Hi Bwana, I have been out of the surfboard design/repair loop for quite a few years while dealing with some realities, but basically, you just need to use a simple procedure to get your BoardCAD files ready for a CNC machine. The following procedure works fine, and there is no problem with accuracy. My blanks come out terrific.
Simple take your .brd files into Shape 3D Lite and then send the files which have extension of .s3dx to the CNC miller as they like that program's files for their cutting. Keep in mind though, that BoardCAD files CAN be used directly to CNC. And one other thing - if the files have like 7 or 8 or more cross-sections, try to delete some of the cross-sections - in a sense, Shape 3D likes you to keep it simple. Let the interpolation handle things. You can always put those in later, or simply save a copy with the extra cross-sections. Most of my boards have like 6 or 7 but I shape shortboards, I'm not really into longboards much, but if you ever
have a problem, with your rails on a longboard, let me know. I can give you all of your apex points - something I wrote in a script years ago for a guy in Australia. Now that it's nurbs, I use a different procedure but same idea. You want to know all the details of your rails at each cross section. Apices are nice to know. If you ever have a problem with wanting Kerr dimples or whatever, I can pretty much do it. I was the guy on the BoardCAD forum (Jed Clampett) who explained the ins and outs of subtle features. In the next few days, I will be using BoardCAD as I have some dings to fix and some minor work with fins and stuff.
Also, let me know if you want me to recommend you a CNC company and a shipping company. I'll post you the details, public or private, your choice.
I need to nitpick the semantics a bit here...not doubting anyone's skills or experiences, glad people are posting, I just need to set the record straight:
CAD=computer-aided design. CAM= computer-adied manufacturing CNC= computer numerical control
BoardCAD *.BRD files and Shape3D *.S3DX files are deisgn files (CAD) that contain the dimensions and curves of the board.
They are not cutting files (CNC programs, CAM) which contain the tool definition and tool paths needed to machine a board.
For example, two different cutting shops with completely different machines could start with the same BRD or S3DX and cut them out, but each shop's cutting file would be unique to their cutting machine and would likely not work on the other's machine (metric versus englsih, size and shape of cutter, XYZ origin of the cutting data, etc...)
Both softwares can output CNC code as well if set-up (BoardCAD) and licensed (Shape3D) but this is so macihne dependant that the average peson is not going to want to mess with it.
The trick of sending a BRD file to a cutter as S3DX is allowing them to move more seamlessly between the CAD side (design) and the CAM side (CNC) which is already programmed for their cutting machine. If they have a full blown set of Shape3D software they should not even need your S3DX file, they can do that BRD to S3DX conversion themselves. The average person running the machine might not think in terms of a file being CAD or CAM since they intergrated in S3DX and the goal is to push the buitton and cut boards, not to be dealing with semantics...
Personally, I design boards in BoardCAD. Once I like what I have, I output DXF files for templates (rocker, outline) and cut them on my CNC (rocker) or print them 1:1 or laser-cut them out at work (outline). I use EPS so I can do a fair amount of work with hot wire (rocker, outline, banding) before going to more manual means like planer and sandling blocks.
Be safe, have fun. -J