Create Class A Surfaces with
Autodesk® Alias® Surface
Today’s successful automotive manufacturers and OEMs must design innovative, alluring vehicles—and
bring them to market faster than their competitors. To drive consumer interest, they need to develop
interiors and exteriors that are perfectly smooth, pleasing to the eye, and pleasant to the touch. Leadingautomotive companies rely on Autodesk® Alias® Surface for technical surfacing tools to create these highquality, accurate, and precise surfaces.
When automotive companies use Autodesk’s superior technology in a streamlined workflow that speeds
development time and reduces rework, they can:
• Create Class A surfaces that meet the exacting standards of internal and external clients, and do so faster• Share a single digital model from conceptual design to manufacturing, with the Autodesk solution for
• Feel confident that the technical surfacing tools they invest in are backed by a financially stable, highly
innovative company with a proven track record; Autodesk has been creating design software for more
than 25 years
Create Class A Surfaces Using
In a traditional automotive industry workflow, a
conceptual designer sculpts a car design out of
clay, scans the design, and builds surfaces from
there. After several iterations, the designer hands
off the design to an engineer. The engineer needs
precise surfaces, called Class A surfaces, which
are used for tooling. However, engineers typically
receive surfaces from designersthat cannot be used,
because they are not high enough in quality. As a
result, the engineer must rebuild the entire design
using a 3D CAD software application, unable to take
advantage of any surfacing work completed by the
AUTODESK® WHITE PAPER
Autodesk enables a more advanced workflow that helps automotive companies reduce rework and produce
design iterations faster. Designersown their designs further into the development process, creating
production-quality, reusable NURBS surfaces that can be used by the engineering team. The ability to
create Bezier surfaces can help the engineering team improve surface quality up to Class-A standards. Using
Autodesk® Alias® Surface software, designers develop and include precise surfaces in the design from
the beginning, so theengineering team doesn’t need to start from scratch. In addition, designers retain
ownership of the design with their intent staying intact during the engineering phase.
Advanced Technical Surfacing Tools
Autodesk Alias Surface provides several technical surfacing tools to support this advanced workflow.
Alias Surface supports direct modeling, a method for manipulating shape surfaces. Becausethe direct
modeling tools in Alias Surface are so precise, designers can fine-tune surfaces via vertices and hulls.
However, unlike other direct modeling applications, Alias Surface also includes procedural modeling
functionality, which can be used to finish sculpturing tasks more quickly. For example, curve-based
surfacing tools let designers define shapes in accordance to the featurelines they draw in their sketches. To
reduce manual work, Alias Surface offers fillet flange, tube flange, and ball corner tools that combine multistep procedures into a single command.
Alias Surface also enables global shape definition through tools such as transform rig and lattice rig. These
tools allow designers to make changes—to the length of the overhangs on a car, for instance—and haveall
the surfaces in the model update automatically. Because the designer doesn’t have to manually adjust the
hundreds of surfaces typically involved in the car design, this saves an enormous amount of time.
In addition, the history functionality in Alias Surface lets designers make and review changes throughout
the design process. If designers save the build history, they can edit any original...