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Raspberry Pi <3 Blender

The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer that runs Linux and sells for only $35. After its announcement yesterday, 10,000 of them were sold in only a couple of hours. Here are two interesting stories involving the Raspberry Pi and Blender.

Raspberry Pi demo, includes Big Buck Bunny

Blender-designed Raspberry Pi case for 3D printing

Marco Alici writes:

As soon as I came into contact with the Raspberry Pi project I thought that:

  • I’d like to have one as soon as possible;
  • I’d like to give it an attractive case.

So I designed a case to be 3D-printed (or moulded, if someone would like to invest in it), and I liked to render it in Blender2.59+Yafaray.

Here is the start, and here is the end, with the rendered images.

I’m waiting for a real 3D printed prototype from Shapeways.


  • Doe Joe

    I guess I will be running Blender on linux after all. Blender on the go.. Its going to be interesting to see how the blender community uses this..

    • Rio

       I don't know, does Blender compile on arm platforms?

      • Sonnic4Spuds

         it should compile if the libraries are compiled for the platform as far as I understand it.

        • Bebenstyle88

          Hum, it's not that simple. Blender rely on different libraries that are most likely not available for ARM. And compiling on ARM is not simple at all.

          • Campbell Barton

             I've compiled and run blender on ARM without any problems (infact it was very simple), which libraries don't work?

    • roofoo

      Excuse my lack of understanding, but how exactly would this be useful
      for on-the-go modeling? You would still need a power supply, computer
      display, mouse, and keyboard to use this. Seems much easier to just use a laptop.

      • mzungu

         Your own 100-core render farm for $3500? :-)

        • Campbell Barton

           Pick up a cheap 100 port router and bingo - you're done :)

      • Doe Joe

         Can't fit a laptop in my pocket & peripherals are everywhere and inexpensive. Imagine a world where your main computer is the size of a flash drive and you just clip in at any location anywhere. Toting my laptop around gets old when you can fit it in your pocket. More convenient and unlike a laptop its always with you. Personally I would take mine to work since I can't blend on a company computer. (during lunch of course) Also have not seen many 27in laptops. I would prefer the 27in real estate when I blend away from home. When traveling carrying two laptops (business and personal) is nerdy. If someone stole my $35 computer I'd just go get another one. If someone took my Macbook Air I would be mad. Put a nano projector on it and you won't need a monitor.

        • roofoo

           It still seems easier to pull out my laptop than to have to plug this
          into a TV and carry a keyboard too. And only a wired network connection, which could be a problem in areas without ethernet ports. By the time I get this set up I
          could have my laptop already running and with Blender open. Plus i can use my laptop in my car. But that's just my 2 cents. ;)

          • Samuel Loy

             Yes using it on the go like that wouldn't be worth, but usage varies, if I'm in a car I'm either driving or enjoying the ride, wouldn't want to be on the computer... I might take it down to a park to work though if I had a laptop... this is only $35 though I can't afford a laptop

        • Jason

           Here is another micro computer you'd be interested in. not as cheap as the Raspberry Pi but still impressive none the less.

        • Someone

          Have you ever heard about the sixth sense?
          Sorry can't find the original video.

      • Samuel Loy

        Notice the RCA out? you can connect this with virtually EVERY tv out there, no need for a monitor when you've got a tv.  Also if you do some searching you can find pocket sized projectors, roll out keyboards and virtual keyboards, to name a few. This is like a missing piece of the puzzle.

        I wonder if it will run ubuntu? It would be great to keep my workflow streamed. I manage a small video team at my church, and wanting to add another pc I've thought about bringing my main desktop here, with this I can make this my home computer, to do simple editing and internet use, and bring my main pc down to the church after all :D

        • Mike Gray

           I doesn't run Ubuntu, yet. I think it will eventually, though.

    • Jason

       You can get mobilized version of blender on to be put on a usb stick/drive/ipod etc.

  • 3denator

    my head is blown!! i want one even for 100 $.

  • siraniks

    this one is awesome for blender modeling on the go, though how about blender cycles on the go?

    • Samuel Loy

       this was another question I had, with the GPU????

  • Crins

    Could these be used for a render farm?

