I want to start out saying, I am by no means an expert at cutting aluminum...I have had good success and I will share what I have been able to figure out.
I am using aluminum 6061 as it machines very well. I have bought all of my aluminum from ebay from this seller: http://www.ebay.com/usr/6061dude?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2754
Is it the best or the cheapest? Who knows, but it has worked well for me.
I have been using these bits: https://www.amazon.com/Titanium-Nitride-Coated-Carbide-1Lx3-17Tix10/dp/B00HN0EC0Y/ref=pd_sim_469_5?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00HN0EC0Y&pd_rd_r=S6SWAT9MSJ0NF8WZFDDW&pd_rd_w=sWJJ3&pd_rd_wg=sPBEs&psc=1&refRID=S6SWAT9MSJ0NF8WZFDDW
There are better bits, but I tried these first since they were cheap and I was just testing things out and they work well for me.
The endplates I made add a full 2 inches to the makerslide height. So a raised wasteboard or a new z-axis will be required after installing these plates.
The dxf file is in mm, so if you import them into a vectric product, make sure you start with a metric design so they are imported at the correct size. You will notice the outside profile is setup with two concentric vectors. I did that so I could cut it as a pocket instead of a straight profile cut so the bit would have an easier time clearing out the chips and make cutting more reliable.
I used the 1/8" bit for the entire operation...I cut the last set I made at 60 IPM with a 7% stepover and a 0.05" depth of cut. I ramped in the cuts so I used a plunge of 50 IPM...If your software does not allow ramping in the cuts, use a much slower plunge and a shallower depth of cut.
I cut the holes first...put a couple of screws into the holes to hold the parts down and then cut the profile. I used screws to avoid using tabs so cleanup was easier.
I know of 6 people that have successfully made these plates...the last one was just the night before last. He used a few shots of WD-40 as it was cutting as lubrication.
I v-carved the initials using a 1/8" 90 degree v-bit. Feel free to use your own initials or none at all.
End Plates.dxf (270.1 KB)