FreeCAD on Raspberry Pi 3

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NormandC
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Location: Québec, Canada

Re: FreeCAD on Raspberry Pi 3

Postby NormandC » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:30 pm

As always the question is: who will take charge of this?
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-alex-
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Re: FreeCAD on Raspberry Pi 3

Postby -alex- » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:27 pm

OS: Raspbian GNU/Linux 9.6 (stretch)
Word size of OS: 32-bit
Word size of FreeCAD: 32-bit
Version: 0.18.14555 (Git shallow)
Build type: Release
Branch: master
Hash: 9be3e633328335f1172456f5857219b7a08c70a5
Python version: 2.7.13
Qt version: 4.8.7
Coin version: 4.0.0a
OCC version: 6.8.0.oce-0.17
Locale: English/UnitedKingdom (en_GB)


Hi there,

I'm glad to write my first post on this forum by using a Raspberry PI3!
I would like to thanks the Freecad community and devellopers for the great job: this software is wonderfull :D
I'm french, sorry for my english, try to do my best.

Right now I'm using Freecad 0.18 on a RPI3B+ thanks to the Micrometer cnc 4 RPI distribution.
see topic:
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... er#p246844

Sure it's not the best computer to use Freecad, sometimes unstable and crash. But it's not so slow, pretty usable for simple CAD models. Let me share my recent tests about using Freecad 0.18 on RPI3B+:
Resolution: 1920x1080
SD card class10

- launching of Freecad: 1mn
- loading new part: 3sec
- part design: creating of a cube primitive 10x10X10: 2sec, validating: 0.5sec
- part design->body->sketch->rectangle/circle/etc...->clic first corner->clic second corner: crash of Freecad repeatedly. Sketcher crash everytime, except for lines...
- gearsWB: loading of default gear (1mm module, 15theet): 2sec, transforming beta=20° and double_helix=true: 6sec. Graphic display fluidity of this gear: excelent, very fast
- Netgen meshing of previous gear: 30sec (no FEM solving, calculix path is missing)
- loading of a "big" 3D model: infinite time loading-> 1GoRAM saturation
- loading of Archdetail.fcstd exemple: 25sec, fast displaying (somtimes crash if second file is opened)
Last week I used this distribution to perform a demonstration of Freecad in the makerspace of my town. The crash of sketcher was a real problem, however people seemed me satisfayed.

Alex
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triplus
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Re: FreeCAD on Raspberry Pi 3

Postby triplus » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:10 pm

Thanks for the report Alex.

It's interesting Sketcher is crashing, but not when creating the lines. If you disable some options from Sketcher preferences, like Geometry Creation "Continue Mode", Auto constraints, Improve Solving while dragging. Any difference after creating a brand new Sketch?

For possible performance improvements, enable the Use OpenGL Vertex Buffer Object option, from Display section of Preferences.

P.S. What i find impressive is that from all high end (parametric) CAD packages currently available, likely FreeCAD is the only one that can do this.
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-alex-
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Re: FreeCAD on Raspberry Pi 3

Postby -alex- » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:32 am

Thank you for your advices Triplus
triplus wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:10 pm
It's interesting Sketcher is crashing, but not when creating the lines. If you disable some options from Sketcher preferences, like Geometry Creation "Continue Mode", Auto constraints, Improve Solving while dragging. Any difference after creating a brand new Sketch?
I tried to unselect all thoses options but no result. The sketcher allways crashed. I found the crahes as the result of constraints. The very first constraint involves the sketcher crashes.
Finally I solved the problem, I ran freecad as admin and the sketcher works perfectly! (I'm not so familliar with Linux stuffs :oops: )
triplus wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:10 pm
For possible performance improvements, enable the Use OpenGL Vertex Buffer Object option, from Display section of Preferences.
The OpenGL Vertex Buffer Object option doesn't improve the framerate display. FYI it's about 12fps (Freecad info) with 1920x1080 resolution.
triplus wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:10 pm
P.S. What i find impressive is that from all high end (parametric) CAD packages currently available, likely FreeCAD is the only one that can do this.
Indeed, Freecad works on a 1Go RAM system! That's great :D
To compare: Solidworks needs 2-4GoRAM at least. And the standard 2019 release installes about 4.5Go of data.
One day the RPI4 is coming, maybe with 2GoRAM and so on... It should be more suitable for the use of Freecad.

