Backward designing is becoming very popular. That is true. I use Rhino3D which supports an arm for digitizing. Converting the Meshes to Surfaces means having to Duplicate the surfaces edges to try and form the shape in Rhino. In essence, this is hit or miss. I have done this many times and it is a lot of work. The fact that it exports to .obj files would make it a good candidate for Google Sketchup. The fact is, it is FREE, and that is really good. If you were to make a clay model of something, like a car body etc, this could really be a nice way to digitize the surface.