Speckle Systems, Flux (R.I.P) , Web3, AI, digitalization and the future of this

Maybe some of you know of another project called Flux, which started from a group of ex Google developers and If i am not wrong, tried to create a similar connection standard in AEC industry but unfortunately didnt survive.
I know about Speckle maybe around the same time i heard of Flux, but i havent got into it it untill recently although i missed a connection like this from time to time

For example, I felt like Grasshopper was and now is even more, like the Father (or Mother) of parametric design so everybody wanted a GH for Sketchup, a GH for 3DS max, a GH for Archicad, a GH for Revit, etc. Some of these became real, either as direct connections like it happens with Revit (RhinoInside) and Archicad-GH or as a separate built in plugin like with Dynamo.

Speckle feels like the Big Sea which links this whole ecosystem and makes all wishes come true and by the way, since we are in age of the Metaverse, i think Speckle is indeed contributing to it and building it as a technical or workflow framework and hope you are aware of this.

I am courious how do you see the future of Speckle and community growth and mass adoption because I think its still very small compared to the potential it has, at least judging from the Youtube audience.

Also if someone has an insight or opinion on why Flux didnt surive back then and if you think now its a better time (and i think it should be) for interoperability, collaboration and data exchange, especially in the context of Web3, digital twins, artificial intelligence, e-government and digitalization. (This sounds really heavy i know :slight_smile:)


I think there’s quite a few old timers here who should remember Flux! I remember when they came out of stealth mode. Speckle was still it’s infancy as my research baby at UCL, and I had a bit of a soul searching park walk: should I ditch Speckle, and just piggy back on Flux for the stuff I needed for my research in digital design communication? You can guess the outcome of that question :slight_smile:

We are aware. We see Speckle as open digital infrastructure for 3D data. We’re walking a fine line balance between delivering a technical foundation as well as an appealing, focused product.

There’s no one true answer to this question, and answers will vary. Flux paved the way for Speckle, and we’re extremely grateful for that - it opened up AEC mindshare to the digital present. We’re pushing beyond that here, and slowly trying to drag 3D data into the future :slight_smile:

As to why it failed, it boils down to simple business reasons - timing, financials, ambitions. We’ve looked at this extensively, and talked with quite a few x-Flux people before and after we started the company around Speckle.

There’s a huge difference between us and Flux we can easily talk about: we’re 100% open source (and were so, from the start). This changes the dynamics and perception around Speckle dramatically:

  • you own Speckle, you own your data and always have a choice where it lives
  • by building on top of Speckle you enrich an open ecosystem, rather than a closed one

We can’t wait to tackle all of these. We’re 2 years in from company foundation, and 5 years in the OSS project dev work, we’re literally just at the beginning :boom:

PS: Thanks for the kind words! We’re always excited to see people getting excited around Speckle. If you and anyone else wants to help us push our mission forward, we’re hiring!


I think one in more reason flux die becuase it close source , speckle is going fast and precisely because it’s open source this depends on the development of the community more than a team, i think speckle will change the industry again :slightly_smiling_face:


I didnt know that you oficially started as a company only 2 years ago! But actually you can tell that something big is happening since then because I started to see more hints about Speckle on other forums and discussions.

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Speaking of this and the metaverse, I just had this thought that you will go further with the 3D viewer and maybe at some point achieve PBR shading qualities and other features?
That would make a case for very unique and dynamic space for alot of the industries around AEC and even beyond. This space is really a common ground for alot of industries, not just construction and engineering at least not in the “classical” way.


Yes, actually @alex is working quite hard on refactoring the whole 3D viewer, improving performance as well as features around proper materials support, lighting, SSO, shadows, sections, etc.


Thats great to hear! I can see Speckle going very far and i think its really game changing. Lets hope that people are ready for this too but the fact that one of my friends told me he got asked about Speckle at a job interview its a good sign :grinning:
I will definitely spread the word about it, and also to people who might be interested to join your team as well.

