Engraving on small items, like tags or jewelry, can be challenging, especially if you're new to xtool M1. Creating a perfectly centered design might seem impossible without the help of a specialized tool or software. So we've gathered tips and tricks from our insiders and fellow xtoolers, which would help you to produce crisp and clean engravings!
Offset Design for Perfect Alignment
Quick Centering Solution
Long-Term Solution with a Placement Jig
Create an Outline Template
To ensure your design is centered on the work space when using xtool Creative Space software, determine your offset by measuring the difference between the camera view and the actual engraving both vertically and horizontally. Once you find the offset (e.g., 0.7mm), adjust your design to XCS accordingly. This method should help improve the alignment and centering of your engravings.
For a quick centering solution, try the following steps:
1. Apply tape on your baseplate.
2. Measure your tag's width and height.
3. Draw a matching rectangle in XCS.
4. Lightly score the rectangle with your laser onto the tape.
5. Center your engraving text inside the rectangle in XCS.
6. Set the rectangle output to OFF and ensure the text output is ON with proper engraving settings.
7. Place your tag inside the scored rectangle in M1 and engrave your centered text.
For a long-term solution with multiple tags, create a placement jig from wood or cardboard with multiple scored rectangles. Reference a point inside the M1 and rest the jig against that point to ensure consistent placement.
Tape a piece of poster board down and draw the part's outline on it. Add a small square on another layer without output an inch away. Set your pieces on the outline and proceed. Once done, the head will move over to the square, making it easier to align parts. Use cardboard or thick cardstock to create a template. First, set the focus using the item, remove it, and put the cardboard on the bed. Use the outline feature to cut out the engraving's outline with the starting point as the center. Remove the cutout and slide it into the object you want to engrave for a centered and focused design.
Follow these simple tricks to master centering engravings on small items using xtool M1. Happy engraving! 💯