    • Phobiss

       guess you can  since it has an ethernet port

    • Campbell Barton

      most likely, though the amount of ram these have makes it unlikely to be a great solution (even if you split up the image between nodes. you need memory for geometry and textures).

  • onjoFilms

    This is an amazing computer.  700Mhz with an operating system for only $35 plus shipping.  Holy cow!!

  • Peter Houlihan

    Thats funny, I was thinking about a case last night, just one thought though: that thing has no fans, would it not interfere with cooling?

  • James Lagerman

    I want to network 50 of them together as a blender render farm???? :)

  • James Lagerman

    50 cpu's rendering 50 frames at one time :) :)

    • Rio

       on a 700 mhz ARM? that's funny.

      • Zac6x9

        if you can us the GPU then power per frame should be ok

  • spfxguy

    This also has a graphics GPU capable of using openCL and openGL. The cycles and processing could be pushed to the GPU. You could create a parallel cluster server. The only problem would be 256mb of limited ram on the board. Hope they can figure a way to use the pinouts, if possible to get more ram for the Rasberry Pi.

    Looks intriguing...

  • Alexkemmler

    I think when it says raspberry-pi <3 Blender, they just mean this case was designed in Blender... not that you should try running Blender on it.  That would be a PITA at best. 

  • Arnaud0

    Guys, for what it's worth, I had looked at it months ago: my idea was that if it could run the game engine, it'd a fun cheap way to push the Blender Game engine onto the masses (hook it to your TV), with the endless possiblity of downloading more games, update the engine etc.  However, I read the specs, but unlike  spfxguy, I walked away thinking IT WOULD NOT run openCL.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I hope I'm wrong.  Because there is USB port, you can envisage a cheap USB port memory extension etc..., joysticks, keyboards plugged on a USB port hub replicator.  I wish them luck, I hope this comes to fruition for the benefit of the Blender community (the raspberry maker).Arnaud

    • spfxguy
      • streamcomputing

        Thank you for mentioning my blog. The next article on ARM+OpenCL is not finished yet, but more companies besides ZiiLabs are working on it. The latest ARM MALI seems to be doing well and usable products will pop up in 6-8 months.
        If you look around on the internet for more sources, be warned: you see a lot of "Supports OpenCL" on ARM-products, but most of the times you need to read this as "Supports OpenCL, but we do not offer drivers for it".

        Just follow me @OpenCLonARM:twitter if you want the first to know what happens on ARM+OpenCL. 2012 is going to be very interesting in this field.

  • MacroManJr

    ...That's just flippin' cool, man!  I want one!

    • MarcoAlici

      You can have it, now. ;)

      Thank you Shapeways! ;)

  • TheElwolf

    I myself do not know how to do it but I can imagine a series of RPi for a render farm. As for working with Blender on a RPi. I don't think so. I mean ideally it is recommended to have 8Gig of ram specially if there's sculpting involved and I assume that fluid/particle/smoke/etc simulation are quite heavy on ram. (realistic one at least) So what is the fuss over this other than having a cheap render farm. (that said, I'd love to have my own render farm )  :)


  • Lowdweller

    Another one is  Cubox (more powerful, but more expensive)
    But the only one with built in WiFi is the Cotton Candy.

  • Enger Bewza

    Hello, this is very interesting!

    I work for a 3d printing company: "Offload Studios" and this is one of the things we 
    specialise in. We just recently designed / printed / and made moulds for a similar
    project, (I am not at liberty to say more then that). 

    If you want to get a print through us or would like me to access your model's 
    real world feasibility, email me at: [email protected] 


  • Feli Nayong

    How do I connect it to a WiFi connection?

    • Stephan

       via a usb wifi dongle (connected to an active usb hub connected to one of the usb ports)

  • Michael Dinca

    just what i needed cant wait to get one for my tv :D

    • Michael Dinca

       scratch that make it 4 :D

  • Mohamed Almonajed

    We're now face to face with the NEXT computer!! Splendid! 

  • Luke Schantz

    Lets get this case on .

  • aussieaubs

    did you print a 3D case yet??

  • [email protected]

    The $35 dollar Model B version has 512MB of RAM. Not a lot but probably serviceable for a render farm.

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