Can you just ask SketchFab nicely for their implementation of a 3D viewer? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Joking aside, embedding the viewer in other places has been fantastic, looking forward to improvements :clap:


Change takes time, especially in slow-moving industries like the AEC. In VFX/Animation/Game DEV there is a concept of Universal Scene Description which has been picking up pace in the recent years. With huge project complexity, tight deadlines and implicit necessity for cross-discipline collaboration studios have to be able to exchange data in a straightforward and non-destructive way.

AEC slowly recognizes it too. Standards like IFC and OpenBIM exist and see increased adoption. Granted - there is a lot of resistance to change. In the company I work for (15000 engineers, architects and urban planners) each discipline, sometimes each office, has their own templates, standards and software preferences. Some work with Revit, Rhino, AutoCAD, Civil, Microstation, Solidworks, 3Ds max etc. Exchanging data is a nightmare and there is always someone who pulls the shorter straw. Landscape team has to work with Microstation because this is what the Road team uses. Doesn’t matter that none of them have any experience with the software.

If these are our internal struggles, imagine how inefficient collaboration becomes with 5-10 external offices typical for large projects.

Speckle holds the promise of easing these pains while allowing everyone to keep their existing workflows.

BlenderBIM chose a different approach and went with native IFC authoring. No proprietary formats are ever used. Data is natively stored in the industry standard format which makes collaboration hassle-free. If all other software vendors did that, Speckle would be redundant. Call me a skeptic, but somehow I doubt it will happen in the foreseeable future :wink:


Funnily enough, we’d have loved to not reinvent the cart and piggyback on IFC as our data model. I never went down that route mostly because of the cognitive overhead and weak tooling around the standard, coupled with the fact that no authoring software actually implements it properly - and there’s no canonical implementations anywhere. Dion Moult has a much more articulate list here than me, as he’s been fighting the IFC fight for longer than me :slight_smile:

Nevertheless, I just want to point out that even if all software vendors did that, Speckle is still an amazing open source, object-based, vendor neutral serialisation & transport layer for any format (i just threw this in at the last buildingSmart tech meeting in Zurich last week :crossed_fingers:).


100% agree! Speckle is already amazing as is and I can only see it getting better with time!

Hopefully, you also have the financial side figured out. Speaking of which, what is the best way for offices like ours to support you?


Hey @mariuszhermansdorfer, thanks for asking - and for the encouraging words!
There’s actually quite a few ways to help!

  • case studies: if you have any cool projects running with Speckle, we’d love to showcase them! (bonus points: can we drop your company’s logo on our website?)
  • spread the word: i think there’s an ongoing “we’ll send you stickers and swag” call if you want to!
  • organize a local speckle hackathon: we’d be happy to support and hopefully participate!
  • feedback: is golden; if something is broken, you have a different request, we’re not supporting a workflow you find important properly, etc. - let us know!
  • code contributions: PRs are open; the only warning is to discuss them in advance to avoid duplicated work!
  • get on an enterprise plan (you might not need this, and we hate chasing POs, hence it’s last in the list)

We’d be happy to discuss more over a call!


@dimitrie Just thought to update on this topic since its kind of general.
I did some further digging into the technology and the Digital Twin concept and its relation with all the stakeholders.
I just discovered there is a commercial (not open source) subscription-based plugin which connects Unity with BIM programs, developed with SHOP Architects and they showcase some amazing stuff, including AR on-site project inspection that shows not just the 3D model but also CAD data like floorplans/sections probably even construction details.
Then I compared this to Speckle and I kind of see a similar potential but to an even greater compatibility and reach.
I have also not seen a similar thing done with Unreal Engine yet but I think there could be a similar approach with the pixelstreaming or a hybrid way of computation?

I wonder if you have something like this in your mind/roadmap or this is part of reason to attract more developers? In the same time, i suppose there are technical limitations for your servers and cloud computation you can do?
Does the premium subscription comes or will come with less limitations or you plan to develop everything in a unified way?

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