Safety Guide for xTool D1 Laser Cutting & Engraving

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Safety first (important)

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Warning
Physical injuries or damage to the machine may be caused if you do not follow the instructions or principles.
 
Warning
Physical injuries or damage to the machine may be caused by laser light if you do not follow the instructions or principles.
 

1. General safety

Read and get familiar with all safety precautions and procedures before using the machine. Strictly follow all safety precautions and ensure that the machine is properly assembled and is working properly.
Follow the operating principles:
  • Check the machine for damage every time before you use it. Do not operate it in any way when any damage or defect is found.
  • Ensure that the workspace is clean and flat.
  • Do not disassemble the machine or change its structure in any way without authorization. Do not modify or decompile its operating system.
  • Keep the operating area of the machine clean. Residues and chippings accumulated during cutting and engraving are dangerous and may cause fire. Clean the machine regularly.
  • The machine works properly at the temperature of 0°C to 35°C and can be stored properly at the temperature of 0°C to 45°C. Do not operate it at a temperature lower than 0°C.

2. Laser safety

Generally, the laser works with a casing and light shield. xTool D1 is equipped with a safety interlock switch. If xTool D1 is moved during work, the laser stops emitting light and causes no harm to human bodies. Although a hood is provided to shield you from some laser light, you still need to wear the goggles to protect your eyes.
Follow the safety precautions:
  • Do not operate the machine when any part of it is removed. Removing any part may expose the laser system and cause damage to the machine.
  • Do not engrave or cut any material that contains PVC or vinyl (plastic materials are not recommended). These materials (and other materials containing chlorine/chloride) may generate corrosive vapor that is extremely harmful to human bodies and may cause damage to the machine. Any damage caused by engraving or cutting any material containing PVC or vinyl is not covered by Makeblock's warranty.
  • Do not engrave or cut any unknown materials. Vaporization/melting of many materials, which include but are not limited to PVC and polycarbonate, may release harmful smoke.
  • Do not leave the machine unattended when it is working. Pay attention to whether it is working properly.

3. Fire safety

When the machine cuts or engraves a material, a high-density laser beam falls on the material, heating up the surface of the material to vaporize it without burning. But most materials are inherently flammable and may be ignited to form an open flame that may burn down the machine (even if it is made of flame-retardant materials) and its surroundings. From our experience, using laser to perform vector cutting is most likely to produce an open flame.
Read the following warnings and suggestions carefully:
  • Ensure that the workspace is well ventilated, so that the smoke can be discharged properly.
  • Do not stack materials (especially organic ones, such as paper) around the machine. They may cause the spread of flames and increase the risk of material ignition.
  • Do not leave the machine unattended when it is working. If the machine works with incorrect settings and is left unattended for a long period of time, or if a mechanical or electrical fault occurs, a fire may be caused.
  • Clean the machine regularly. Excessive accumulation of residues and chippings from cutting and engraving may increase the risk of fire.
  • Ensure that the area around the machine is clean without any cluttered flammable materials, explosives, or volatile solvents, such as acetone, alcohol, or gasoline. Keep a fire extinguisher and perform regular maintenance and inspection of it.

4. Electrical safety

Read the following warnings and suggestions carefully:
  • Do not disassemble the machine when it is connected to a power supply. Otherwise, an electric shock may be caused.
  • Do not touch any electronic area with your hands or other tools when the machine is connected to a power supply.

5. Warning and instruction signs

On xTool D1, the warning and instruction signs are labelled where physical injuries or damage to the machine may be caused before and/or during operation. If a sign is damaged or lost, replace it immediately. You can use the following template to print the sign you need.
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Warning: Some materials may become very dangerous during laser cutting or engraving. For your safety, exercise caution when processing them, understand the harm they may do, and take measures to protect yourself.
Material
Harm
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) /vinyl/pleather/artificial leather
Emits toxic pure chlorine gas with strong and pungent odors! Never cut this material as it causes the machines to corrode, damages optical devices and the motion control system.
ABS
Exudes cyanide gas and tends to melt. ABS doesn't work well with a laser cutter as it is apt to melt rather than vaporize, and is likely to catch fire and leaves melted gooey deposits. Besides, ABS is not a good choice for engraving because it tends to melt.
HDPE
Melts and easily catches fire.
Polystyrene Foam
Melts and easily catches fire.
Polypropylene Foam
Melts and easily catches fire.
Polycarbonate/latex paint
Changes color and catches fire.
Coated Carbon Fiber
Emits noxious fumes.
Acrylic
 
Emits noxious fumes. For your information, most 450nm laser can pass through acrylic. Laser beams emitted by semiconductor laser devices such as xTool D1 and M1 range from 450nm to 460nm in wavelength, which means most laser beams pass through acrylic instead of being absorbed. Compared to semiconductor laser devices, carbon dioxide laser devices such as Laserbox Rotary can process acrylic well.
Light Wooden Board
Speed below 10mm/s is prone to fire, must be guarded when engraving/cutting
Note: Laser beams emitted by semiconductor laser devices such as D1 and M1 are blue-violet light beams, most of which are reflected rather than absorbed by materials in blue. You need to increase the power to ensure proper processing.
Warning: Do not process reflective materials such as mirrors. It is extremely dangerous to get laser beams reflected, which also causes damage to laser devices.
 

Safe materials

Laser can be used to cut wood, paper, cork and some kinds of plastic; engrave most materials such as wood, paper, coated metals, stainless steel, plastic, marble, stone, tiles, glass, etc.

Cutting

Material
Note
Warning
Most woods
Avoid oily/resinous woods.
Be careful about cutting oily or very resinous woods to prevent fire. Watch out while cutting wood at a speed under 2% at full power.
Plywood/Composite woods
Glued but probably not as satisfactory as solid wood.
 
MDF/Engineered woods
Applicable while may char to a large extent.
 
Paper, cardboard
Cuts nicely and very efficiently.
 
Cardboard, carton
Cuts well but may catch fire.
Watch out for fire and be attentive to cutting.
Cork
Good for cutting. But cutting may be affected by the thickness and quality of cork. If too much glued, the cork may not be cut well.
Avoid thick cork.
 
Polycarbonate
Thin polycarbonate can be used in cutting while its color often changes badly.
Keep good ventilation and be careful to prevent fire.
 
Depron foam
Cuts nicely with smooth edges, popular in avocational making, RC airplanes, architectural models, and toys.
Pay close attention to cutting.
Cloth/felt/hemp fiber/cotton/leather
Cuts well if thin, but edges may char due to the high heat.
 

Engraving

All the "cuttable" materials described in the preceding can be engraved. Besides, you can engrave:
Material
Note
Warning
Glass
 
The texture of engraved glass is similar to that of sandblasted glass.
Beams emitted by semiconductor lasers of xTool D1 and M1 can't be directly used to engrave transparent glass. A sheet of color paper should be put over the glass first for proper functioning.
Ceramic tile
Generates smoke and dust.
 
Anodized aluminum
Vaporizes the anodization.
 
Painted/coated metals
Vaporizes the paint.
 
Stainless steel
Burns its surface and causes its color to change.
Stainless steel can be engraved only with semiconductor laser devices, such as xTool D1 and M1.
Stone/marble/granite
Engraves white texture on it with smoke and dust.
 

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