Let me start out by saying I am not a MOI user, but we are looking into MOI and I am wondering if I could get some feedback or suggestions as to whether or not MOI would be an appropriate tool for what we would like to do.

Basically we have a design that we would like to import into Alibre. However, it is currently created/generated as a large mesh and we would like to remodel it as a nice smooth continuous surface that we can easily and quickly import into Alibre. I wrote a little blog entry which shows pictures and slices of the shape we are modeling. I can already generate the shape as a 3d mesh, but this is really non-optimal to try to import into Alibre.

http://www.flightgear.org/blogs/curt/uas/misc/3d-modelling-with-perl/
I can separate the top and bottom halves the the model and each half is then really well behaved. I forget the word I want, but for every X,Y horizontal location, there is only one Z value. From a top view perspective, the shape never overlaps itself and is one continuous surface within the overall outline.

I can generate my mesh (i.e points on the surface of the mesh) with pretty much any resolution ... just a few points as a reference, or tons of faces. I can import my mesh into blender and export it in a variety of other 3d formats (but all still as a mesh.)

We would like to import our shape into Alibre so we can add some additional things to it, draw the interior components, etc.

I am wondering if MOI would allow me to do this?

I don't necessarily need to do a surface fit of an arbitrary mesh (if I can do a direct fit, that's great, and as I pointed out my surface is well behaved in terms of not overlapping itself when viewed from the top down.)

The final surface we generate doesn't *have* to be an *exact* fit of the original mesh. The mesh that I have generated is an approximation of the original prototype which was hand made, so we have some flexibility with respect to the final exact shape as long as it captures the artist's intent.

If I provide a set of points *on* the surface of my shape, can MOI fit a surface through those points? If I provide a top down "outline" of my shape, can MOI clip the surface within that outline?

I spent 2 days writing the perl script to generate a mesh surface of our design, so it seems like it can't be *that* hard to model this same shape in an advance modeling tool. But we are struggling to find a way to bridge from where we are now: "a big mesh of triangles" to where we want to be: "a nicely modeled surface in Alibre."

Any suggestions? Is MOI the silver bullet we are looking for? Are there better ways to create a curved surface for Alibre when there is a requirement that it matches an existing curved surface and outline pretty closely?

Thanks in advance!

Curt.