Core | Surfboards | Design | Surfing | About NC | Contact

What computers, software, and machines bring to the design and shaping process

  Using computer technology to shape surfboards is an evolutionary concept. The goal of emerging surfboard design software (such as Aku Shaper, DSD, Shape3D, and others) and CNC machines (Computer Numerically Controlled machines) is to develop tools for shapers that will allow them to perform a variety of important tasks. Among them: (1) create new custom designs, (2) accurately and consistently reproduce "magic" designs, (3) make adjustments to existing designs based on intuitive thoughts about design or deductive thoughts based on the performance of a design, and (4) make adjustments to existing designs to accommodate variations in any surfer / clients physical size and technique.

The valuable surfer / shaper relationship is one of the fundamentals of the evolution of surfboard design. The ability to reproduce the same design or to hold important variables constant and adjust other variables in an effort to improve designs tested by surfers, shapers, and designers offers an unparallel deductive progression in design.

With computers and software we can digitize and inventory all our shapes on a database on a computer. We can produce our "magic" shapes repeatedly without deviation in design from the original master shape. We can adjust any of variables in a design while holding other variables constant. We can adjust designs to accommodate any surfer and the conditions they surf. We can produce the same "magic" shape every time we design a specific surfboard and add it to our database. The computer and machine accurately and consistently produces a specific design without variation.

We can design surfboards from any location and send the digital design directly to the machine or cutting center over the Internet. Which in turn cuts our pre shaped blank and delivers it to us or anyone else to finish the shape.

Our software and machine of choice is the Aku Shaper system. The Original Aku Shaper software offers great features well suited to design custom boards. It facilitates the development of a database of individual designs, as well as a collection of rockers, profiles, outlines, and slices (rails sections.) We can create new designs using the "pentool" or "Bezier tool" to draw profiles, outlines, and rails. We can modify existing custom designs creating new designs by editing the curves in any of the designs "modes." Additionally we can "export" profiles, outlines, and rail sections from existing designs into a "library" in our database and "import" them into new designs. The Aku Shaper software has a mode in it's interface for each design variable.

The Aku Shaper software provides valuable data regarding volume, center of mass, fin placement, and an information panel where we can include observations about surfer, performance, and the continuing evolution of the design. The software preferences can be set to a variety of units of measure - feet, centimeters, millimeters, or a combination of those units of measurement. It has a function to view, while designing and editing, the "original board," a "ghost board" which is another board "layered" in the interface, or an "image board" which is a photo image of a surfboard imported into the database.

The Aku Shaper software is streamlined, versatile, and easy to master. As a "Java Webstart Application" it will run on any operating system: Mac, Windows, Unix, Open Source, or your own operating system if you have the skill to author one.

We've been using the Aku Shaper system since December 2005. We have produced thousands of functional, relevant, and "magic" surfboards in the brief time we've been using the system. The system allows us to provide greater service than ever for our surfer / clients. We regard it is a great tool in the evolution of surfboard design and production.

  < Top of Page >

  Outline Interface

  Profile Interface

  Rails Interface

  Machine Interface

  Information Interface

  < Top of Page >

  The Aku Shaper Machine

  Computer Pre Shape Polyeurethane   Computer Pre Shape EPS "Parabolic"

  < Top of Page >