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July 6th, 2017

Autodesk Alias: A Full Description

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Written by: Design Engine
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Autodesk Alias Studio, Surface or Auto: A Full Description

What is Autodesk Alias Design?

Alias Design (Alias Studio) is a powerful suite of award winning 2D/3D software, used for design and styling in the automotive, marine, aircraft, sporting equipment, electronic enclosure, children’s toy, and fashion accessory markets.

Alias Studio is one of the world’s leading developers of CAID (Computer Aided Industrial Design) software, especially since it has a tool for every normal industrial design stage.

Using Alias Design in the earliest of shape and form defining to the final modeling complete with rendering, and/or complete engineering. An industrial designer or engineer that knows Alias Design can combine the efforts of the design and engineering sides of a product to cut cost and make projects more efficient to all involved.

What is Autodesk Alias Surface or Alias Auto?

The Auto manufactures use much different standards and modeling techniques to develop Class A geometry. Although more expensive versions of Alias Surface and Auto offer many more tools available for creating forms and offers greater control over the math and complexity of the surface. Companies like Ford, Harley Davidson, CNH, Tesla, Kohler, Polaris, and John Deere to name a few use higher-level versions of Alias software. 

What is Alias Design from a Design Engine Perspective?

Alias Design is a powerful tool for communicating 3D form. It’s easy to learn, therefore designers can ramp up quickly and be a part of the design solution faster. For industrial designers to reach full potential they must communicate in 3D form. Photoshop is not good enough in today’s marketplace, getting to 3D faster is paramount.  

Alias Design

Learn to make changes to Alias Design Data in this example change the wall thickness.

Why Alias Design and not Creo or Solidworks?

Creo & Solidworks have come to be the final deliverable in many major manufactures. They are impressive tools in the hands of an industrial designer. However there are techniques in Alias that can not be done in Creo, especially as related to Auto Exteriors and Interior.

Alias model

Speaker built with the Square surfacing tool















Alias Design has always been the industrial designer’s choice of tools for proving shape and form, rendering and simply communicating to engineers and tooling vendors.

  1. Many industrial designers are taught Alias Design in school.
  2. Alias Design also has an impressive suite of procedural mapping tools.
  3. Things can be quickly designed in Alias Studio and rendered fairly quickly, then be ready to be shown at a meeting or presentation, which can certainly help any marketing team as well as the engineers that need to see exactly what the usability of a certain product is.

Alias Design is a hard program to beat with respect to speed with a wide variety of workflow for developing geometry. Engineers often times use Creo to communicate their designs. That is why we have the Level 4 Creo Surface Import Data Doctor  Workshop to integrate IGES or STEP models into Creo.  Many engineers have problems with import geometry inside their native tools but with these classes we make the transition smoother.  

surface edit seat surface manipulation

surface edit seat surface manipulation we call lead-in or wet cardboard

Our Photoshop Design Rendering for Product Designers Workshop shows industrial designers how to deliver a Creo  (was Pro/ENGINEER) deliverable. Taught to engineers, the Level 4 Creo Surface Import Data Doctor Workshop helps engineers break their fear of working with import geometry.

The real power of Alias Design though, is the push and pull that Alias Studio allows you and with Alias Surface or Auto Studio we have various tools for managing light reflections better than any other tools. Almost any curve, surface, or line can be “tweaked” to extreme bounds. This allows you to take a product and make it smoother, rougher, taller, shorter, longer, grooved, slanted, and/or many other changes fairly, easily and quickly. This also allows the engineer to look at a product and see exactly what the industrial designer is trying to get across in the modeling. Alias Studio is one of the best and most powerful software packages that can be purchased today.

Discuss various modeling techniques in this example of a Design engine project for class.

Manufacturers’ Trends?

Many manufacturers do not want their industrial designers using Creo or Solidworks. The engineering directors and high-end Creo and Solidworks users want the parametric controls in their solid modeler and want to implement that control themselves. Although DESIGN-ENGINE|EDUCATION is about empowering our clients & helping them with better methods for managing CAD data, many times we are directed not to empower industrial designers with such solids tools, instead keeping them in Alias, even though the form will be remodeled (capture form) using Creo or Solidworks.  In the end we help make more effective teams.

Did you know you can download a 30 day free trial from Autodesk?

We suggest coming for training first, so you can maximize use in your free 30-day trial.  It only took us a few minutes to locate the free 30-day trial download on the Autodesk website.  

Alias Studio

Speaker Model created from various curves in Alias Design



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