Evans and Sutherland Computer Corp. has received $3.4 million in orders from Ford, Volkswagen and Audi for its Conceptual Design and Rendering System that should reduce the design time for automobiles.

The announcement means that Ford and Chrysler, two of the "big three" automakers in the U.S., will be using CDRS design stations in volume.Claude Lobo, design program manager for Ford Motor Co., said, "We have been working closely with Evans and Sutherland for some time on this project. We recognize that CDRS has now moved from the development phase into the production phase, and we plan to take advantage of that fact on a worldwide basis in 1991."

CDRS was established in Italy earlier this year on automotive and product design with sales to Fiat Auto and the design and consulting firm of Visuals S.p.A.

Don Garner, general manager of Evans and Sutherland's Industrial Design Business Unit, said, CDRS is a computer-aided industrial design system that allows designers to create and visualize surface models that can be transferred directly to engineering for analysis or to manufacturing for tooling preparation.

He said the system has the potential to decrease by 26 weeks or more the amount of time necessary to create new cars, a saving that translates directly into dollars for the auto manufacturers.

The time-saving comes because CDRS produces mathematically accurate computer models that eliminate the need to manually create and then digitize the costly clay models that have traditionally provided engineers the information needed to move automobiles into the production phase.