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Laser Engraving Tapered 40 oz Tumblers with xTool F1

You can laser engrave stainless steel tumblers, even 40 oz tumblers, with the smallest xTool laser - the F1. 

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If you are new to engraving tumblers, I would not start with engraving a tapered tumbler or a full wrap. But if you've already mastered engraving designs on a straight tumbler, this tutorial will take you through how to use the xTool F1 portable laser to engrave a wrap on a tapered tumbler. 

While I think the F1 does a good job with 360 degree wraps on tapered's just that a good job. I prefer to use my xTool P2 for laser engraving full wraps on tapered tumblers because it's not only faster but I also get a better engraving with the more powerful CO2 laser and I can cover the full height of the tumbler. 

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With that said...the F1 is much more affordable and a much smaller laser for small spaces.  I know not everyone can swing the P2 and that's why today I'm sharing a start to finish tutorial on how to engrave tapered tumblers with the F1. 

How to Laser Engrave Tapered Tumblers with xTool F1

When laser engraving stainless steel, the xTool F1 can take advantage of both the blue diode laser and the IR.  However, one downside to the F1 is it is limited when engraving due to its small size. It's not really possible to do a full top to bottom wrap on a 40 oz tumbler, but you can do full wraps. 

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I like to use designs that end naturally like floral designs.  (The other option is to engrave in sections, but this will really increase the amount of processing time and precision.)

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To get started, remove the handle from your tumbler. The hex screw drivers included with the xTool F1 Rotary works well with these 40 oz tumblers from Save a Cup.

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Use a tape measure to measure around the widest part of the tumbler and note the perimeter measurement. In this case the perimeter is 12.25". 

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Don't worry about measuring the more narrow bottom section.  

Setting Up Rotary with xTool F1

This tutorial assumes you have already set up the xTool Rotary with the chuck and you're familiar with how to use it with the F1.

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Place the tumbler onto the chuck with the little metal pieces for the handle centered at the top. The arms of the chuck will need to be inside the opening of the tumbler. 

Use the stabilizer piece to support the bottom end of the tumbler.  It slides onto the RA2 Pro Rotary and can lock into place. 

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Place the level on the widest part of the tumbler and adjust the stabilizer attachment to make sure the tumbler is level. 

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Setting Up xTool Creative Space for Laser Engraving Tumblers 

Launch XCS and connect the F1.  Change the dropdown to Laser Cylindrical and Mode to "Chuck."  Enter the perimeter into the field and the diameter will automatically be set. 

Import your design. You want the length of the design to be the exact same as the perimeter so in this case the length is 12.25". 

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If you can scale the design because it then becomes too tall and out of the processing area you may need to copy and paste a section of the design to make it longer without making it taller. 

In this example, I ungrouped the floral wrap design from So Fontsy then selected the parts of the design in the blue section and copied them to the bottom of the design so that the total length matched the perimeter measurement. 

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Select the entire design and make sure the Y axis is set to 0. 

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You definitely want to Frame the design so you can ensure that the tumbler and chuck are positioned in the right spot. Click framing and watch where the laser engraving will go.

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How to Focus the xTool F1 

Look at the blue and red dots from the laser. If there's any space between them, the laser is not in focus. 

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Turn the dial on the right side of the xTool F1 to bring the dots together.  

For tapered tumblers, you want to focus directly on the tapered part of the tumbler.  From here don't move anything. 

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Close the F1 cover as much as possible.  You'll want to make sure to wear laser safe glasses or not look at the laser while it's engraving since the cover is not completely closed. 

Best Laser Settings for Engraving Stainless Steel Tumblers with xTool F1

In XCS select the design and now you're going to set the settings. Using the Blue light the settings should be 100% power, 300 speed, 200 LCM. You'll do a second pass with the IR to clean up the engraving after the first pass is done. 

When you're ready click Process to begin the engraving. 

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When the engraving is done, do not move the tumbler or the rotary or the design, but go back into xTool Creative Space. 

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This time select the design and change the settings to: IR laser, 40% power, 400 speed and 300 LCM. Send to process again. 

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This second pass should go directly over the first as long as you have no moved anything. The IR laser is perfect for metal and by using it second it will great reduce the amount of scrubbing and shining you have to do on the laser engraved stainless steel tumblers.  

I do find that sometimes it doesn't line up exactly and I think that's due to the rotary not rotating back to the EXACT same spot. 

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Keep in mind though, the engraving will take awhile. It took more than an hour and a half to complete this 40 oz tumbler.  It took only 28 minutes for this full wrap engraving design on the xTool P2

Once the engraving is complete, remove the tumbler from the rotary and clean up the engraving to get a nice shine

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You can still use your computer during the processing and you can open different browsers and programs as long as you keep XCS open. 

If you're interested in a full wrap laser engraved tumbler from top to bottom, check out this tutorial using the xTool P2 55W CO2 laser

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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