Making Color Laser Etching Using The M1 and Xart - xTool Projects
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I saw a guy doing a modified NWT Technique using color instead of just white and black paint. I just wanted to see if it could be done on wood. Obviously, it's not the NWT technique; it just uses the basic idea of layers of paint etched off to expose the paints at different depths. So one image is a before epoxy, and one is after. Using Xart, I came up with this image, loaded it into XCS, edited it, saved as an SVG, exported ran it through Imag-r, and used Norton white tile painted black.
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Basic Information
Software
xTool Creative Space
Machine
M1
Laser Module Output Power
10W
Material Used
wood
Material Info
3mm Basswood blank square coasters from Amazon, Various paints, and two-part crystal clear epoxy.
Making Time(mins)
720
Step1: Xart Design
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The first step is to go into Xart through XCS on the left tool bar. Use the Xart prompts to get the image you have in mind. I wanted a steampunk Ying Yang with bald eagles. I chose Steampunk as the style, then in the text bar I typed in what I wanted, Ying Yang with bald eagles, I didn't check or adjust the other settings, however you can tweek them to get more exactly what you're looking for or give the AI more freedom. Then import it into XCS and edit it in XCS or if you want to export it, to run through image-R, right click on the image and select export SVG.

Step2: Painting

Painting is pretty important. 

Since you're not using a white tile, you need to use white paint to seal the wood so it won't absorb the layers of paint. Start with one layer of white and let it get tacky and absorb. You'll see the wood grain start to come out again. Add another coat and the same process for about two to three coats. 

Let the white layer tack up, and then add layers from lightest to darkest. Let each layer tack up before adding the next. The last layer to add is the black. I use matte black because I coat them with 2-part epoxy. 

I let them dry for 48 hours so the paint will gas out and cure.

You can use gloss or matte, and you can clear them with clear or use 2-part epoxy after they're etched to seal them and protect the image.

 

Step3: Edit in XCS and Image-R
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It's time to edit your images while the paint drys

If using Image-R:

Use an image program to convert your SVG image into a PNG image.

Upload the image to image-R

Crop if cropping is needed

Resize, this is extremely important. You MUST resize to the actual size you are going to use. You CAN NOT stretch or shrink the image once you download it. Resize the image in MM, and select the DPI you want to use. Higher is not always better

Choose the Algorithm you want to use. In this case, I used Norton White Tile Painted Black. It inverts the image

Download the image in PNG format. If you pay for Image-R will also have bonus options to download DPI tests and Algorithm tests.

Open in XCS and position over your workspace. I highly suggest you sacrifice one and do a grid test using the Grid test function under the array option. Be sure you have the SAME amount of layers as the other ones. This will give you a chance to see how much power and speed you will need to get through to the layers you want to get through to.

Step4: Now The Cool Part, ETCHING the image
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Setting 1
Process Method
Bitmap Laser Engrave
Process Material
Wood
Power(%) or Cut Pressure(g)
70
Pass
1
Speed(mm/s)
250
Bitmap mode
Grayscale
Other Parameters
do not just go by the settings on this tutorial for my machine, these settings work on my machine for this one batch, all batches are different, you may add more paint or less paint. Please do a grid test on a sacraficial piece for each new batch.

Finally the fun part

BUT first, take your sacrafice piece you painted the same as the rest and do the Array Grid test under array option to get your speed and power settings for YOUR machine.

Now that that's done and you have your speed and power settings. Change material to metal card, put those settings from your grid test into your power and speed, leave greyscale alone, set lines to 120. 

Do your framing runs to get the image centered on your work media

Get ready, Get set, hit the Fun Button and off you go.

Once complete I like to run them under water to wash off the dust and then towel dry gently by patting.

Let it dry over night and then clear coat or 2-part epoxy the next day.

Good luck and have a blast.

 

Design Files
yingyang_eagles4300-250-norton-white-tile-painted-black.png
yingyang eagles.png
Paint
NWT
Norton white tile
Xart
wood
etch
engrave
cut
coaster
cup
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