AEC is broken, and our mission is to make it better.
With Speckle, we built an object-based data layer for 3D data and BIM models to shift away from using files. How? By decomposing all 3D models into their constituent “atoms,” storing them in a database, and making them available to you, clients, and scripts. So far, Speckle’s focus has been twofold:
- Multiplayer Connectivity, where we aim to enable interoperability and meaningful workflows between people.
- Collaboration, through which we give you a new way to experience and engage with your project inside Speckle.
What if we enabled multiplayer collaboration with scripts and machines? We want to bring developer productivity tools to AEC, and thanks to Speckle, we can.
Introducing Automate: the Smart Automation Pipelines for AEC
You can watch the recording of our official announcement made during SpeckleCon below:
Automate was designed with our community's developers, engineers, and architects at heart. With Automate, every model change inside Speckle will have your workflows running automatically. You only need to write a script once so that you can automate the boring stuff away.
We’re opening a new category when it comes to data and AEC, all wrapped up in one lovely package: collaboration, connectivity, and automation.
Let’s dive deeper into the possibilities Automate can offer you.
What can you do with Automate?
Automate lets your workflows run automatically without waiting for someone to press a button. Whenever you publish a new version of your model to Speckle, it will run, reliably, so you can focus on what matters. Automate is the complete CI/CD solution to Speckle, meaning you get to achieve the following:
- Continuous Integration (CI): whenever you get a change to your model, you go through QA checks, code compliance, integrity checks, logical analyses, and clash detection, ensuring the model is correct for sharing and merging with your partners.
- Continuous Delivery (CD): generating deliverables, reports, drawings, statistical analysis, and schematic diagrams. Automate enables you to generate deliverables that can be shared with your teams, making you more productive.
- Continuous Communication: Automate can talk to any API you wish: CMS, Office 365, emails, Slack or MS Teams, ML or AI platform of your choice, and engineering analysis applications, making it an integral part of any critical workflow.
The possibilities are endless. You can see them in action during our SpeckleCon demos:
Automation Should Be Accessible to All of AEC
Current automation technologies make you host, package, and maintain your automation, requiring expert knowledge, dedication, and resources. You might struggle to get this within your organisation. Due to licensing or setup, it may be tied to a single user's machine; they may go on holiday. Lots of generic tools offer CI/CD but are not AEC-specific and not built on top of Speckle. At the moment, this is a big hurdle - which is why we want to make automation more accessible to all of AEC, and more specifically:
- Those who wish to apply automation to their 3D models and don't know how to code.
- Those who want to view the automation results but are not creating the results themselves.
- Those who wish to share their expertise (Computational Designers, developers, other experts within your company).
This is why Automate is composed of automations and functions.
- Automations: workflows crafted from functions that execute every model change to reduce manual labour.
- Functions: not restricted to QA/QC, you can also run headless instances of Blender or OpenFOAM.
This is all integrated within one platform, Speckle.
Automate does not represent Speckle’s first step towards automated tasks; in fact, Speckle has already enabled automation as it’s one of our pillars. We’ve seen our partners build on top of Speckle’s’ SDKs and APIs, from full-stack applications to RT-LCA tools; AEC leaders have achieved the following:
- John Sisk & Son has reduced the time to create reports by 90%
- UNStudio has achieved an 80% reduction in the time to create models
- B+G and Atkins said that Speckle is already part of their automation strategy
With Automate, these benefits will increase tremendously.
The flexibility and extensibility of Automate combined with the connectivity and data management of our Speckle Server and Connectors offer more possibilities to explore. Speckle as an open-source solution with agnostic data schema, ensures that custom-built functions will work even if teams, projects, or desktop applications change.
If you also want to make AEC better with automation, join our closed-beta programme today! In the meantime, you can also check out our FAQs.