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How to Laser Engrave Tumblers for Beginners | xTool F1

Laser engraving tumblers is a popular way to customize stainless steel tumblers. The results can be amazing and the customization endless. 

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You can laser engrave tumblers at home with all of the xTool lasers including the small, portable xTool F1 and least expensive xTool laser - the M1 craft laser.  If you're a beginner, follow along to learn how to laser engrave tumblers like a pro. 

In this tutorial I'm going to show you, step by step, how to laser engrave a tumbler (this one's from Save a Cup) using the xTool 4 in 1 rotary with the chuck attachment and the F1 portable laser.  The RA2 Pro, as the rotary attachment is called, works with all of the xTool lasers including the M1, S1, P2, F1, and D1.  

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Setting it up with the chuck is ideal since it will rotate 320 degrees even if your tumbler has a handle. You can find a full xTool rotary setup video here

You'll want to make sure you've done the initial rotary setup before you begin as this tutorial assumes you have already attached the chuck. 

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I would also suggest you check out my beginner tips on using the xTool 4 in 1 rotary before your first laser engraving so you can get set up for success. 

Connect the Rotary to the xTool F1 Laser

Before you begin, laser engraving your stainless steel tumbler take the following steps: 
  • Power on the xTool F1
  • Connect the Rotary to the F1 using the cord included with the RA2 Pro Rotary
  • Launch xTool Creative Space
  • Measure the distance around the tumbler using the included measuring tape
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In the XCS software, change the setting to Laser Cylindrical > Mode: Chuck > Enter the Perimeter length 

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Setting Up the xTool Rotary with the F1

Now you're ready to set up the rotary attachment with your F1. 

Pop the square plate out of the base of the xTool F1 and place it on the right of the base. 

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You'll place the rotary attachment on top of that with the plate providing extra support. 

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Place your tumbler onto the chuck.  Remember the chuck grips can go either inside the tumbler or hold it from the outside. The diameter of the tumbler may determine this. 

Once the tumbler is securely on the chuck you can position the rotary attachment under the F1 laser. There are two small lines on the base of the xTool F1. The rotary attachment should be aligned with each to make sure it's straight. 

You will also see a red and a blue dot from the laser. The two dots need to be aligned for the laser to be in focus. 

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If the dots are not aligned, turn the dial on the right side of the F1 to move the dots into alignment. 

How to Setup Design for Laser Engraving Tumblers

Move into xTool Creative Space and open your design by clicking the folder icon at the top then Import Image. 

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I'm using this coffee SVG design from So Fontsy.  Once it's in the software, select it and change the processing to "Engrave". 

You will likely need to rotate your design 90 degrees one way or the other to ensure it's correctly oriented on your tumbler.  Size your design and place it so one edge is up against the green rotary line (Y axis) at the top of the XCS work area. You want it to be at the 0 position on the Y axis if you can. 

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Click the Framing button at the bottom and watch where the laser tells you it will engrave on the tumbler. 

Adjust the position and scale of the design in XCS as needed to get the desired engraving location. 

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xTool Laser Engraving Settings for Stainless Steel Tumblers

A diode laser, which the F1 has, can engrave stainless steel that's why the M1 and S1 can also engrave tumblers. 

There's not only one setting for engraving every product...just like there's not one way to get to most destinations. The ratio of speed and power can be adjusted to get similar results. What I have found works well is using the blue light aka diode laser with the settings: 100% Power, 400 Speed, 300 lines/cm. 

You can save these F1 Stainless Steel Engraving settings as custom setting to save for later if you do a lot of stainless steel tumblers. 

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Once you set these, you are ready to press Process and then Start on the next screen. 

When you're ready turn on the Air Filter if you're using one for engraving indoors and close the F1 cover as much as possible before pressing the start button to begin the engraving. 

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When the engraving is complete take the tumbler off the rotary and clean it up to make it shine. 

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If you'd rather use the rotary with the rollers instead of the chuck, check out this beginner tutorial on laser engraving tumblers with the xTool M1 using the rotary with rollers

And if you're interested in how to do a full wrap laser engraving on a skinny straight tumbler instead of a front/back design, check out this tutorial. 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

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