OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

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tp3
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OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

tp3
There's now a snapshot AppImage build available which
runs on the hopefully soon to be released Raspberry PI
OS 64-bit.

https://www.openscad.org/downloads.html#snapshots

This includes all the cool new features, like the jump
to code from the 3d view.
(Edit->Preferences->Features->mouse-selection)

ciao,
  Torsten.

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

lar3ry
Darn! I just drooled all over my keyboard!




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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

RobWLakes
In reply to this post by tp3
That is awesome! Just ordered my RPi4B8G today!!
Cheers, RobW

On 16 June 2020 8:06:43 am AEST, Torsten Paul <[hidden email]> wrote:
There's now a snapshot AppImage build available which
runs on the hopefully soon to be released Raspberry PI
OS 64-bit.

https://www.openscad.org/downloads.html#snapshots

This includes all the cool new features, like the jump
to code from the 3d view.
(Edit->Preferences->Features->mouse-selection)

ciao,
Torsten.
OpenSCAD mailing list
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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

RobWLakes
In reply to this post by lar3ry
Ooops key slip, 4G 😡
Cheers, RobW

On 16 June 2020 9:25:27 am AEST, lar3ry <[hidden email]> wrote:
Darn! I just drooled all over my keyboard!




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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

MichaelAtOz
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In reply to this post by tp3
Does this overcome OpenGL ES



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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

cacb
In reply to this post by tp3
On 2020-06-16 00:06, Torsten Paul wrote:
> There's now a snapshot AppImage build available which
> runs on the hopefully soon to be released Raspberry PI
> OS 64-bit.

Thanks for the information!

Although the news about 64bit Raspbian is indeed very interesting (I do
have a Rasberry Pi 4), I wonder why one would attempt to run OpenSCAD on
it? What is the benefit compared to running OpenSCAD on a regular PC,
considering that OpensCAD is taxing the CPU heavily?

I recently created a system for automatic configuration of a cross
compiler for Raspberry PI, so I imagine it will be possible to use it
for the new 64bit OS once it is released, see
https://github.com/arnholm/cross-pi . Then I guess you can cross-compile
OpenSCAD or AngelCAD to create native executables for Raspberry PI 64,
but I still don't see why you would run CPU heavy applications on that
hardware.

Some background info: I also have the original Raspberry PI Model B (now
5 years old) controlling my 3d Printer using OctoPrint. I run KISSlicer
on Linux or Windows to create gcode files that are uploaded to OctoPrint
on the old Raspberry PI. This works great so I am curious as to why
there is a need for OpenSCAD to run on a Raspberry PI (any model/OS).

Carsten Arnholm

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

nophead
Yes I was wondering the same thing. My PC is a few years old now but OpenSCAD is the only program I wish it was faster for. I do have a faster Linux machine but I develop using a database on Google Drive and Google don't do a Linux version. 

On Tue, 16 Jun 2020 at 11:06, <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 2020-06-16 00:06, Torsten Paul wrote:
> There's now a snapshot AppImage build available which
> runs on the hopefully soon to be released Raspberry PI
> OS 64-bit.

Thanks for the information!

Although the news about 64bit Raspbian is indeed very interesting (I do
have a Rasberry Pi 4), I wonder why one would attempt to run OpenSCAD on
it? What is the benefit compared to running OpenSCAD on a regular PC,
considering that OpensCAD is taxing the CPU heavily?

I recently created a system for automatic configuration of a cross
compiler for Raspberry PI, so I imagine it will be possible to use it
for the new 64bit OS once it is released, see
https://github.com/arnholm/cross-pi . Then I guess you can cross-compile
OpenSCAD or AngelCAD to create native executables for Raspberry PI 64,
but I still don't see why you would run CPU heavy applications on that
hardware.

Some background info: I also have the original Raspberry PI Model B (now
5 years old) controlling my 3d Printer using OctoPrint. I run KISSlicer
on Linux or Windows to create gcode files that are uploaded to OctoPrint
on the old Raspberry PI. This works great so I am curious as to why
there is a need for OpenSCAD to run on a Raspberry PI (any model/OS).

Carsten Arnholm

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

MathLover
In reply to this post by cacb
cacb wrote
> What is the benefit compared to running OpenSCAD on a regular PC,
> considering that OpensCAD is taxing the CPU heavily?

I think that running OpenSCAD on a PI would make it possible to develop a
machine that can print simple thing on demand, by using the PI as a
controller of a 3d printer, and having a design with a few parameters. Off
course you would need the design to remain small (in print size) and not too
complex (for the PI), but it would be a nice geeky machine to use on, for
example, festivals.

The print time would suggest that you would then build a few of these
machines, so cheap and small  computers like the PI would be excellent for
the job.




