British sports car manufacturer Morgan Motor Company has used Autodesk visualization software to help accelerate time to market for new car models. The software helped Morgan to go from sketches of its new three-wheeler model to first production in just five months and to meet early deadlines for marketing material before the car was actually produced.

The company is using Autodesk Alias, Autodesk Showcase and Autodesk 3ds Max software from AutoCAD Design Suite Ultimate to apply speed, accuracy and efficiency to traditional design and manufacturing processes.

Before Autodesk products were introduced, 2D sketches were interpreted by eye into panel-beaten aluminum bodies. Now, the software helps to rapidly transform concept ideas into 3D digital prototypes and then into actual concept cars. Visualised using Autodesk Showcase and Autodesk 3ds Max software, designs can be evaluated and refined until the design is well-established. The surface data is then five-axis machined directly from the Alias data. Once painted and scanned, this model enables further evaluation and adjustment to be made in Alias software.

The Autodesk Alias model is then chopped into cross sections and an accurate 3D wooden buck produced. Skilled panel beaters accurately replicate the surfaces in sheet metal and then paint and lower the body over one of the existing platforms. Once the car is ready for the product development stage, the Alias surfaces are modelled to Class A standard, passed to Morgan’s engineering department, and used to manufacture the highly-precise tooling used for the panels at production level.