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xTool D1 Pro Laser Review and Tests on Materials

xTool D1 Pro Laser Review and Tests on Materials

xTool D1 Pro Laser Review and Tests on Materials

xTool D1 Pro is an upgrade to its previous model, xTool D1. The Pro version has some upgrades in its build, laser module, software, and electronics.

With its release, it has become one of the most capable machines among diode laser engravers. Thanks to their 20W laser module.

This is an in-depth review of the xTool D1 Pro laser engraver. I reviewed it on parameters like size, material capability, transmission, assembly, upgrades, etc., and I have also compared it with their previous model.

I tested the D1 Pro on several materials like 5mm pine, 6mm plywood, steel, aluminum, and glass and have presented the results at the end of this article.

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xTool D1 Pro 20W - Review

ParameterxTool D1 Pro
Work Area16.93" x 15.35" x 2"
Footprint28.5" x 9.8" x 5.9"
Laser TypesDiode
Laser Output Power5W, 10W, 20W
Laser FocusManual
Laser Spot Size0.08 x 0.06 mm (5W, 10W)
0.08 x 0.1 mm (20W)
Compatible MaterialsWood, leather, paper, acrylic, fabric, ceramic, glass, etc.
Linear DriveBelt driven
Stepper MotorNEMA17
Transmission SupportLinear rails and rollers
Maximum Speed400 mm/sec (24,000 mm/min)
Limit SwitchesYes
Rotary SupportYes
ConnectivityUSB, WiFi
Memory CardYes
SoftwarexTool Creative Space, LightBurn
AccessoriesAssembly tools, laser safety glass, part storage box, TF Card
AssemblyDIY (instructions provided)
Color OptionsGrey or Red
Weight15 lbs
Warranty12 months
Price~$1,170
UpgradesRotary axis, extension kit, air assist set, enclosure, honeycomb panel
Quick overview of xTool D1 Pro

xTool D1 Pro Review Video

In this video I do an in-depth test of the Xtool D1 Pro on several materials with different power, speed settings.

YouTube video

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Size and Build

Footprint of XTool D1 Pro laser machine
The footprint of XTool D1 Pro laser machine

Laser machines from xTool are well known for their mechanics and build quality. xTool D1 Pro also holds to the name with its all-metal build.

xTool D1 Pro is an open-frame desktop laser engraver. Its frames are made of extruded aluminum, while the linear rails and wheels are made of steel.

It has a footprint of 28.5" x 9.8" x 5.9" and weighs around 15 lbs. xTool goes a level up on the aesthetics of D1 Pro by offering it in red-gold or gray-silver colors.

The work area measures 16.93" x 15.75" x 2" (430 x 400 x 50 mm) on the 5W and 10W models of xTool D1 Pro, but on the 20W it is slightly smaller along the X-axis at 16.93" x 15.35" x 2" (430 x 390 x 50 mm).

The work area on the 20W model is reduced because the laser module is comparatively bulkier than other modules.

Regardless of the model you select, the work area provided by xTool D1 pro is comparatively larger than other popular laser engraving machines like Comgrow Z1 and Atomstack X7.

Laser Module

20W Laser Module of xTool D1 Pro
20W Laser Module of xTool D1 Pro

xTool D1 Pro is available with three laser power options, 5W, 10W, and 20W. The 5W and 10W modules have a compressed laser spot of 0.08 x 0.06 mm, but on the 20W module, it's 0.08 x 0.1 mm.

When the laser beam has a compressed spot size, there will be a higher energy density due to the power concentration. This, in turn, allows for high-resolution engravings and deep cuts on materials.

For example, with the 20W laser module, you can cut 10mm basswood and 8mm acrylic in one pass.

The 20W laser module internally consists of four 5W diode lasers, and the beams from these lasers are combined to give an output power of 20W.

20W laser module of xtool D1 Pro
20W laser module of xTool D1 Pro (Source: xTool)

Diode laser engravers with a 20W output power are quite new to the market. Currently, two major players who offer a 20W laser module are xTool and Atomstack (Atomstack X20 Pro).

Comparatively, the Xtool D1 is my preferred option due to better overall reliability and customer support.

Endurance lasers also offer a 20W diode laser setup, but they use two separate 10W laser modules attached to an adapter to provide combined high output power.

