout feature of the laptop must be its port expansion cards that allows users to easily switch between ports such as HDMI and USB-C.

Expansion cards

There’s one drawback with these expansion cards, or the lack of variety currently available. As of August 23, 10 expansion cards are available:

Now that the Framework Laptop is on its third generation, pending an AMD Ryzen version, there has been time for the community to build its own expansion cards. These are linked below.

The community at work

While these are more than enough for most customers, Framework users have already got to work creating custom expansion cards for things like the Logitech Unifying receiver (a popular suggestion on the Framework forums) and a magnetic USB charging cable, with things like an ethernet port, a SIM card slot, a USB hub, a Geek port (Raspberry Pi/Arduino), and many more being suggested weekly.

An informative video on this topic from Elevated System goes through the prototyping process, which is made even easier by Framework, which provides 3D models and reference PCBs for this exact use. In the video ES makes an expansion card for a magnetic USB-C charging cable and one for a wireless mouse receiver.

Be sure to watch the full video below to learn about the process and the way Framework makes it simple task for the company’s target demographic.

Framework community is great!

The above video is just one example of the Framework Community doing its part in the repair and DIY friendly laptop world that will allow the Framework Laptop to thrive for years to come. One issue with a product that is so different than the rest is the ability to sell units and community engagement.

To see expansion cards to start being made by customers and reviewers so quickly after release is impressive and exciting for the future of the laptop. It would be amazing to continue to see this kind of community support and hopefully for Framework to build out new expansion cards based on community designs.

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