The issue of surface reconstruction from three-dimensional measured data has been receiving extensive attention recently. In order to reflect the original shape design of an existing part geometry, it needs different surface-fitting algorithms to reconstruct appropriate surface models. The objective of this work is to establish a sweep-surface fitting strategy for three-dimensional measured data. The sweep surface was formed by traversing cross-section curves along a profile curve. A nonlinear parameter optimization process was employed to evaluate the unknown parameters of the sweep-surface model. The feasibility of the proposed method has been verified by computer simulation and experimental results. A comparison study with proposed methods, a B-spline surface fitting and a lofted surface fitting, was also provided. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.