Framework 16 DIY Skin

Same. Batch 15 though… Plenty of time to plan everything out… :sob:

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Good news everyone! I found a big scanner at work.
The current plan is:

  1. Confirm the size of a dbrand skin
  2. If the size of the vynil sheets is <= A3 dimensions (420x297 mm)
  3. Get myself a dbrand skin
  4. Scan the skin
  5. Trace the scan output to .pdf or .svg so it’s a vector file
  6. Publish results here!
  7. (eventually) get my hands on my Framework 16
  8. Find a place nearby with a laser cutter that can use the vector file to cut the vynil as precisely as possible.

I need your help with:

  • dbrand skin sheet size;
  • vynil vendors: where to buy adequate vynils for laptop skins.
    I know their OEM is 3M, but 3M sells thousands of designs, colors and vynil types, and moreover their patterns tend to be car-sized. I.E. a 3M camo spot design for cars is way bigger than DB’s camo for phones, oversize spots would be bad-looking on a FW16.

You probably need to be careful about publishing the results of a scan of a commercial product, as you will be falling foul of copyright.

I would suggest you could do it by just wrapping paper around the lid of a real machine and marking it up with a pencil or felt pen to establish where the cuts need to go. That way you won’t fall foul of copyright.

Look for someone who does advertising vinyl wraps. They will have a proper cutter that should be able to work from your vector file. Talk to them and see what file format they require.

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Wait, I only want to publish MY version (the .pdf outline) of the top-down view of the Framework shell.
I don’t:

  • plan to sell the design
  • plan to publish the skin scan.

The skin scan is used by me (who paid for the skin) to trace the outline of another product (the laptop), so I’m using the cutout pattern as a reference.
There is no way Dbrand could be mad at me for stenciling what essentially is a photo of their product. They dont own the shape of the Framework 16 bottom shell, and I don’t plan to sell anything.

Thanks for the tip, I’ll look into it.

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They could’ve, for example, bought a license from Framework and signed a NDA to get said measurements asap, so everything you do with their product, that might be detrimental to their business, could result in legal action.
That would also explain the reluctant answer from Framework support.

I don’t think you can be sued much if all you do is DIY it for yourself.
If you also publish those files, it might get a little wonky, and if you sell them, there might actually be a problem - but he’s not planning to do so.

Also, JerryRigEverything said multiple times that they appreciate competition, as long as they don’t copy their designs. Not sure about measurements, however he isn’t copying them directly, just using them as a guide.

I wouldn’t be worried too much, however OTOH, IANAL.

People can’t be sued by a phone cover manufacturer if they measure a cover with a caliper using it as reference, design and publish an unique .stl file so people can 3D print their own cover. DBrand can’t possibly own the shape of a Framework 16, nor the top-down view. I could do all the measuring myself and surely will to double check everything, the dbrand skin scan is just a shortcut to get the overall shapes right.

Exactly. Only creating very similar copies and selling those is a no go, as recently actually happened.

This project sounds awesome, I might try to DIY these covers with your guide/files if I find a nice design :​)

Man, I’d have settled for an original dbrand skin if they didn’t include only 6 expansion cards pieces. Or if they allowed me to buy 6 more. Well, it’s time to diy the solution, in full Framework spirit!

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But it sounds to me like you are completely in the clear here. You are not using any proprietary information.

If you were to get a cease and desist letter, then do as directed and you are clear. They can’t sue you for damages if you cease when requested to.

I would think that even that possibility would be very remote because dbrand would not want to be seen as anti-competitive if such a cease and desist letter were to be made public…

That’s true in regard of ownership, but not if they licensed it.
To be on the safe side, better publish it inside this forum exclusively.
That way, Framework can take the full responsibility.

It’s going to be your turn, soon. Did you make any progress yet, or are you going to wait until you got your own Laptop?

Kind of. I found an A3 capable scanner and a big vynil cutter in the city. As soon as I get my laptop, I’ll start thinkering with the project, all is set.
I just need the machine and a “sample” skin to measure… But soon I’ll have both :slight_smile:

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I just asked them about that, and the availability of just the bottom skin set, quite annoying having only 6 expansion card skins, as if it’s a hard limit lol.

Not really expecting a favourable response tbh.

Nah, they’ll flip you off. The thing that baffles me is that you can buy extra vynil for A RUBIK’S CUBE but not for extra expansion cards. Bah.

In fairness, it depends how they make them. If the bottom sheet is all a single run, then i can understand them not making them available individually.

Where as if they cut them in sheets of each part, there’s no reason not to.

I get your point, however they cut the vynil automatically in standard sized sheets, and could very easily take advantage of the Framework situation to sell in bundle more expansion cards for 5-20$. Minimal effort from them for maximum profit.
There are very few FW customers with ONLY 4/6 expansion cards, this is a weak point in their way of handling FW customers that’s just waiting for a competitor to take advantage of…
I’ll stick to DIY for now. I love the designs, but no way i’m spending 120$+ just to have 12 expansion cards.