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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

OpenSCAD mailing list-2
The Pi4 with 4gb should be able handle a pretty good sized model.
OpenSCAD can run under Windows which eats up most of the CPU anyway so it should run fine on Linux on a Pi!!!

The Pi4 has a modern chip with multiple cores and has a solid state sd card for file access so it should be quick.

I am not sure how small is "small" or why it should matter but a Pi should be able to drive a 3D printer without breaking a sweat.

It does give someone a dedicated CAD station for a very low price.

I would be tempted to use it the other way - as a dedicated processor with no screen or a shared monitor for rendering big models and freeing up a main cad station for design work.
If you are really productive, get 2 Pi4s and keep them busy. With a shared screen that can handle multiple hdmi inputs, a USB switch for the mouse and keyboard and an NSF server for shared disk access one could work very quickly and never wait for a long render.
Might even be possible to write a script that tells the Pis to look in a directory for new updated files and automatically start the render.

They are so powerful and so cheap and compact that you can do a lot with them.

I have been at the software business for so long that I remember supporting engineers doing full parametric 3D CAD on workstations where memory was measured in megabytes not gigabytes and CPU speeds were measures in thousands of floating point operations per second.

Ron

On 2020-06-16 8:04 a.m., MathLover wrote:
cacb wrote
What is the benefit compared to running OpenSCAD on a regular PC, 
considering that OpensCAD is taxing the CPU heavily?
I think that running OpenSCAD on a PI would make it possible to develop a
machine that can print simple thing on demand, by using the PI as a
controller of a 3d printer, and having a design with a few parameters. Off
course you would need the design to remain small (in print size) and not too
complex (for the PI), but it would be a nice geeky machine to use on, for
example, festivals.

The print time would suggest that you would then build a few of these
machines, so cheap and small  computers like the PI would be excellent for
the job.




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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

doug.moen
In reply to this post by cacb
On Tue, Jun 16, 2020, at 10:06 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
> Although the news about 64bit Raspbian is indeed very interesting (I do
> have a Rasberry Pi 4), I wonder why one would attempt to run OpenSCAD on
> it? What is the benefit compared to running OpenSCAD on a regular PC,
> considering that OpensCAD is taxing the CPU heavily?

The Raspberry Pi 4 is super cheap, and super hackable.
It is very popular in makerspaces and in STEM education.
3D printers are also very popular in makerspaces and STEM.

OpenSCAD on Pi makes no sense if you are an industrial CAD designer,
but it makes a lot of sense in a school makerspace.

Windows-based desktops and laptops are a liability in a school
environment, because each machine is used by many students,
and managing the software environment (so that it can't be
corrupted or made unusable) is a heavy burden for teachers
and school IT people. In my school district, they use chromebooks.

A locked-down school chromebook will only allow you to use
CAD programs that run in a web browser. OpenSCAD doesn't
run in a web browser (but there are many alternatives that do).

I haven't tried running a Raspberry Pi based makerspace for kids.
But, I imagine that you can just give each student their own Pi,
and swap out the SD card if the OS gets corrupted.
The benefit of the Pi is full hackability (the opposite of a Chromebook).

Check out this Pi based laptop: https://www.pi-top.com/products/pi-top-3
This is how I imagine you'd use OpenSCAD for Pi.

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

jon_bondy
This all makes sense.  What I am not clear on is how much of a
performance hit I would take vs my 8 core 4 GHz desktop

On 6/16/2020 9:50 AM, Doug Moen wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 16, 2020, at 10:06 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
>> Although the news about 64bit Raspbian is indeed very interesting (I do
>> have a Rasberry Pi 4), I wonder why one would attempt to run OpenSCAD on
>> it? What is the benefit compared to running OpenSCAD on a regular PC,
>> considering that OpensCAD is taxing the CPU heavily?
> The Raspberry Pi 4 is super cheap, and super hackable.
> It is very popular in makerspaces and in STEM education.
> 3D printers are also very popular in makerspaces and STEM.
>
> OpenSCAD on Pi makes no sense if you are an industrial CAD designer,
> but it makes a lot of sense in a school makerspace.
>
> Windows-based desktops and laptops are a liability in a school
> environment, because each machine is used by many students,
> and managing the software environment (so that it can't be
> corrupted or made unusable) is a heavy burden for teachers
> and school IT people. In my school district, they use chromebooks.
>
> A locked-down school chromebook will only allow you to use
> CAD programs that run in a web browser. OpenSCAD doesn't
> run in a web browser (but there are many alternatives that do).
>
> I haven't tried running a Raspberry Pi based makerspace for kids.
> But, I imagine that you can just give each student their own Pi,
> and swap out the SD card if the OS gets corrupted.
> The benefit of the Pi is full hackability (the opposite of a Chromebook).
>
> Check out this Pi based laptop: https://www.pi-top.com/products/pi-top-3
> This is how I imagine you'd use OpenSCAD for Pi.
>
>

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

nophead
I don't think the number of cores makes much difference unless you have multiple instances open. 