Now I'm trying to solve the ccx file missing, not so easy with my very limited skills on micrometer cnc 4 RPI disto (no rw acces and the package manager is locked), anyway, I don't give up.
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Kunda1
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Re: FreeCAD on Raspberry Pi 3

Postby Kunda1 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:49 pm

Congrats!
You continued efforts are subject to attract a good amount of attention. Keep going!
-alex- wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:32 am
Now I'm trying to solve the ccx file missing, not so easy with my very limited skills on micrometer cnc 4 RPI disto (no rw acces and the package manager is locked), anyway, I don't give up.
Please post your progress and challenges. Also keep you eyes open on FcFEM: https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=33974
Alone you go faster. Together we go farther
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kkremitzki
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Re: FreeCAD on Raspberry Pi 3

Postby kkremitzki » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:13 pm

Any improvements in making FreeCAD more viable at all on a Raspberry Pi 3 would be great, too, since it is so commonly used in education, it would make it 100x easier for teaching CAD.
Like my FreeCAD work? I'd appreciate any level of support via Patreon, Liberapay, or PayPal! Read more about what I do at my blog.
triplus
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Re: FreeCAD on Raspberry Pi 3

Postby triplus » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:40 pm

-alex- wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:32 am
Finally I solved the problem, I ran freecad as admin and the sketcher works perfectly! (I'm not so familliar with Linux stuffs :oops: )
Good to hear that and thanks for sharing the solution.
Indeed, Freecad works on a 1Go RAM system! That's great :D
To compare: Solidworks needs 2-4GoRAM at least. And the standard 2019 release installes about 4.5Go of data.
One day the RPI4 is coming, maybe with 2GoRAM and so on... It should be more suitable for the use of Freecad.
It just amazes me on how some are able to run FreeCAD on a computer as Raspberry Pi. And other big names in CAD industry don't even do Linux.
Now I'm trying to solve the ccx file missing, not so easy with my very limited skills on micrometer cnc 4 RPI disto (no rw acces and the package manager is locked), anyway, I don't give up.
Good luck!
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looo
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Re: FreeCAD on Raspberry Pi 3

Postby looo » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:33 pm

I see also work done on porting conda-packages to arm architecture... Maybe it's possible to add a weekly arm-package one day. But no idea if it makes sense to work on this.
triplus
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Re: FreeCAD on Raspberry Pi 3

Postby triplus » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:30 pm

Likely it makes sense. On the other hand i am wondering if FreeCAD Debian related packaging effort won't just start to bare fruits on Raspberry Pi some day. It looks like that with each new board upstream Debian (packages) is getting better at it:

https://wiki.debian.org/RaspberryPi
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-alex-
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Re: FreeCAD on Raspberry Pi 3

Postby -alex- » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:07 pm

Kunda1 wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:49 pm
Congrats!
You continued efforts are subject to attract a good amount of attention. Keep going!
-alex- wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:32 am
Now I'm trying to solve the ccx file missing, not so easy with my very limited skills on micrometer cnc 4 RPI disto (no rw acces and the package manager is locked), anyway, I don't give up.
Please post your progress and challenges. Also keep you eyes open on FcFEM: https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=33974
Thanks Kunda1 for your information, I follow this thread which is very promising for FEM workbench.
About RPI3 and Freecad I made some test to compile Calculix with a modified makefile I've found on the net. But no success. I have not the skills to compile on an ARM based computer like the PI (and I can't find any tutorial about a so specilized aim...).
I asked question on the micrometer cnc forum, maybe I will get some help.
Another information about Freecad on this distro: as I sayed you have to run it as root, otherwise the constraint solver of sketcher crash.
So, as user Pi Freecad is provided with a lot of loaded worbench by default, with standard permission access I guess, but the sketcher fail.
As root admin, all is ok, but inforunatly additional workbenches are not loaded, and the permission access don't let me load them.
Anyway, that's words of a newbi, just for infomation.