Framework Aims for Deeper Customization, Releases Framework Laptop 16 CAD Models

New release puts full-chassis models under a Creative Commons license, with a view to empowering the modification community still further.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month agoHW101

Modular laptop specialist Framework has announced the release of CAD models for its Framework Laptop 16, the company's latest and largest device yet — in the hopes of seeing the community come up with new customization and accessory options.

"With open source documentation around the module systems in Framework Laptop 16, we're seeing some incredible community developed projects in progress," Framework's Nirav Patel says. "Joseph Schroedl created an open source RGB LED Matrix that can retrofit into the normal LED Matrix Input Module enclosure, and EmilioP designed a carrying case for Expansion Bay modules. To enable even more amazing community projects, today we’re releasing open source 3D CAD of the laptop itself, unlocking development of cases, skins, and other customization parts."

Framework teased the 16" model back in March last year, while refreshing its earlier modular design with new processor options. In addition to a larger screen, the 16" model offers something beyond the modular input/output bays of its smaller sibling: an expansion bay designed for an optional graphics card, expanding performance beyond that available using the integrated graphics processors in the Framework Mainboards that power both devices.

The company's decision to make many of its designs available under open hardware licenses has led to considerable interest from the maker community, which has responded with add-ons including an integrated Espressif ESP32 development board, Apple-style MagSafe charging capabilities, internal dongles for wireless keyboards and mice, and the FairywrenTech USB-A-ugment modular module.

The new release covers the chassis of the laptop itself, rather than the modules that slot into it, and makes available two variants: one with the optional Graphics Module and one without. Both are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license, allowing for reuse and modification — even for commercial purposes — so long as Framework is attributed as the original creator.

Both models are now available to download on the Framework Laptop 16 GitHub repository.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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