What is the purpose of /Object Data tab/mesh name?
I’m not sure what you would use it for, but if you select an object, and in the mesh name, type in the name of another mesh, that object will become that mesh, but without the associated object data. I assume it would retain its own object data.
Object data is simply not the same as mesh data. for example the location of an object in 3d space is related to object data. With mesh data we’re talking about location of vertices.
With Modron’s example 2 different objects can have the exact same mesh data
As they say, Object is the container for different data; mesh data, material, animation curve and so on. It is really about how Blender stows data and distributes it. As a user you are looking at Blender database.
Lets talk example. I make this car. Car has four wheels where all tires are identical. So all you really need is to create one wheel mesh. Copy the mesh into four different wheel objects and place the object at the right place.
This way of thinking is needed for the programming, but the user doesn’t think or create model that way. What we do is to create a wheel, and duplicate it four times! We don’t think in term of “container.” In my case, I will be thinking in term of making an instances and not in term of gland scheme of how the mesh relates with in the data base.
So, it’s a little pain but just remember that object and mesh is not the same animal.