Many people, out there, are already “thinking outside the box” (literally!) in order to integrate the Framework mainboard into custom designed cases or even into retro-style PC keyboards.
So, why not going even further? I think that, in the near future, the Marketplace should offer a couple of items that would help to streamline and, possibly, encourage such projects.
First, there might be an ATX/mATX/ITX mounting bracket for the mainboard, with an accompanying I/O shield, so it can be easily integrated in any desktop PC case. One can always design and 3D print such brackets, of course, but if there was a ready-made solution it would simplify things a lot.
The second addition would be a special “break-out” ribbon cable that connects to the mainboard, just like the current one, and has two adapters at the other end:
- An header for a momentary switch, similar to what we have on desktop PC cases. Or, alternatively, an adapter for the laptop’s power button / fingerprint reader;
- An USB header (similar to the ones on ATX motherboards) that allows to connect any USB keyboard.
This breakout may have a small PCB with the necessary connectors that can be easily mounted on some kind of bracket. Or, even better, the ATX/mATX/ITX adapter that I mentioned before can have a special extension to host this break-out PCB.
The bracket and the break-out cable could be sold either as a kit or separately, and both would help a lot of people that do not have a 3D printer, or that want to a much better (and streamilined) integration of the Framework maniboard into off-the-shelf PC cases.
I think that such additions would be very welcomed; and, of course, there is always the idea (mentioned in this topic ) to offer an “official” Framework mini-PC case where one can drop-in the laptop’s mainboard.