On Tue, 16 Jun 2020 at 14:57, jon <[hidden email]> wrote:
This all makes sense.  What I am not clear on is how much of a
performance hit I would take vs my 8 core 4 GHz desktop

On 6/16/2020 9:50 AM, Doug Moen wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 16, 2020, at 10:06 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
>> Although the news about 64bit Raspbian is indeed very interesting (I do
>> have a Rasberry Pi 4), I wonder why one would attempt to run OpenSCAD on
>> it? What is the benefit compared to running OpenSCAD on a regular PC,
>> considering that OpensCAD is taxing the CPU heavily?
> The Raspberry Pi 4 is super cheap, and super hackable.
> It is very popular in makerspaces and in STEM education.
> 3D printers are also very popular in makerspaces and STEM.
>
> OpenSCAD on Pi makes no sense if you are an industrial CAD designer,
> but it makes a lot of sense in a school makerspace.
>
> Windows-based desktops and laptops are a liability in a school
> environment, because each machine is used by many students,
> and managing the software environment (so that it can't be
> corrupted or made unusable) is a heavy burden for teachers
> and school IT people. In my school district, they use chromebooks.
>
> A locked-down school chromebook will only allow you to use
> CAD programs that run in a web browser. OpenSCAD doesn't
> run in a web browser (but there are many alternatives that do).
>
> I haven't tried running a Raspberry Pi based makerspace for kids.
> But, I imagine that you can just give each student their own Pi,
> and swap out the SD card if the OS gets corrupted.
> The benefit of the Pi is full hackability (the opposite of a Chromebook).
>
> Check out this Pi based laptop: https://www.pi-top.com/products/pi-top-3
> This is how I imagine you'd use OpenSCAD for Pi.
>
>

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

rew
In reply to this post by doug.moen
On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 01:50:22PM +0000, Doug Moen wrote:
> I haven't tried running a Raspberry Pi based makerspace for kids.
> But, I imagine that you can just give each student their own Pi,
> and swap out the SD card if the OS gets corrupted.

Or you tell everybody to bring their own SD card. (or supply everybody
with...)

        Roger.

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

nophead
The SD sockets on RPI's are not very robust in my experience. It might be better for them to bring their own USB stick.

On Tue, 16 Jun 2020 at 15:15, Rogier Wolff <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 01:50:22PM +0000, Doug Moen wrote:
> I haven't tried running a Raspberry Pi based makerspace for kids.
> But, I imagine that you can just give each student their own Pi,
> and swap out the SD card if the OS gets corrupted.

Or you tell everybody to bring their own SD card. (or supply everybody
with...)

        Roger.

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Phil, this plan just might work.

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

rew
In reply to this post by nophead
On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 02:59:35PM +0100, nop head wrote:
> I don't think the number of cores makes much difference unless you have
> multiple instances open.

So... for Openscad, to be able to make better use of the available
performance on the pi, a "roadmap" for openscad might include: "make
better use of multiple cores".

Keep in mind that intel hit peak-clock-frequency somewhere around a
decade ago. But Moore's law says that transistors keep getting
cheaper, so even though still significant improvements keep being made
in how much work can be done in each CPU clock cycle, in the future
we'll be getting more and more cores in a chip. Currently even the
cheap hardware (e.g. pi) has four cores because they don't know what
otherwise to do with the available transistors!

        Roger.

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Phil, this plan just might work.

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

Alan Cox-2
In reply to this post by jon_bondy
On Tue, 16 Jun 2020 09:57:04 -0400
jon <[hidden email]> wrote:

> This all makes sense.  What I am not clear on is how much of a
> performance hit I would take vs my 8 core 4 GHz desktop

If it behaves like most applications a huge one. The PI 4 is pretty fast
for an embedded ARM CPU but it's basically a repurposed media player
engine.

The sysbench table I have to hand scores a PI4 at 394, and a bottom end
Intel i3-8100 at 4210.

The PI4 is 4 core so as this is still a single threaded app unless you
are playing with some of the experimental forks you are actually about
100.

The i3-8100 is 2 core HT so you'll get around 1500 for a typical workload
single threaded with the other thread idle and one core idle.

Going to a fancy high end x86 processor actually doesn't help you that
much because they add cores/threads for the most part. In fact you'd
probably do better with a 'Pentium Gold' branded bottom end 2 core CPU at
4GHz than the i3-8100 as the bottom end desktop CPU has better thermals
(my cheapo low core count box will beat the pants off my dual Xeon with
OpenSCAD unlike say ImplicitCAD)

So with an 8MB PI4 the generic numbers say you'd see a 10 fold loss of
performance. However really someone needs to time actual examples because
generic benchmarks and specific apps can be very different.

