What if Framework sold Empty Expansion Cards?

As much as I love the idea of printing an Expansion Card, I feel like it breaks the visual continuity that the first-party cards have against the metal chassis. It would be kinda neat to be able to purchase an empty Expansion Card with no electronics in it so that one could cut out the hole themselves, which would preserve the visual continuity of the frame. Idk, what do you all think?


Welcome to the forum.

Conformity has it’s place, but is it that disturbing to stand out from the crowd :slight_smile:

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You could sell them but cutting a hole in one would be impossible, you could use the snack drawer as a filler

I think that what he means would be milling/filing out your own holes, which is actually feasible with the BENCH VISE

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Oh this would also be super handy for when you know you only need one or two ports (or none) and want to eke out as much battery life as possible.


Maybe you can find a filament that matches the color. This one looks pretty close: Silky Silver MH Build Series PLA Filament - 2.85mm (1kg) | MatterHackers


Besides a cleaner appearance next to the existing case, this would also be very handy for those of us who don’t yet own 3D printers or have access to one through friends who own one. 3D printers are becoming more and more commonly available, but they are still not yet ubiquitous throughout the world, nor is their price yet low enough for it to be trivial for those of us on the poorer end of the spectrum to buy one specifically for such a project.

The aluminum-and-plastic version also has metal components that are slightly thinner than the fully 3D-printed version would be able to be and still be strong enough, so that gives a slight bit more space inside, which usually won’t matter, but it can make a difference for some projects which push the limits of what will fit.


I would like to add my support for this, they are already producing the expansion housing and I think it wouldl increase the community support for custom expansion cards. Not only does it allow those without access to 3d printers to experiment but but will make custom cards feel a little more durable and professional than 3d printed prototypes.

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This would be handy. Don’t always need those 4 slots and walking around with empty slots not only is a poor esthetics but also unpleasant for touch with sharp edges.


I’d love a maker card case that was just the shell and metal shield. Heck, throw in the bare USB-C connector from a USB-C module, no PCB (or a tiny breakout PCB for USB 2.0 type-C). Make the face material something relatively easy to cut or drill, or just provide a slot for a 3D-printed face. I’d be all over that.

Why don’t people just use 4 USB-C Ports??
Although there is a bit of aesthetic gain I suppose from only having 1/2 ports…

Empty one would be much cheaper and would not drain any power.

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The USB-C card doesn’t drain power. It’s basically a 1" extension cable. But it would be a bit cheaper without the connector, that’s true.


. As Paul said USB-C doesn’t drain any power.
You’d probably be saving a dollar on the lack of contacts and whatnot, but shipping is 30? Considering the overall price of the laptop as well, I don’t think anyone is actually annoyed with having to pay something like $12 for 2 USB-C ports.

They could give it for free when you buy a new laptop. It’s a benefit, which costs them 10 cent or less. Sure, shipping costs are currently far to high and need to drop, but this is a different topic.


How do you come up with 10c
Manufacturing and distribution would be a lot more than that

You mean you want to buy them for $1 each if you don’t want working cards, but there’s no sense in giving them away free.

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It’s a small piece of cheap plastic. They could just use the existing storage enclosures without the electronics inside.

What Framework could do?

Plastic is cheap maybe as people just consume hydrocarbons and carbihyrates as if there was an unimited supply of materials and an unlimited supply of cheap/slave labour.

Wood is cheap but try making one.

Why would they want to use an existing one with holes it. I suppose a user could stuff if with paper.

Or do you mean you want and expected them to make a thousand useless little lego bricks to fill holes.

Personnaly I would make a wooden one but I have chosen 4 USBC cards and a few other for the odd use now and then.

What problem do you have ~ what cards do you use?

If you are really desperate ask someone to make you one

It’s about aesthetics, sure someone else could 3D print it, but it will not have the same look and feel as the original ones. It shouldn’t be your part to argue against it, because we would need to repeat again and again why it’s requested. There is a hight demand and Framework should consider it as a new offer for their customers.

Really? a ‘high’ demand. If you can get the numbers to Framework

  • they maybe able to give a quote to manufacture ~ let’s say 100 and let you know how much they will cost a part of an initial purchase
  • I understand the aesthetics side but I think it’s a ‘lot’ to ask for a non functioning part that can hardly be see.
  • A card made of anyhting painted metalic grey would be pretty much unnoticed except to the user and that would be through memory not the here and now.
  • I can see them selling for less than a few dollars so may as well have USB C ports, you never know when one will not work.

So what is you current configuration that requires a dumb card and what is wrong with the ones on offer?

Have you see the one by Josh?

and there’s this that appears another user has made

I don’t see an aesthetics problem in either