Greater freedom and more opportunities to create designed surfaces. At Prefence, they have taken the step to surface modeling in Alias Design and quickly noticed how much easier the work has become.

– Now it’s easier to experiment and explore new ideas. We can easily evaluate the models we produce and it goes much faster than working with solid modeling, says Sofia Malmsten, designer at Prefence.


Prefence adapts transport vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes for the Scandinavian market and develops fittings that protect the car and the people in it. These can be protective coverings on the sides and roof or comfort walls that shield the load compartment from the driver’s compartment. Previously, the products were developed in principle only to fulfill a function. Today it is different; both design and function must be tiptop. Customers want the transport car to have the same comfort as a passenger car, and in addition it should look good. Exterior styling details that make the car attractive have become increasingly important.


Ingemar Melin, product development manager at Prefence, says:


– From the beginning, it was mostly load protection in steel and aluminum, but in the 90s we launched fittings made of vacuum-formed plastic. We got a completely different freedom to design our products, but we could not even imagine the fantastic freedom we now have with the help of Alias. Previously, Prefence has worked with a mix of solid modeling, 2D drawing in AutoCAD, study images in Photoshop and photographs. Now that you have the Inventor Suite, which includes the design program Alias, you can work with 3D models in both the design phase and the construction phase. With data from an initial 3D scan of the car, the working method has been significantly streamlined.


That it became Cadcraft and Alias is no coincidence. Prefence has previously worked with other suppliers and programs but felt that they did not work optimally. After scanning the market’s range, he went for Cadcraft.


– We gained a lot of trust in Cadcraft, they presented Alias and the working method in the program in a good way and we quickly understood that these were the benefits we were looking for. In addition, we had positive experiences with Cadcraft in the past when we bought an education from them.


Mikael Rajaniemi, Cadcraft’s specialist at Alias Design, explains:


– An important part of our offer is to provide relevant guidance and help our customers use the tool in the right way. Alias really gives the same freedom as when working with paper and pencil, the user can create exactly the shape you want.


The time aspect is Prefence’s biggest challenge. The customer often wants the work to be finished “yesterday”. Shortening development times is a strategic issue and it is therefore important to work with rational tools. Alias and the Inventor Suite are steps in that direction. The software is fully compatible and Prefence will in a next step start working with the programs fully integrated. The 3D file created in Alias can be opened directly in Inventor and the connection between the systems means that you can work simultaneously with design and construction with the advantage that the models are updated automatically.


– The new way of working will require a small run-in period, but with Cadcraft’s help we believe it will go smoothly. It’s actually only a few months since we started working in Alias. We have already received a basic education at Cadcraft in the new integrated methodology and we expect to be in phase with the work already this autumn, says Sofia Malmsten.


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