Labels for Port Capabilities

Since having gotten the Framework 16 I have had trouble remembering which ports can be used for what purpose since there are limitations. The graphic provided on the the website is frankly quite poorly designed and difficult to parse. I quickly saw a missed opportunity to utilize the blank space on the underside of the laptop to clearly label the capabilities of the ports.

I have mocked up 2 theoretic designs. One that uses the iconography from Framework’s own graphic and one that I thought would be more visually appealing and easier to read.

I am interested in making this an actual sticker or something to place on the bottom, but I’d like some feedback on the designs. Please let me know what you think.


I think it would look better if you could put the label in the recessed port where it would be hidden by the expansion card keeping the bottom of the laptop looking clean. I also think it looks odd having the labels where the “bottom” is the back of the laptop near the expansion bay. I think if the “bottom” was the front of the laptop and the whole thing was flipped it would be better. I just think of how I would use it. If I was using the laptop and needed to swap ports around I would flip over the laptop like opening a book.


Only problem I see with this is, that if you change/upgrade your motherboard the labels might not be accurate anymore. For instance if at some point AMD CPUs get Thunderbolt support.


I think something that would be removable but not so easily that it would come off after repeated swaps of the expansion cards. I know the decrepancy between the ports is due to AMD. I can definitely see a possible future Intel main board not having these issues.

The problem with that approach is that it would affect the passive cooling some of the expansion cards exercise by using metallic lids to distribute their heat to the chassis.

All good points. I agree that the labels should be theoretically removable as I, like most owners, intend to keep upgrading the laptop for as long as possible. I would just need to find a material that can be cleanly removed after sticking. As for the location and orientation, I placed the labels where they would be most convenient for me personally as I would like to lift the chassis from the front in order to see. If the labels were in the recessed ports, then you would have to remove the modules in order to see the information which would be inconvenient. Also, I sympathize with wanting to preserve aesthetics which is why I made the more aesthetically pleasing design. It is the bottom, however, so I think function can take a bit more of a priority.

The metal lids on certain expansion cards are because Framework can’t mold plastic that thin, not because they need cooling. On Framework Laptop 13, the top of the expansion cards are against plastic, not metal, and there are no cooling issues with expansion cards.


Thank you so much for this. I could never understand the official graphic no matter how much I looked at it so instead I took to forgetting about the graphics existence and each ports limitations :sweat_smile:

Brother, you literally read my mind. I’m a Batch 15er, and your first design has been living rent-free in my Framework 16 project mindspace.
Love the first one, but I’d like it to be per-port leaving the bottom shell clean.
An alternative would be to print port numbers on the cards themselves, and the matching number on the “hidden” side of the port: this way you could immediatly see which can go where.
Great work, love it and keep it up!

Honestly, just order a transparent vinyl sticker with whatever design you like, slap it on, and that’s it.

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I’ll buy printable stickers and post the results.

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Quick update:
I bought laser-printable clear stickers, printed out the design most people seemed to like, and stuck them on:

The print quality was actually a lot better than I was expecting, but I had to cut the page into sections to properly align them. My alignment wasn’t very good…

I will see how difficult it is to remove these and then revise the design so that you can print and align just one piece.


Wow it looks good!


UPDATE: I have made printout versions
Google Drive Link V2 is the updated version of the “squares” style while V3 is the minimalist text version. They’re PDFs which have instructions on how to print, cutout, and place the labels.

Here is the result on my own machine:

I designed it as 2 rectangles that can easily be cutout and aligned. One of the downsides to this approach is that it can leave bubbles that are difficult to remove.

Other downsides are that the design is locked to this orientation and language, but I can make new versions in the future if there’s interest.

As for removal, I ran Prime95 and Furmark at the same time to heat up the chassis in order to see if the stickers would start peeling on their own. They did not, but the heat did make their removal easier:
Note that you can use the included spudger. The small amount of residue left was easily removed with alcohol.

Let me know if there’s any problems that I can fix.


A trick to aligning stickers is to use Windex to delay the setting of the glue while you get the alignment right. This is the way the pros do it.


great idea - following.

I plan on using my P touch label maker to make reminders Hidden in the recesses not that i plan on swapping modules around a lot but there is always that possibility.


Does P-touch run on Linux?

Not sure I use windows mainly. But the label-maker works on its own too.