Glowing Logo

I don’t know how the logo is attached to the top case, I suspect it’s plastic-welded, but if it was replaceable, I would kill for one of the glowy logos the older macbooks have. The logo lighting up when the laptop is on is one of the coolest things, and maybe apple has a patent on it, but I think it would be worth trying. I’m going to get a 3D printer in the near future, and I may try printing a translucent gear to fit in the slot, the problem would be finding a spare header or something to power the LEDs, I don’t know enough to pull that off. Some kind of expansion card that detects whether the computer is running might be an option, but that should be plan C, it seems like it would use battery and an entire slot for something that should be integrated.


does it even need leds, could it not be illuminated by the screen backlight somehow?


that’s how apple does it. however, for that to work, the lcd needs to emit light to the back, an as far as i know, the framework lcd has some kind of black cover on the back. maybe you could cut that with a cutter but the risk of damaging the lcd is very high.

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Apple got rid of the glowing apple in 2016 as the cases got thinner and the cutout could become a structural point of failure.

If you look at the top assembly for the Framework, you can see that the logo is resting on top of the frame instead of cutting through. Since the Framework is almost as thin as the 2016 Retina MacBook Pro, they probably had the same constrain.


Yeah, I had seen that backplate scan before. I thought maybe you could get LEDs small enough, and that way you could just replace the logo, without cutting through or messing with the LCD.


Also just thought of this, the framework logo couldn’t be a cutout, as we would need something to support the circle in the middle. The apple logo doesn’t have this problem, as it doesn’t have internal voids.


That central circle could just be affixed to the plastic logo. Just gotta leave space for it in the print.

I know, it’s like 2 years later but my FW16 will be here in a few days and, for the first time, I’m not terrified of doing anything to my laptop.

I wonder if there are other substrates that could be used, like silicon, that would allow for the logo to pop out of the case a small amount, not get snagged on stuff, and allow for LEDs to be embedded. Powering is still a thing. Don’t know, all just thinking out loud stuff.

I’m a designer, not an engineer, so somewhat out of my depth :wink:


I was actually just thinking of revisiting this topic, because the top case of my Framework 13 is soon going to be full of stickers, and I think it would be neat to replace the whole top case with a clean one and put more, new stickers on it. That means I may have an extra top case that I could cut up or mess with, without risking taking my laptop out of commission.

I’ll have to hunt it down, but we did at some point get the pinout for the framework eDP connector (the connector on the mainboard that goes to the screen), so we may be able to pull the power line to the backlight from there and route it to some LEDs in the logo, which would pull off the effect without having to mess with the screen itself, because that’s a risk I don’t really want to take.

Checking the pinout, the backlight isn’t directly controlled by changing voltage (if only we were so lucky), but by a PWM signal sent on one of the pins. I think it would be possible to make a little circuit board to manage that, but fitting it into the top case beneath the display sounds remarkably difficult.

Actually creating the clear logo isn’t a walk in the park either. I think getting the size and shape exactly right in CAD is doable, but what to manufacture it out of is a tricky one. I don’t have access to one, but a resin 3D printer might work, or even a standard FDM printer if we can get transparent filament. Cutting acrylic to size could work, but I think you’d run into thickness limitations there.

I do have an extra screen, so I could try cutting open the back of it to get backlighting to show through (I do think that’s the simplest option, but also the riskiest). If I could get someone from the team to give me some kind of schematic so I know what to cut and how far, etc, that would be much appreciated, going in blind is what’s stopped me from going for it in the past.

This is also all just for the Framework 13, because that’s what I have. It looks from a glance at the marketplace listing for the two top cases that they have the same size logo, and it makes sense for them to, but an application of this idea on the 16 would present different challenges.


There are services that will do 3d printing for you. Like Of course resin is available in translucent, but also PETG, ABS, and PLA.

You could instead try to find a good place on the camera module to connect to. There is 3.3v there.

Any chance you have calipers? So you could measure the thickness of the logo. It’s probably pretty thin, but leds come really tiny. 0402 is 1.0 mm × 0.5 mm. Maybe on a flex pcb around the inner circle of the logo, shining sideways towards the gear spokes of the logo.


I just ordered the new top case, so when that’s that gets delivered I’ll do my best to cleanly cut out the logo and get measurements of it.

I do actually have some experience designing PCBs, so if it’s large enough, the idea for a flex PCB around the inside of the logo is really smart.

I’ll have to see if I can figure out whether the webcam module is powered when the laptop is sleeping or shut down, because I want the logo light to only be on when the laptop is, but that is a good alternative place to pull power. The LEDs shouldn’t pull enough to be problematic.

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Piggyback off the LED from the power button/fingerprint reader?

I have an X-ray skin covering the entire back so I was thinking a cutout wouldn’t have to be as perfect…

Some updates!

I got the new top panel yesterday, but I didn’t get around to pulling off the logo until today. It seems to be a simple piece of plastic that’s just glued in place, because I dropped in some adhesive remover from the backside and then was able to peel it off.

The bad news is that the recess this leaves us with is 0.45mm deep, which is really not a lot of space to work with.

I think @KillBoyKillDear’s idea of pulling power from the fingerprint sensor is genius, because then when the laptop is asleep, the top cover logo will pulse, like the fingerprint reader does, and that’s something worth striving for, in my opinion.

I’ll whip up the CAD later tonight to try and 3D-print a drop-in, so I know what my size constraints look like. I’m not proficient enough in my metalworking to confidently say I can remove some of the material, but I’ll have to ask some friends of mine who are metal wizards what they think I could do. 0.45mm is really not much space to work with, even with a flexPCB and 0402 LEDs, so punching through more or deepening the area is a must.


I’ve put a couple hours into it, and I’m running into CAD troubles. It’s prohibitively difficult to turn a PNG or SVG into a sketch in Inventor. If anyone has any ideas for where I could get a usable 3D or 2D CAD file or drawing of some kind that I could actually import, that would be much appreciated. I don’t quite have the time or patience to trace the exact outline with the curve tool.

This is a non official replacement logo for the Framework 13" laptop’s top cover.


Why not replace the black plastic with a light diffuser and then have LEDs in each of the holes? All the circuitry would then be on the inside of the lid. How much room behind the screen do you have for that?

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That model is amazing! I’ll get one printed in the next few days to check that it fits.

That’s exactly what I was considering. I think I could cut away a lot more of the aluminum where the holes are, so I can have more, dimmer LED’s for uniform lighting. There’s roughly another half of a millimeter between the screen and the aluminum itself on the inside, so that should be enough space for a small circular PCB with LED’s on it.

I have an FDM printer, and I just ordered some clear PLA, but I don’t know if that’ll turn out super well, so I may end up paying an online print service or having a friend of mine resin-print the final product. I don’t think I can buy frosted acrylic that thin, and I can’t think of other ways to get a clean output.

You don’t really want it totally clear though, it will need a frosted look to get an even glow over it. But even then I suspect some more holes may need to be drilled to get the LEDs to illuminate it without appearing as spots.

True, I didn’t think of that. I’ll delete it.

just let the petg get wet, frosted for free XD

Went to the machine shop today and put some extra holes in the logo. They’re imperfect, but it’ll definitely give me a lot more options for lights and where to put them. I think I can probably fit two or three lights in the larger holes if I’m pushing it, and then maybe one in the smaller holes. I flew a little close to the sun with the smaller holes, because I just had to drill those ones fresh, but they worked out okay.

Every time I check all of the printers are occupied, but I’ll be home for spring break in a couple weeks, so worst case I can do some test prints when I get home.