I've never used Alias, but the industrial-design guys used it at the cellular phone company where I worked, and drove the designers and engineers crazy when they forked over their random-complex stretched and pulled gumby surface-models and had to transfer them into UG(NX) with "real" defined surfaces, symmetry and such. Lots of hours cross-sectionizing the Alias models and defining curves to create swept/guided surfaces and such.Did you ever try Alias Studio ? That's the kind of artsy-craftsy stuff it was good at. None of my parts have ever been those weird-ass shapes, so sketcher doesn't bother me
That's one thing a lot of these "what's the best cad ?" discussions miss - what works best kind of depends on what you're doing.
However, under no circumstances would I ever depend upon anything from Autodesk. They have proven themselves to be totally unreliable. Caveat emptor.
The things I was working on weren't art/craft type things, but required exact knowledge of the size/location of the resulting features. For example, some of these were "frequency selective surfaces" where a flat pattern (like an array of specific cross shapes), had to be projected and tweaked to closely approximate that flat pattern, but on a compound surface like a parabolic dish or nosecone (interestingly, it often took quite a bit of persuasion of some PhD antenna experts that you could not take a flat-pattern and put it on a compound surface and 100% retain the dimensions/shape of the flat-pattern). So a standard process was to take the flat-pattern, project that array (or parts of it) of cross outlines (usually hundreds) onto the parabolic surface, then adjust the arc lengths of the resulting splines on the surface, offset them on the surface, trim etc. to get the average close to the flat-patterns. It may be that some of the advanced sheetmetal modules would work for the aforementioned. cheers