Alan

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

nophead
In reply to this post by rew
There are experimental versions of OpenSCAD using multiple cores for rendering but that isn't what is slow for me. I do all my work in preview mode and only render the STLs to print them. Most don't take long, especially compared to printing them. E..g 38 parts to make a 3D printer take 7 minutes to render individually. The slowest one is the shelf bracket at 78 seconds, most take less than 10s. Drawing the preview from scratch, which does render() some of the parts takes 4 minutes. The killer is every simple change takes at least 23 seconds to redraw currently. Most of that time is running the script, so hard to see how multiple cores would help that.

On Tue, 16 Jun 2020 at 15:32, Rogier Wolff <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 02:59:35PM +0100, nop head wrote:
> I don't think the number of cores makes much difference unless you have
> multiple instances open.

So... for Openscad, to be able to make better use of the available
performance on the pi, a "roadmap" for openscad might include: "make
better use of multiple cores".

Keep in mind that intel hit peak-clock-frequency somewhere around a
decade ago. But Moore's law says that transistors keep getting
cheaper, so even though still significant improvements keep being made
in how much work can be done in each CPU clock cycle, in the future
we'll be getting more and more cores in a chip. Currently even the
cheap hardware (e.g. pi) has four cores because they don't know what
otherwise to do with the available transistors!

        Roger.

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Phil, this plan just might work.

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

tp3
In reply to this post by jon_bondy
On 16.06.20 15:57, jon wrote:
> This all makes sense.  What I am not clear on is how much
> of a performance hit I would take vs my 8 core 4 GHz desktop

Unless someone completes the "Multi-threaded Geometry
rendering" issue (earning the current bounty of $1060),
the number of cores does not matter much.

So comparing my 2 years old Dell XPS 13 with i7-8550U
@ 4GHz max using the Menger Sponge level 3 example, I
see (even including the monitor in the Raspi price):

Notebook   | Raspi 4 (8GB) | Ratio
---------------------------------------
35 seconds | 2:46 minutes  |   1 : 4.7
~2200€     | ~250€         | 8.8 : 1

I guess the performance hit is not as bad as one
would imagine while the price is very nice.

I certainly would not suggest using a Raspi for very
complex stuff, but there's lots of things that it will
be able to do in a reasonable way. Especially when
looking at the 64bit/8GB model.

ciao,
  Torsten.

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

Alan Cox-2
In reply to this post by rew
> Keep in mind that intel hit peak-clock-frequency somewhere around a
> decade ago. But Moore's law says that transistors keep getting

Not entirely - it's crept up from 4GHz to 5GHz over that time, but short
of some major process change it's now a slow gain. For high core count
parts the change is even bigger - but that doesn't help OpenSCAD.

> cheaper, so even though still significant improvements keep being made
> in how much work can be done in each CPU clock cycle, in the future
> we'll be getting more and more cores in a chip. Currently even the
> cheap hardware (e.g. pi) has four cores because they don't know what
> otherwise to do with the available transistors!

The current bounds on processor design are primarily thermal. The size
bound has partly been broken by 7nm and upcoming 5nm processes, but
even more so by the ability to put lots of small dies together in
one device even using different processes.

Single threaded CPU performance has increased a bit more than the clock
rate (instructions per clock has improved) but nothing compared to the
effect of going from 12 cores to 64 cores in the same time (or 2 to 8 in
the consumer space).

(and neither can touch the performance gain for suitable workloads on
GPU based computation)

We had the rapid disk space doubling era, the memory doubling era,
the clock speed doubling era, we are now in the core count doubling era.

The most important thing though is that you can probably beat all of those
gains comprehensively by the use of better algorithms.

Alan

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Re: OpenSCAD on Raspberry PI

tp3
On 16.06.20 17:02, Alan Cox wrote:
> The most important thing though is that you can
> probably beat all of those gains comprehensively
> by the use of better algorithms.

Yes! That! So if anyone knows a mathematician who
would be interested in helping with that in the long
run, there's a much bigger gain to be had than any
multi-thread/multi-process support with current CGAL
can ever deliver.

Right now the balance is:

- CGAL: slow, but quite often reliable
- others: faster, breaking geometry worse than CGAL

What would be awesome:

Fast multi-threaded algorithm with GPU support :-)
No need for theoretical correctness, what we need
is a reliable, robust engineering solution.

There's a number of libs claiming that, but all of
those were unmaintained last time I looked. Maybe
time to checked again if things changed...

ciao,
  Torsten.



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