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Easy xTool M1 Project Tutorial (with a Dollar Tree Cutting Board!)

Ready to learn exactly how easy it is to engrave a Dollar Tree cutting board with the xTool M1? I got you friend! 

My friends at xTool gifted me the M1 machine and I’m not going to lie I’ve been having a ton of fun with it. 

The xTool M1 is a laser-cutting machine and it can do SO many amazing things! When we were testing it out we tried opaque acrylic, cutting wood signs, and even engraving metal. Seriously the possibilities are endless here!

At the top of my list to try was a custom cutting board with a recipe written on it in my granny’s writing. I love how it is so simple, budget-friendly, but incredibly meaningful to me! 

Isn’t it amazing?! Below is the full step by step to doing this yourself with the xTool M1. 

Before we jump into using the xTool M1 we need to find a file or create one that will work for the engraving! 

The easiest files to use here are SVG files or transparent background PNG files. I promise it’s not daunting to get these! 

I grabbed the kitchen conversions file from The Design Hippo right here!

If you’d rather do a handwritten recipe it’s super simple using a couple of free tools.  

  1. Grab your recipe and scan it into your phone or computer. I like a scanner that will flatten the image and make it very simple. My favorite to use is the Scannable app! 
  2. Next I popped the image it created into Canva. I clicked the remove background button and then simply erased any other parts of the image I didn’t need. 
  3. From here I downloaded the image with a transparent background as a PNG file. 

Now you’re ready to start with the xTool M1! 

Step 1: Turn on your xTool M1 and open xTool Creative Space on your computer.

Step 2: Place and align your material in the laser cutter. For this project we’re doing a bamboo cutting board.

Step 3: On the upper right of xTool Creative Space, there’s a green area showing your type of laser cutter, we want to get a picture of our project, so hit the little refresh icon. 

Step 4: After we have our picture of the cutting board, we need to tweak some settings. Underneath our refresh button we’re going to do the following: 

  • Make sure we are on the Laser Flat setting.
  • For our Material we’re using the Bamboo Plant Label preset.
  • For Thickness this can vary. Use the Auto-measure button just to the right to let the laser cutter measure the thickness of your project.
  • On the Height Raised setting select No.
  • And finally for Processing Path select Auto planning

Step 5: We’re going to import our engraving. Go to the Image on the left side column and this will open a window. We want to select our .SVG file and hit Open.

Step 6: Drag our image to be engraved onto our cutting board. You can use the corner squares to resize everything at once to fit on your cutting board.

Step 7: Once everything is aligned we going to click and drag anywhere on the Canvas window (showing our project) to select all of our text. You’ll notice the right-side options change to Object Settings.

Settings for the Kitchen Measurements File 

Step 8A: With our objects selected we’re going to change our Processing Type to Engrave. The other settings are as follows:

  • Setting: Reference sometimes labeled as xTool Selected Reference.
  • Power: 40% for the measuring conversions project.
  • Speed: 100%
  • Pass: 1
  • Lines per cm: 100
  • Engraving mode: Bi-directional

We’re using all the Reference settings except the Power, which we’re lowering slightly to get the look we want.

Settings for a handwritten recipe File 

Step 8b: With our objects selected we’re going to change our Processing Type to Engrave. The other settings are as follows:

  • Setting: Reference sometimes labeled as xTool Selected Reference.
  • Power: 70% for the measuring conversions project.
  • Speed: 100%
  • Pass: 1
  • Lines per cm: 100
  • Engraving mode: Bi-directional

We’re using all the Reference settings except the Power, which we’re raising slightly to get the look we want for the handwriting to be more legible.

Step 9: We want to use the Framing setting after all of our settings are set. You can then follow the on-screen instructions and watch the laser through the top window go around the furthest outline of the project. Pay close attention that the laser stays on the entire time or is on the very edge of the project. This means your engraving will end up on your cutting board and not the base of the laser cutter.

Step 10: If you want to double-check the settings one last time, it’s time to hit that big green Process button. Follow the on-screen instructions and watch your project come to life before your eyes!

Since making this project I’ve made many more with this xTool M1, it does have a learning curve but once you are in the groove the project the possibilities are endless! 

Have questions about the project? Post them below!