Librem 13 hinge and screws

Did you reach out to Purism to get a quote on fixing it? Maybe they can fix you up with a new chassis.

The amount on stress on the screws depends on the amount of resistance offered by the hinge. The mount will have been designed for a certain level of stress but manufacturing variations mean hinge can offer a higher resistance and cause stress on screws to exceed design limits. If your hinge feels particularly hard to open/close there are youtube videos on how to loosen a hinge. Worth trying out. Ideally you should be able to open the lid with one hand without having to hold the bottom of the laptop down. If you can’t then the hinge is too tight.

I tried but they classified it as a total loss. And since it failed at the ripe old age of 13 months, I was out of warranty. There was an offer to buy a refurbished a 13v2 at a fair price but I demurred since the fundamental issue wasn’t addressed. I didn’t want to spend more money on another computer with the same issue. My concept of repair is informed by a mental model of reinforcement that lowers the probability of future failure.

Purism has been, in all fairness, as helpful as they can be. My experience suggests that they lack a workbench so repair wasn’t an option even with a rather aggressive offer to pay by yours truly. So I’m stuck. A broken laptop with no visible recourse for repair. Hence why I’m keenly interested in this topic. I want to find a way forward.

and also on how tight the screws are tightened. If they are too tight they will be constantly under stress, even at rest and even more so at work so may rip out inserts/nuts. If they are too loose they are ok at rest but have additional kick at work which again doesn’t add to their life.
In other words - this part is much dependent on assembly rather than design. Looking at photo the design looks ok, has all the necessary longerons and stringers to disperse the load. Making it in solid plastic would not add any more structural strength (the nut would probably still be ripped off).

No. If we are dealing with a standard rather than a self-made hinge, then the standard hinge has standard specifications, including the largest and smallest work force when rotating it. The smallest force must ensure that the hinge is held at a predetermined position, and the greatest force is the greatest force that can act on the screws that fasten the hinge to the body of the laptop or display. If the hinge work force exceeds the standard maximum work force, then it is a hinge defect. If the mounting elements of the laptop body or display to the hinge do not support the standard maximum hinge workforce, this is a design error of the laptop.
@ruff: The robust mounting structure should not be destroyed if even the screws are tightened with excessive force. The only thing that has the right to collapse in this case - the screws themselves, not even the nut and even more so the plastic part. If this is not the case, it is a failure of the mounting design. Reliable construction should not depend on the actions of the person who tightens the screws. This is not my personal opinion, it is one of the standard rules in the work of a mechanical designer.

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OK, my hinge problem is told here:

In my case, the problem is at the screen side. Something came loose, and now I can’t close the laptop any more without twisting severely the lower right part of the screen cover (the laptop turned into a desktop and was replaced by a Librem15rev3). I still have the tiny screw that fell out the gap at a certain point. Purism was hesitating to repair it, also because it seems that it is very difficult to get the backplate off the screen (and because it is a 15rev2 for which no spares are available any more).

Did anyone manage to take away the backplate of the screen? The picture above seems to suggest this…

This seals it for me to stick with my Dell XPS 13 for now. The palmrest assembly is carbon fiber but has a magnesium frame that everything screws into, including the hinge. The only pain point I had with this design is that the magnesium frame flexes more than the aluminum bottom plate, and this caused a screw point to break off the frame. Dell replaced the palmrest assembly under warranty (they offered a repair service, but I requested to just send the part and I’ll fix myself). I’d have to open it anyway to remove my hard drive, so why go without the computer when I can take an evening to do the replacement myself?

Even if this were out of warranty, a new palmrest assembly should be available to purchase (and currently is available for the XPS 13, albeit 3rd party). Purism doesn’t offer chassis parts? I’d be inclined to purchase a replacement palmrest assembly and transfer the laptop over to it as I did my XPS. Mounting a hinge to plastic is a bad move; it should go to some kind of metal (everything in the computer should bolt to a metal frame with plastic as the wrapper).

Mine developed the same hinge disconnection on the right like my previous one did (this one was a replacement they were great about sending). Again customer service was lovely about helping, but certain events have me in Thailand rather than the US and I don’t dare pursue their offer to replace this one at this time.

The post isn’t exactly running in a normal fashion…

I keep it open on my table and use my iPad out and about at all. When shipping returns to a norm and I’m somewhere I can have some trust in it, I’m sure we’ll arrange an exchange as offered. It works fine, just needs to be kept open. :slight_smile:

This is exactly what happened to my laptop at 11 months – fortunately still under warranty, so it was replaced. Now I am treating my new one with kid gloves, but I feel like it’s a ticking time bomb.

@joao.azevedo – is it possible to post the CAD of the faulty part? Crowdsourcing the solution could be the best option, since Purism doesn’t have the bandwidth. I wholly respect the Purism approach to software and (electronic) hardware design, which is open and transparent – why not also share the CAD models of the physical parts used to assemble the computers (or the phones for that matter)?


I can check if that is possible. But I can make no promises.

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@joao.azevedo: In order to remedy the problem as much as possible, the most complete information is needed. Ideally this requires:

  1. 3D models or complete drawings with the dimensions of all the parts to be connected - hinge, laptop body, display case;
  2. the mechanical characteristics or the full name of the notebook and display case plastic;
  3. the greatest force or torque on the hinge;
  4. the location of other parts up to 2" from the hinge attachment points to the body parts, or what free space around the hinge mounting points can be used to reinforce them. This item looks most provocative in terms of stealing structural and technological secrets, but without such information it is impossible determine if new laptop body parts will interfere with other details.

I am fully aware that this list looks ambiguous, but it is this information that is needed to reliably resolve the issue.

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I understand that most of this sort of thing is probably outsourced, and potentially difficult to get a hold of. Whatever you can get!

Premium price for china garbage made to break.

In addition to strengthening the design of the hinge attachment to the laptop body, it can be further protected with a safety component. This part should be fixed between the laptop body and the hinge. Under the influence of excessive force on the hinge, the safety component must break, protecting the laptop body. Such a part should be cheap and easily replaceable, so that in case of a break there will be no problem with its replacement. One set of such parts can even be added to a standard laptop kit. A user prone to excessive effort when opening a laptop can buy a stock of such parts and not worry about breaking the laptop.

or you do what Apple did … take a m$ surface and an iMac stand and copulate them together and the baby is called an “iPad-Pro” >

There’s an image I didn’t need. :wink:

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i agree about the image not being needed … but this type of hinge implementation can more easily be fixed compared to the one that’s part of the chasis itself … you know the thing about each part doing it’s job separately rather than a jack-of-all-trades

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Would good is a metal hinge if it is affixed by plastic?

Even if this seems to be a problem based on assembly specs, how is something like this propping up claims of durability and longevity?

This is an issue Purism needs to address immediately. Their reputation and claims are at stake.

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If we are talking about a laptop and not a tablet, that makes sense in this hinge design. But there are intellectual property issues in the hinge design.

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The reason we don’t have more information about the hinge in the Librem is because of the same reason.