Originally Posted by My name is Mudd
Am I overthinking this, or is there a formula or something that would help me determine whether a particular bridge will work on my bass?
Not overthinking IMO, but no such formula I know of.
Just the intonation and the string height adjustment ranges.
Back in the "good ol' days", You went to your local music shop and with the tech, went through his stockpile of used and new bridges to determine what would work and what would not.
Then You bought either that used bridge or a new one just like it.
Those days are obviously long gone.
Over here anyway for the most part.
Today, we could obviously take advantage of the internet, and internet collectives to come up with an interactive database site that had 3D models of every imaginable bridge, and every bass (/guitar) original hole pattern and the possible PU/body edge restrictions, also in 3D.
Everyone would then be able to dry-fit the 3D models in the comfort of their own home, and if the model of the particular instrument body weren't there, they would create one with the sites software.
Obviously that model would be then added to the database.
I'd assume that whichever bridge manufacturer does that for their own bridges first, gains a huge advantage for a while.
If I'm not mistaken, there once was a website that had 3D scanned instruments in a database for CAD/CAM purposes, but that was shut down long ago for legal reasons.