The XTool D1 Pro came out well in my recent comparison of laser cutters. In this article, I am going to share two upgrades that take it from being a good laser engraver to being a great laser cutter …
XTool Laser Bed Upgrade
Today I am going to share two upgrades and the first is vital regardless of if you are engraving or if you are cutting.
As the XTool comes by default, you must put a waste board underneath the material you are working with so that you don’t miss or burn through and damage your work surface (in my case I need to take extra special care because that surface is my rented office carpet!).
Rather than just stick a piece of MDF under the XTool gantry, I purchased a proper laser bed.
The XTool branded “Honeycomb” bed at £159 from Amazon this is NOT cheap, and of course one of the selling points of a diode over a Co2 laser is price, but I feel like it is a great upgrade.
First, as mentioned it protects from misfires (or fires!), but more importantly given the next upgrade, it helps your XTool cut cleanly and more efficiently by raising up your workpiece, reducing grimy looking cuts due to flashback.
XTool Engraving to Cutting
While my 10W XTool laser is able to cut without this next upgrade, it can cut better and more cleanly with this than without it.
This upgrade is the XTool air assist.
Again, it is not cheap. You could get an aquarium pump to do the same job as the compressor in the kit, but you would still need to direct the air flow to the right place, which is where the special nozzle comes in.
An air assist blows smoke and soot out of the way of your laser, giving your cut more power and with reduced residue. This means you need to not use as much masking tape or do as much post-processing such as cleaning or sanding.
As you can see, combined these two upgrades provide great results. I can cut cleaner and quicker, or cut thicker materials without needing to upgrade the laser itself.
At the time of writing this article my laser was open which meant even with fans blowing, window open, and a room air purifier, it was not ideal to work in the same room as the laser. I bought ab official xTool enclosure, even though I could have bought a cheaper alternative or made one. I just didn’t have time.
I could still create a tutorial for making an enclosure with Ben’s help – Let me know if you have any ideas on that!
There is an upgrade I would still like to do. I would love to test a 20W laser. After seeing what this 10W can do I am very curious!