Material Capability

xTool D1 Pro cutting plywood
xTool D1 Pro cutting plywood

The 450nm diode lasers used on xTool D1 Pro can work on materials like wood, leather, paper, acrylic, fabric, rock, ceramic, glass, and metal like stainless steel.

Remember, as the laser's output power increases you can work on similar material much faster thereby increasing your productivity.

For example, with the 20W version of xTool D1 Pro, you can engrave a workpiece at twice the speed that the 10W can achieve.

Interestingly, with the 20W laser module on xTool D1 Pro, you can also perform colored laser engravings on metals like stainless steel.

It works by oxidizing the surface layer of the metal by exposing it to the laser beam at different speeds and feeds. The color varies depending on the engraving settings.

You can find out more about how the machine performed in the testing results.

Transmission/Linear Drive

Transmission setup of xTool D1 Pro
Transmission setup of xTool D1 Pro

The XY axes of the xTool D1 Pro are belt driven and use steel linear rails and rollers to support the gantry. This minimizes wear-off on the wheel, extending its lifetime.

The maximum speed achievable on D1 Pro is 400 mm/sec (24,000 mm/min).

For adjusting the laser focus along the Z-axis, you'll have to loosen the screw on the laser module and move it up or down, depending on the material thickness, but it has one of the easiest focusing mechanisms seen on a diode laser.

Laser focus in xTool D1 pro
Laser focus in xTool D1 pro

xTool D1 Pro has integrated a focusing bar in the laser module that you can drop down to set the focus on the surface of the workpiece.

Apart from that, the laser module also has a scale on its side that helps you manually set the laser focus at variable depths of the workpiece.

When engraving, you can set it at zero, but while cutting, you can set the laser module to focus at the center of the workpiece.

Note that while adjusting the laser focus too deep into the material, the laser shield can come in contact with the workpiece and drag along.

Controller and Electronics

Controller

CNC controller onboard xTool D1 Pro
CNC controller housing on xTool D1 Pro

The CNC controller onboard xTool D1 Pro is housed inside the front frame, just under the power switch.

It can be connected to a computer using USB or WiFi. You can also send the project file to the machine through a memory card slot integrated into it.

Limit Switches

A limit switch of xTool D1 Pro
A limit switch of xTool D1 Pro

Limit switches help the machine detect the workable area and calibrate its movement. Without them, the machine can slam into the frame causing a bit of jitter and grind.

On xTool D1, there are 4 proximity limit switches along the XY axes to detect if the laser head touches any of the 4 frames. This allows you to work with absolute coordinates.

The limit switches are placed on both ends of the axes. When the laser head comes too close to the switches it activates an alarm.

Stepper Motors

Stepper motor onboard xTool D1 Pro
Stepper motor onboard xTool D1 Pro

xTool D1 Pro has two NEMA17 stepper motors. The Y axis uses a single motor but uses a shaft to connect the belt drives on both sides to prevent racking.

Software

xTool Creative Space software
xTool Creative Space software

xTool D1 Pro can be controlled using the xTool Creative Space or LightBurn software.

xTool Creative Space is free to use and will work on Windows or Mac OS systems. Download links are available on the software download webpage of their website.

LightBurn is a paid software compatible with CAD, CAM, and Control operations. You can install it on Windows, Mac, or Linux OS systems.

The proprietary software from xTool only has limited features, but it supports WiFi connectivity with xTool D1. As of now, LightBurn does not support WiFi connectivity with xTool D1 Pro.

Assembly

Assembling xTool D1 Pro
Assembling xTool D1 Pro

xTool D1 Pro is sent in parts securely packed inside a box. You have to assemble them, the parts list and assembly instructions are provided in the quick start guide provided with the machine.

I assembled my machine in about 20 minutes, and connecting it with the software took another 2 - 3 minutes.

Accessories

parts and accessories that come with xTool D1 Pro
Machine parts and accessories that come in the box.

xTool provides a set of tools, sample work material sheets, laser safety glass, and a part storage box with the machine.

The hex keys, screws, zip ties, screwdriver, etc., will come in handy while assembling the machine.

Once the machine is assembled, you can test the machine's performance on the sample materials provided with xTool D1 Pro.

