A reverse engineering method for sculptured surface modeling is proposed in this work. It includes a curve fitting algorithm and a surface lofting algorithm, where the former is used to fit each row of measurement data to obtain a B-spline curve and the latter is used to fit the section curves into a lofted surface. The above two fitting algorithms are essentially one-dimensional, whereas the commonly used B-spline surface fitting is two-dimensional. This makes the proposed method more effective in terms of computational efficiency and CPU memory required. Both computer simulation and experimental results indicate that the proposed method can efficiently be used for the reverse engineering of complex object shape. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.