Building a Framework Powered Catridge-based Console

Hey all - I recently finished up on a non-Framework project called the Floppy8 which is a microcomputer crammed into an Amiga floppy drive which uses these SD card based cartridges to play movies and games.

The project has spread wider than expected, being featured on Hackaday and such. Many people have asked for STLs, etc to create their own. Sadly the floppy drive used for the project is hard to find and expensive, so I’d really like to follow this up with a fully open-source 3D printed version which folks could build at home. I’m imagining something similar to the Sega Master System except it’ll use the same carts as a Floppy8.

My main issue is that prototyping the large shell for this project would be expensive and getting another main board (currently using my Framework to type this!) is also a big expensive. If I did make a framework version, I could also simplify a lot of the build as making it larger would allow more flexibility with the internal cabling / adapters so it would be way more approachable to replicate.

I saw @nrp mention a grant program in another thread and I was wondering if that is only open to hardware startups or if projects like this could also apply.

I’d love to get in touch with someone here so we can really make the project shine :slight_smile:

Thanks! Have a great one!


I actually know of somebody who accidentally got 2 mainboards for their project. They are in Europe but perhaps you could pay for shipping? FW does send mainboards for projects like these, not just for hardware startups.

@Surja_Knap Do you still have that extra mainboard?

Only for expansion cards, but worth a shot just asking.

That’s not true. The tablet project got 2 mainboards.

Interesting, so seems like it’s unclear, but I did get the impression that the cyberdeck which was made last year was some level of collaboration with Framework. Does anyone know how to contact someone on the team other than here? I looked at the Support page, but looks like that goes to a normal helpdesk which probably isn’t what I want.

While the project really looks great, unfortunately I have it from official sources that all the mainboards granted to developers have been claimed and the project has been discontinued.

The Expansion Card developer program is still active and you can obtain a grant if your project involves the production of an expansion card: Expansion Card Developer Program & Canada Launch

Dang okay, thanks for sharing!

As I said, you can always just try and ask directly, if you send a support message it should get forwarded to the right person.

The project where they gave out mainboards has ended but I have received nontheless, it just depends on how lucky you get I guess. For me, they happened to find some in the office, one was actually damaged and needed some (not too difficult) soldering to work properly.

I do have the second mainboard although I have already brought it to school and have been talking to students about a project with the mainboard, not starting one yet, but teasing it multiple times (I mentioned in my original post that if nobody claims it or instructs me on what to do with it, I will bring it to a high school where I teach and we will use it for some kind of a mini-PC project) so to be honest, I have been counting on keeping it at this point, but I am also fully aware that I received it for free and therefore I should not hold on to it if someone else needs it for their project.

Second thing is economical viability - given the fact that in USA, ebay offers for such boards go as low as 180 USD and the shipping from EU to USA costs around 100 euro (cheapest ones) to a regular human (from my quick check, maybe there are cheaper ways) + any import fees, to me it seems like bringing wood from sahara to a forest (although, not a very dense forest). By sahara I mean that there are next to zero ebay offers in EU. That´s why I specifically mentioned that I was willing to send it within EU - it made little sense to me to go through the hassle of importing a board to the EU and then send it back.

I am really trying not to sound like “nah, I am keepin it, sorry” but more like “yeah I can send it, but I really don´t think it is very viable”.

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