For those interested, I thought I'd share my workflow and the reasoning behind it.
I will be using Carbide Create for the 2D cuts and MeshCam for the 3D. Zero will be set to the center of the stock which is 3/4" 6061 aluminum. 4" high and 8" wide.
For starters, I'll be drilling 4 holes into my stock for dowels when I go to flip the stock to machine the bottom as well as the mounting screw holes in the pod assembly. From previous cuts, I learned that the roughing pass generated in MeshCam does not remove enough material here so when the finishing pass gets to that point, it causes the Z-axis to skip and lose it's spot. Cutting it prior with Carbide Create is the fix that I've come up with. We'll see if it works! My initial cuts are below-
Next, I'll run the roughing pass and finishing pass generated in MeshCam. I'll be using the same 1/8" 2 flute coated end mill from Destiny Tools for all cuts (I have a ball end mill but need to make myself a touch plate before I swap tools mid cut. It's coming!).
Fast forward ~8 hours and I'll be removing the stock, setting the Z-zero to my MDF washboard and drilling the same 4 holes that are in my aluminum stock.
The aluminum stock will then be flipped and oriented with the 4 1/4" dowels, clamped down, and the bottom will be machined. Roughing pass followed by the finishing pass again, with the same 1/8" coated end mill.
If all of the above goes well, this should be my final prototype of the design before we get to testing the effectiveness of the heat sink. The PCB will be sporting 8 1.5W RGB LEDs. The housing should do just fine but it's nice to be able to get real world test results. Before the SO3, this wasn't possible without outsourcing for the housing! Now, it's just done in my garage
Will post up progress as it is made.