Upgrade

Rotary Axis

Possible configurations of the rotary axis in xTool D1 Pro
Possible configurations of the rotary axis in xTool D1 Pro (Source: xTool)

xTool has a rotary upgrade (xTool RA2 Pro) that you can get. It allows you to work around a workpiece using the roller, chuck, sphere, or ring configuration.

xTool D1 Pro Extension Kit

xTool D1 Pro - Extension Kit
xTool D1 Pro - Extension Kit (Source: xTool)

With the extension kit upgrade for D1 Pro, you can increase the engravable area to 936 x 432mm from 430 x 390 mm.

It comes with lengthy frames and timing belts that you can use to replace the default setup.

xTool D1 Pro Air Assist Set

xTool air assist kit
xTool air assist kit (Source: xTool)

The air assist upgrade set comes with an air pump and connecting parts, allowing you to integrate the air-assist capability into the D1 Pro.

Laser machines with air assistance reduce the burn density on the cut surfaces, thereby preventing discoloration.

xTool Enclosure

xTool Enclosure
xTool Enclosure (Source: xTool)

xTool enclosure is a foldable, fireproof enclosure suitable for xTool D1 Pro. It is available in Enclosure, Enclosure Add-on, and Enclosure Max configurations.

Larger enclosures are for housing xTool D1 Pro machines upgraded with the extension kit.

It has an in-built exhaust fan and air inlet holes. With it, you can effectively capture and dispose of generated smoke.

xTool Honeycomb Working Panel

xTool Honeycomb worktable
xTool Honeycomb Working Panel Set for D1 Pro (Source: xTool)

xTool honeycomb working panel set includes an aluminum sheet and honeycomb panel.

The aluminum sheet helps protect the work desk, and the honeycomb hole design on the workpiece allows for more airflow below the workpiece, thereby minimizing the burn density.

xToolCare

xToolCare: Extra Care for xTool D1 Pro/D1
xToolCare: Extra Care for xTool D1 Pro (Source: xTool)

xToolCare is a premium service upgrade from xTool. This service has a 12-month validity.

During this period you'll get two free part replacements and technical support on a priority basis.

Community

xTool has an active community on the Makeblock forum and Facebook. You can join these groups to connect with the community and discuss various topics related to the machine.

Customer Support

D1 Pro is a product of Makeblock, a robotics company based in China. It is released under their laser brand "xTool."

For their laser machines, Makeblock provides aftersales support to the customers through their staff at xTool.

On the customer support front, xTool offers a good service to their customers with detailed reference resources, technical guides, and more.

They also offer D1 Pro a warranty of 12 months. For queries, you can contact them via email. Details are available on their contact us page.

Testing xTool D1 Pro 20W Laser

Engraving on Plywood

xTool D1 Pro engraving on Plywood
xTool D1 Pro engraving on Plywood

You will get good contrast when engraving on pine at 24,000 mm/min but engraving fine details at such high speeds can cause a lot of vibrations.

A good balance between speed and accuracy would be at around 12,000 mm/min and 90% power. When you are engraving on wood or plywood it is best to do it without an air assist.

Cutting 6mm Ply

Cutting 6mm Ply using xTool D1 Pro
Cutting 6mm Ply using xTool D1 Pro

When you are using a laser to cut plywood or wood it is better to do it with an air assist.

xTool D1 Pro 20W was able to cut through 6mm thick ply in about 3 passes at 500mm/min with a 30 psi air assist.

Without the air assist the same cut needs about 4 passes but the edges will get charred. If you go too slow with an air assist, it will cause some charring and burns.

So the best way is to do it at high speeds and more passes.

Cutting 5mm Pine

A decorative wooden box made using  xTool D1 Pro
A decorative wooden box made using xTool D1 Pro

I used the D1 Pro 20W to cut some 5 mm thick pine pieces to make a candle shade. It gave me a really clean cut with no burns when I cut it at 600 mm/min using 4 passes.

It could cut it in 3 passes but the hard grains on the wood are difficult to cut for a laser so it needed 4 passes to cut through the hard grains.

I used a 30 psi air assist to make the cuts which gave me a really clean edge.

Engraving and Cutting Glass

Engraving and cutting glass using xTool D1 Pro
Engraving and cutting glass using xTool D1 Pro

I engraved black painted glass at about 8000 mm/min and 100% power which did engrave the glass but the settings seemed a bit too extreme. The engraving would have turned out better if I had gone with lesser power or higher speed.

