Finally, starting to make some chips on the Pocket NC, I decided to get the machine running and make tweaks to the program as went.
Right away I ran into an issue when I started the machine up, it cut fine the first few passes, but I quickly realized it was cut above the stock in the z-axis. Thankfully it was as easy as inputting the correct b table offset value given in the manual with the machine. After that, I was able to get it running correctly.
I used the recommended speeds and feeds for cutting aluminum, but had to reduce the rate and chip load some to prevent the metal from overheating. I cut down about a 1/8," and you can notice a slow change on the face of the metal where the heat started to increase and started to become muddled. It also started moving the aluminum rather than cutting it, which you can see at the end came out as strands.
I only had a short amount of time to work on it, but I was able to find some changes I will try out next time. The main one is to lower the roughing stepdown; I think that since it's got so much contact with the material, it's creating more friction and thus heat. I'm going to try the same stepovers and feedrate but reduce the step-downs by half, 1/8" to 1/16".