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i was able to eliminate the box by connected-components-selecting a corner of it and deleting all faces and vertices connected. I ran into problems, though, again, when reorienting the normals it *always* crashes.
Hey! I've gone ahead and followed the tutorial until I import the .obj into Meshlab. The OS X Finder displays my model as a shape in a grey corner, but Meshlab is putting the thing inside a tightly verticed box. Am I missing a step?