I would like to create high quality 3D surfaces based on equations. How should I do that?

I realize that I could generate a 3D table listing of coordinates and then do some point cloud operation, but I'm wondering if there is a way to do this more directly such that the surface is more nearly 'pure'.

CREO has the option of typing in an equation to generate a surface. It might be simply creating a bunch of points and fitting to them, but at least the equation entry and work to create the result is very straightforward.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.

The short version:

Create one or two sets of equation driven curves or curves through XYZ points and connect them with a Loft or Boundary feature.

I don't know the long version.