Autodesk-backed Transcend Brings AI to Infrastructure Design

This venture-backed software automates conceptual design for infrastructure projects.


We caught up with Transcend Co-Founder and CCO Adam Tank at Autodesk University 2023 in Las Vegas. Here, we learn about the Transcend Generator and how it automates conceptual design.

TANK: So transcend is a software company that has developed a generative design platform called the Transcend Design Generator. And we enable asset owners, engineering firms, and equipment suppliers to rapidly produce conceptual designs for critical infrastructure projects. Today, for us, that means water, wastewater and power with line of sight to many other industries in the near future.

IRONPROS: So when you say conceptual design, it's about 30%. Right? And then, what are the blanks left to fill in?

TANK: Yeah, so it's a matter of how detailed you want to get. So the 30% stops at things like a basic level piping and instrumentation diagrams. You get a Revit model that's kicked out of the software, you have an equipment list, a load list, design basis, technical description, etc. When you want to take that to the next phase of design, you're still putting in things like interconnecting pipes, or detailed control systems and automation. Those are things that we do not do in the platform today.

IRONPROS: So in terms of the data that can be populated, say 30% conceptual design? That's great. Let's see if we can do it like 30% going on 50%, or 60%? What types of things and people populate to really bring that a little bit closer?

TANK: So let's take the example of a wastewater treatment plant. So you can design a wastewater treatment plant in our software with a dozen inputs, tops. So the quantity of wastewater, the constituents of that wastewater, in other words, how dirty it is, how big your site is, pretty much press go and everything is completed automatically by the tool. If you want to have a little more control over what the outputs look like, you're gonna manipulate things like particular ratios that process engineers use when ... STREAM OUR FULL CONVERSATION FOR MORE

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