NATURAL CURVES SURFBOARDS

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COMPUTER SHAPING TOOLS
   
  Using computer technology to shape surfboards is an evolutionary concept. What does Computer Numerically Controlled or CNC shaping bring to the design and shaping process? The goal of emerging surfboard design software such as Aku Shaper and Shape3D and CNC 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 files directly to the machine or cutting center by email. The cutting center machines our blank and delivers it to us to finish and fine tune the shape.

We design our boards with Aku Shaper Design Software . The Aku design 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 or rail 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 design software has a mode in it's interface for each design variable.

Aku design 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 a 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 feature 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 software is streamlined, versatile, and easy to master. Aku design software is 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 design software 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 as an excellent tool in the evolution of surfboard design and production.

Shape3d Design Software uses the same active tools and format as Aku design software. It has a few additional design tools not available in the Aku software. The most powerful of those features is entering design dimensions to create a new board file.

From 2005 to 2017 we used an APS 3000 machine running Aku machine software to cut our board files. In 2017 we started to use a Precision Shaper machine running Shape3d machine software. The Precision Shaper machine generates a machined blank with a full rail cut. The APS 3000 machine with Aku software generates a cut with a full rail cut on the deck and a partial rail cut on the bottom of the rail profile. We continue to use both machines - each when most appropriate for the design being machined.


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  Outline Mode
   
 


  Bottom Mode | Rocker & Profile
   
 


  Slice Mode | Rail Profile & Bottom Contours
   
 


  Shaping Bay "Solid" View
   
 


  Shaping Bay "Wireframe" View
   
 


  Shaping Bay "Curves" View
   
 


  Blank Index View
   
 
The design (black line) is "indexed" close to the deck of the blank (green line) for maximum physical properties of the deck. Historically, this is referred to as "close tolerance" shaping or finishing the deck of the shape as close to the top of the blank as possible.



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  The Precision Shaper Machine
   
 
   
 
   
 



  Computer Pre Shapes
Cut on Precision Shaper with Shape3d machine software
   
 
5' 9" Peregrine, 5' 8" Merlin, 5' 7" Twin Step Up, 5' 6" Twin


  Computer Pre Shapes
Cut on Precision Shaper with Shape3d machine software
  Computer Pre Shape
Cut on Precision Shaper with Shape3d machine software
       
 
6' 6" Wolf, 7' 0" Kestrel
 
6' 8" Kestrel with deck channels



  The APS 3000 Machine
   
 



  Computer Pre Shape
Cut on APS 3000 with Aku machine software
  Computer Pre Shape
Cut on APS 3000 with Aku machine software
       
 
6' 2" Redtail Poly foam
 
6' 2" Redtail EPS foam "Parabolic Stringers"


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