Use the Laser Flat Mode of xTool F1 with XCS on a Computer
Updated Jan 31,2024
Updated Jan 31,2024

1. Place the material

Ensure that the removable baseplate is installed on the base, and place the material on the baseplate.

Note: If the size or weight of the material to be processed is very small, you are advised to use tools such as tape to fix the material. Otherwise, the airflow of the exhaust fan may cause the material to change position during processing.

To cut the material, you are advised to place the triangular prism working panel on the baseplate first. Then, place the material on top of the triangular prism working panel.

Note: By using the triangular prism working panel, you can reduce the areas burned during material processing and protect the baseplate. Ensure that the triangular prisms lie towards the smoke outlet.

 

There are two options available for the following steps.
To design a pattern and set parameters from scratch, please follow the procedure of "Option 1".
To use a previously saved project, please follow the procedure of "Option 2".

 

Option 1:

2. Select the processing mode and material name

(1) On the right side of the XCS home screen, select Laser Flat.

(2) In the drop-down list of Materials, select the name of your material.

Note: If you can't find your material in the list, you can click + More to search among more materials in the xTool SELECTED online material center. If you still can't find the name of your material, you can select User-defined material.

Note: After you select a material on the material list or xTool Selected online material center, the software will automatically focus and set other parameters for laser processing. The default settings apply to xTool materials. You can adjust the settings based on your needs.

 

3. Set the laser focus

xTool F1 supports manual focusing and autofocusing. You can choose the focus way you like.

Note: To cut a material, you are advised to set the focus point at the middle of each cutting depth for the best cutting results.
For example, to cut a 6 mm thick basswood with one pass, it is recommended to set the focus point at 3 mm below the surface of the material. You can start by focusing on a 3 mm thick material. Then, do not change the focus setting, and replace the material with the 6 mm basswood to be cut.

Manual focus setting

Turn the knob to move the laser module up and down. When the red and blue light spots coincide, the focus is successfully set.

Note: If you turn the knob clockwise, the laser module will move up, and the red light spot will move toward the left. If you turn the knob counterclockwise, the laser module will move down, and the red light spot will move toward the right.

Note: When the bottom of the laser module reaches the highest point, stop turning the knob up.

Auto focus setting

(1) Measure the material thickness.

(2) On the right side of the home screen of XCS, enter your measurement in Thickness (mm). And then, the machine will automatically focus.

Note: If you are using Auto Focus for the first time after xTool F1 is turned on, you need to initialize xTool F1, so as to make its laser module back to the original position. Under Thickness, click Init, and then the laser module will move back to the original position.

 

4. Design objects for processing

(1) Use the tools to the left side of the canvas to create objects. You can import images, insert shapes, enter text, or draw vector graphics.

Note: XCS supports importing the following image formats: SVG, DXF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIF, CR2, etc.

(2) Select the objects and use the toolbar above the canvas to further edit the objects.

Note: If you select an image object, you can edit the image by using the tools on the right side of the canvas.

 

5. Set parameters for processing

Select objects on the canvas. Then, on the right side of the XCS home screen, set parameters for the selected objects.

Note 1: You need to set parameters for every object. A missed object may fail to be processed. The parameters that can be set for bitmap objects and vector objects are different. You can select multiple objects of the same type and set parameters for them at once.

Note 2:xTool F1 integrates a blue laser with an infrared laser. You can select a Laser type for each object based on your needs.
Supported materials of blue laser: black alumina, metal name card, rock coaster, acrylic, aluminum sheet, wood, corrugated paper, cobblestone, etc.
Supported materials of infrared laser: black alumina, metal name card, rock coaster, acrylic, aluminum sheet, copper sheet, stainless steel, etc.

  • For bitmaps

  • For vectors

6. Preview the processing area

(1) At the bottom right corner of the software, click the setting icon next to the Framing button to set the parameters for framing.

Note: xTool F1 supports two preview modes: Rect and Outline.
If you select Rect, you can preview the rectangular border of the processing area.
If you select Outline, you can preview the outline of the processing objects.

(2) Close the protective enclosure, and then click Framing in the software or press the framing button on xTool F1 to start framing. The laser spot will move along the boundary of the processing pattern on the material so that you can preview the processing area.

By default, xTool F1 performs framing for all the elements to be processed. To preview the boundary of one or more particular elements, you can select the elements on the canvas of XCS during framing. The laser spot will move along the boundary of the selected elements, as illustrated by the following pictures.

  • Default framing:
  • Selected elements framing:

If the area is not ideal, you can adjust the element positions in XCS during framing. xTool F1 will adjust the framing area accordingly, allowing you to preview the processing area in real time.

Note 1: During framing, keep the protective enclosure closed or wear goggles that can shield laser beams of 455 nm and 1064 nm wavelengths.

Note 2: To stop framing, click Stop framing in the software or press the framing button on xTool F1.

7. Start processing

Note: Using the infrared laser for bitmap engraving at a low temperature may lead to unsatisfying engraving results. To ensure better engraving results, you can preheat the laser module before processing.

(1) On the bottom right corner of the software, click Process.

(2) Preview the processing objects in the software. Then, in the upper right corner of the software, click Process.

(3) Close the protective enclosure. Then, press the knob on xTool F1 to start processing.

Note: During laser processing, keep the protective enclosure closed or wear goggles that can shield laser beams of 455 nm and 1064 nm wavelengths.

Option 2:

2. Open a saved project

(1) In the upper left corner of XCS, click File > Open project.

(2) Select an xTool Creative Space Project (.xcs) file and click Open.

Note: A project file contains objects for processing and processing configurations for each object. You can adjust the objects and parameter settings before you start framing and processing.

3. Preview the processing area

(1) At the bottom right corner of the software, click the setting icon next to the Framing button to set the parameters for framing.

Note: xTool F1 supports two preview modes: Rect and Outline.
If you select Rect, you can preview the rectangular border of the processing area.
If you select Outline, you can preview the outline of the processing objects.

(2) Close the protective enclosure, and then click Framing in the software or press the framing button on xTool F1 to start framing. The laser spot will move along the boundary of the processing pattern on the material so that you can preview the processing area.

By default, xTool F1 performs framing for all the elements to be processed. To preview the boundary of one or more particular elements, you can select the elements on the canvas of XCS during framing. The laser spot will move along the boundary of the selected elements, as illustrated by the following pictures.

  • Default framing:
  • Selected elements framing:

If the area is not ideal, you can adjust the element positions in XCS during framing. xTool F1 will adjust the framing area accordingly, allowing you to preview the processing area in real time.

Note 1: During framing, keep the protective enclosure closed or wear goggles that can shield laser beams of 455 nm and 1064 nm wavelengths.

Note 2: To stop framing, click Stop framing in the software or press the framing button on xTool F1.

4. Start processing

Note: Using the infrared laser for bitmap engraving at a low temperature may lead to unsatisfying engraving results. To ensure better engraving results, you can preheat the laser module before processing.

(1) On the bottom right corner of the software, click Process.

(2) Preview the processing objects in the software. Then, in the upper right corner of the software, click Process.

(3) Close the protective enclosure. Then, press the knob on xTool F1 to start processing.

Note: During laser processing, keep the protective enclosure closed or wear goggles that can shield laser beams of 455 nm and 1064 nm wavelengths.

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