Step 3: Prototyping
To get a feel for my toolpaths, I ran a prototype in pink insulation foam. Foam is great for testing because it is cheap, readily available, and easily machinable. I modified the feeds and speeds to go for the maximum that the machine was capable of. This meant that I had a complete mockup in my hand in only 30 minutes. When machining foam, it is critical to vacuum during the process. I ran without coolant and held the shop vac next to the cutter for the entire operation time.
There are two prototypes here. The first one that I ran was done with a .050" step down, and is the second set of photos. The second one, which was the same code as the final metal version, was run with a 3/16" step down.