Safety Guide for Laser Cutting & Engraving

Article author
xTool Customer Service
  • Updated

Safety first (important)

Physical injuries or damage to the machine may be caused if you do not follow the instructions or principles.
Physical injuries or damage to the machine may be caused by laser light if you do not follow the instructions or principles.

1. General safety

Read and get familiar with all safety precautions and procedures before using the machine. Strictly follow all safety precautions and ensure that the machine is properly assembled and is working properly.
Follow the operating principles:
  • Check the machine for damage every time before you use it. Do not operate it in any way when any damage or defect is found.
  • Ensure that the workspace is clean and flat.
  • Do not disassemble the machine or change its structure in any way without authorization. Do not modify or decompile its operating system.
  • Keep the operating area of the machine clean. Residues and chippings accumulated during cutting and engraving are dangerous and may cause fire. Clean the machine regularly.
  • The machine works properly at the temperature of 0°C to 35°C and can be stored properly at the temperature of 0°C to 45°C. Do not operate it at a temperature lower than 0°C.

2. Laser safety

Generally, the laser works with a casing and light shield. xTool D1 is equipped with a safety interlock switch. If xTool D1 is moved during work, the laser stops emitting light and causes no harm to human bodies. Although a hood is provided to shield you from some laser light, you still need to wear the goggles to protect your eyes.
Follow the safety precautions:
  • Do not operate the machine when any part of it is removed. Removing any part may expose the laser system and cause damage to the machine.
  • Do not engrave or cut any material that contains PVC or vinyl (plastic materials are not recommended). These materials (and other materials containing chlorine/chloride) may generate corrosive vapor that is extremely harmful to human bodies and may cause damage to the machine. Any damage caused by engraving or cutting any material containing PVC or vinyl is not covered by Makeblock's warranty.
  • Do not engrave or cut any unknown materials. Vaporization/melting of many materials, which include but are not limited to PVC and polycarbonate, may release harmful smoke.
  • Do not leave the machine unattended when it is working. Pay attention to whether it is working properly.

3. Fire safety

When the machine cuts or engraves a material, a high-density laser beam falls on the material, heating up the surface of the material to vaporize it without burning. But most materials are inherently flammable and may be ignited to form an open flame that may burn down the machine (even if it is made of flame-retardant materials) and its surroundings. From our experience, using laser to perform vector cutting is most likely to produce an open flame.
Read the following warnings and suggestions carefully:
  • Ensure that the workspace is well ventilated, so that the smoke can be discharged properly.
  • Do not stack materials (especially organic ones, such as paper) around the machine. They may cause the spread of flames and increase the risk of material ignition.
  • Do not leave the machine unattended when it is working. If the machine works with incorrect settings and is left unattended for a long period of time, or if a mechanical or electrical fault occurs, a fire may be caused.
  • Clean the machine regularly. Excessive accumulation of residues and chippings from cutting and engraving may increase the risk of fire.
  • Ensure that the area around the machine is clean without any cluttered flammable materials, explosives, or volatile solvents, such as acetone, alcohol, or gasoline. Keep a fire extinguisher and perform regular maintenance and inspection of it.

4. Electrical safety

Read the following warnings and suggestions carefully:
  • Do not disassemble the machine when it is connected to a power supply. Otherwise, an electric shock may be caused.
  • Do not touch any electronic area with your hands or other tools when the machine is connected to a power supply.

5. Warning and instruction signs

On xTool D1, the warning and instruction signs are labelled where physical injuries or damage to the machine may be caused before and/or during operation. If a sign is damaged or lost, replace it immediately. You can use the following template to print the sign you need.

Safety guide

Warning: Some materials may become very dangerous during laser cutting or engraving. For your safety, exercise caution when processing them, understand the harm they may do, and take measures to protect yourself.


PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), vinyl, leather, artificial leather

Emits toxic pure chlorine gas with strong and pungent odors when being cut! You are advised not to cut this material as it may corrode metal of the machine and damage optical devices and the motion control system. To cut this material, please wear a gas mask or use an air purifier.


Exudes cyanide gas and tends to melt. It is apt to melt rather than vaporize, and is likely to catch fire and leave melted gooey deposits. To process this material, you are advised to wear a gas mask and use am air purifier or fire safety set. You can purchase xTool air purifier and xTool Fire Safety Set at


Melts and easily catches fire.

Polystyrene Foam

Melts and easily catches fire.

Polypropylene Foam

Melts and easily catches fire.

Polycarbonate, latex paint

Changes color and catches fire.

Coated Carbon Fiber

Emits noxious fumes.


Emits harmful gases. You are advised to wear a gas mask or use an air purifier when processing this material. For your information, most 450 nm laser can pass through acrylic. Laser beams emitted by semiconductor laser devices such as xTool D1/D1 Pro and M1 range from 450 nm to 460 nm in wavelength, which means most laser beams pass through acrylic instead of being absorbed. Semiconductor laser devices can cut only a few acrylic sheets. You can purchase them at Compared to semiconductor laser devices, carbon dioxide laser devices can process acrylic well.


Note: When you use laser modules that emit 455 nm laser beams to process materials with blue surfaces, most of the laser beams are reflected rather than absorbed. You need to increase the power to ensure proper processing.

Warning: Do not process reflective materials such as mirrors. It is extremely dangerous to get laser beams reflected, which may do you harm and damage laser devices.


Safe materials

Laser can be used to cut wood, paper, cork, and some kinds of plastic; and engrave most materials such as wood, paper, coated metals, stainless steel, plastic, marble, stone, tiles, glass, etc.





Most woods

Avoid using oily or resinous woods.

Exercise caution when cutting oily or very resinous woods. It is easy to catch fire. Watch out while cutting wood at a speed under 2% at 10% power.

Plywood, composite woods

They are glued and probably not as satisfactory as solid wood.


MDF, engineered woods

They can be cut but may char to a large extent.


Paper, cardboard

They can be easily and nicely cut.


Cardboard, carton

They can be nicely cut but may catch fire.

Watch out for fire and exercise caution when cutting them.


They can be nicely cut. But the cutting may be affected by the thickness and quality of the cork. If too much glued, the cork may not be cut well.

Avoid using thick cork.


Thin polycarbonate can be cut but its color often changes badly.

Keep good ventilation and watch out for fire.

Depron foam

It can be nicely cut with smooth edges, popular in avocational making, remote control airplanes, architectural models, and toys.

Pay close attention when cutting it.

Cloth, felt, hemp fiber, cotton, leather

Thin cloth, felt, hemp fiber, cotton, or leather can be cut, but edges may char due to high heat.




All the cuttable materials described in the preceding can be engraved. Besides, you can engrave:





The texture of engraved glass is similar to that of sandblasted glass.

Beams emitted by semiconductor laser modules of xTool D1/D1 Pro and M1 can't be directly used to engrave transparent glass. You need to put a sheet of laser engraver marking paper on the glass before engraving it.

Ceramic tile

Smoke and dust are generated when they are processed.


Anodized aluminum

It vaporizes the anodic coating.


Painted, coated metals

It vaporizes the paint.


Stainless steel

It burns its surface and changes its color.

Stainless steel can be engraved only with semiconductor laser devices, such as xTool D1/D1 Pro and M1.

Stone, marble, granite

White textures are engraved on it, and smoke and dust are generated.


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