I was also able to nearly cut through the 4mm thick glass at 20 mm/min in one pass, the laser did not cut all the way through but it cut 3/4 of the way and I was able to break it off easily.

Engraving Aluminum

Engraving on metals in colors using xTool D1 Pro
Engraving on metals in colors using xTool D1 Pro

I did an engraving power test on aluminum and even at 8,500 mm/min and 65% power, the contrast is good.

While engraving aluminum there were different color shades present initially but they soon faded away after a couple of days and all of the engravings at different powers have nearly the same color.

The color of the engraving also depends on the material and the environment so the lack of color cannot be attributed to xTool D1 Pros abilities.

Engraving Stainless Steel Knife

Engraving stainless steel knife using xTool D1 Pro
Engraving stainless steel knife using xTool D1 Pro

I engraved a pattern onto a stainless steel knife at 5000 mm/min and 100% power and it gave me an engraving with good contrast.

The engraving also had different color shades at different parts on the blade, so it seems color engraving on metal is possible with xTool D1 Pro 20W.

xTool D1 Pro vs xTool D1 - What Changed?

xTool D1 Pro is an upgrade to their previous model xTool D1. They have changes in price, transmission speed, laser module, work area, safety features, and colors.

xTool D1 ProxTool D1
Laser power20W / 10W / 5W10W / 5W
Laser focus spot0.08 x 0.1mm0.08 x 0.15mm
Maximum work area430 x 390 mm432 x 396mm
Maximum speed24,000mm/min10000mm/min
Limit switchesYesNo
Flame detectionYesNo
GyroscopeYesNo
Adjustable air nozzleYesNo
ColorGolden Red / Metal GreyMetal Grey
Price~$1,170~$700

A quick comparison of xTool D1 and xTool D1 Pro

The xTool's D1 Pro is available in their all-new red and classic grey colors, but xTool D1 only has the gray model available.

Both models can be bought with a 10W or 5W module, but these are not the same laser modules.

The ones that come with xTool D1 have a laser spot size of 0.08 x 0.1 mm, while the upgraded modules on xTool Pro offer a spot size of 0.08 x 0.06 mm.

You can get the xTool D1 Pro model with a 20W laser module. Interestingly, xTool also offers the 20W laser module used in Pro as an upgrade to xTool D1.

Unfortunately, you can't get it with the xTool D1 laser machine, and you'll have to purchase it separately. If you do so, you'll end up with two laser modules.

The normal D1 model of xTool is priced at ~$700, and its 20W diode laser module for xTool D1 is priced at~$600.

In total, it can cost you around ~1,300 or more, whereas the 20W version of xTool D1 Pro only costs $1,170.

In addition to a high-powered laser, D1 Pro also comes with limit switches and other safety features like flame, shake detection, and alarm.

So when compared to xTool D1, xTool D1 Pro is feature-rich and will be the best choice.

Final Thoughts

xTool D1 Pro is a great tie-breaker in the crowded laser market. With its 20W laser output power, you can cut and engrave many different materials.

It also allows you to do the same job at twice the speed of other lasers, thereby reducing the work cycle and increasing productivity.

xTool D1 Pro is a good choice for hobbyists and small/medium-level businesses.

The xTool D1 Pro is an excellent asset for anyone who does not have the space or the budget to buy large CO2 laser machines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's new in xTool D1 Pro?

The major highlight of the xTool D1 Pro is its 20W laser module with compressed spot size. In addition, compared to xTool's previous models, xTool D1 pro comes with limit switches and some safety features.

Can the xTool D1 Pro cut metal?

No, xTool D1 Pro can't cut metal. The 20W diode laser module on xTool D1 Pro is only powerful enough to engrave on metals like steel, aluminum, etc., but it can't cut them.

Can I etch glass with xTool D1 Pro?

Yes, you can etch glass with xTool D1 Pro, but you'll have to prepare the glass first for etching. This means you have to apply some carrier agent on the glass surface because laser beams from the diode laser used in xTool Pro easily pass through glass. Carrier agents like cold galvanizing compounds or spray paints help heat the glass surface by absorbing the laser beam and permanently etching the glass surface.

About John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Lasers at Mellowpine. If you have any questions related to CNCs or Lasers, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at mail@mellowpine.com

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John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Lasers at Mellowpine. If you have any questions related to CNCs or Lasers, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at mail@mellowpine.com

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