Yet another shape.

 From:  Michael Gibson
694.21 In reply to 694.1 
Ok, here are some steps.

Let's make kind of custom curved sheet for the shape of the main body, this will show you how you can tweak the shape more than just using a sphere.

To begin with, I used Curve / Freeform / Control points to draw this curve in the Top view (start with an origin snap):

Then I mirrored that, joined the 2 mirrored pieces, and then turned on points with Edit / Show pts and selected and deleted the center point to fuse the 2 segments into one segment. That just guarantees no creases and a simple construction result later.

Then I switched to the right-side view, and drew this one:

Then again, mirror, join, and fuse segments. That should give you these curves:

Then I selected the curve that was drawn in the top view, and did Construct / Sweep, selected the other curve as the sweep rail to generate this surface:

At this point you can tweak the curves to fine tune the surface shape. This is a pretty straightforward way to create a kind of custom curved sheet to use as the base surface for a form.

Now for the cutting outline - I switched to the front view, and used Draw curve / Freeform / Control points. To help in drawing this one, before I placed the first point I did an initial click, hold-down-and-drag on the origin to create a construction line to use as an alignment snap. Anytime you are in a draw command, you can click, hold down and drag (instead of click and release) to create a construction line. These are useful as snapping and alignment guides, you can do quite a bit of things with them like extend lines, line things up, find the midpoint between any 2 points, etc... In this case I used it to make it easy to snap on to the Y axis. I drew this:

I probably should have spent a little more time on that one, I was just doing this pretty quickly. I think the bottom part is kind of too thin. Anyway you get the idea. I mirrored that, and again joined and fused segments, and then selected the surface, ran Edit / Trim, selected the curve, and discarded the outside piece to create this:

All right, I'll do this one in a couple of installments, I'll return with more on this one later on.

- Michael