The xTool P2 is an incredibly versatile and powerful CO2 laser cutter and engraver. With a 55W laser tube, it can cut through materials up to 20mm thick in a single pass. The large 26.8” x 14.2” bed size allows you to work on bigger projects. Dual 16MP cameras provide exceptional vision and accuracy down to 0.3mm.
However, the xTool P2 is also a complex machine with many parts and features. Taking the time to properly assemble, setup, and learn to use the P2 correctly will ensure you get the most out of this machine and avoid frustrations or mistakes.
In this xTool P2 review, we’ll cover everything you need to know before buying this laser cutter, including:
- Key specs and features
- Step-by-step assembly
- Initial setup and calibration
- Software and controls
- Materials and applications
- Common mistakes to avoid
xTool P2 Key Features and Specs
Before we jump into setup and use, let’s quickly review some of the key specs and features of the xTool P2 55W CO2 laser cutter:
- 55W CO2 laser tube – Powerful 55-watt laser can cut up to 18mm wood, 20mm acrylic in one pass
- 26.8” x 14.2” bed size – Large workspace for bigger projects
- Dual 16MP cameras – Exceptional vision accuracy down to 0.3mm
- 600mm/s max engraving speed – Work quickly on intricate designs
- 72mm max material height – Expand to 275mm with optional riser base
- Auto-focus – Ensures consistently clear image and accuracy
- Curved surface engraving – Unique 3D modeling for engraving curved objects
- Class 1 laser option – For environments requiring ultimate safety
With these features, the xTool P2 can cut, engrave, and mark a wide variety of materials with precision and speed. The integrated cameras, auto-focus, and auto-leveling features make setup and use straightforward even for beginners.
Now let’s look at how to properly assemble and setup this powerful machine.
Assembling the xTool P2 and Accessories
The xTool P2 arrives in several boxes containing the laser cutter itself plus any accessories or addons you may have purchased:
- xTool P2 laser cutter
- Riser base (optional)
- Automatic conveyor feeder (optional)
- Fume extractor (optional)
- Rotary attachment (optional)
You will need to assemble some of these components before using your P2. Let’s look at how to assemble and attach the key accessories.
Assembling the Riser Base
The optional riser base for the xTool P2 allows you to work with materials up to 8.4” thick. This expands the capabilities for large or thick items like trunks, vases, or other carved objects.
The riser base needs to be assembled before use. Here are the step-by-step instructions to assemble the riser base properly:
- Assemble the left side structure: a) Connect left side panel to left corners b) Connect left guide rail panel and support corner c) Connect guide rail panel and corners
- Assemble the right side structure: a) Insert pins of right side panel into right corners b) Place fixing plate B between corners and align screw holes c) Connect right guide rail and support corner d) Connect right guide rail panel and corners
- Install the front and back door panels
- Attach the rear cover panel
Once assembled, you can place the xTool P2 on top of the riser base. Make sure to hold the P2 by the hand grip cutouts on the sides rather than the corners to avoid injury.
You will need to remove the slats and baseplate from the P2 to use the riser base. Store these parts in the storage compartment on the riser base for later use.
With the riser base assembled, you can work with materials up to 200mm thick. Use the tape measure on the riser base to position the baseplate at the correct height for your material.
Assembling the Conveyor Feeder
The xTool conveyor feeder allows long materials up to 118” to be fed continuously through the P2 for uninterrupted cutting or engraving.
The conveyor feeder attaches to the riser base with 4 thumb screws. Screw these in loosely at first.
Slide the conveyor feeder onto the riser base rails from the front. Once in position, tighten the thumb screws securely to lock it in place.
Connect the conveyor feeder power and USB cables to the ports on the back of the P2.
You are now ready to continuously feed long materials through for processing.
The Ultimate assemble guidance for xTool P2
Connecting the Fume Extractor
The fume extractor connects to the rear exhaust port of the xTool P2.
Attach the exhaust hose from the extractor to the exhaust port. Make sure it is securely connected.
You can vent the filtered air from the extractor back into the room or out a window.
Turn on the extractor when running the laser cutter to keep the work area clean. Adjust the speed as needed based on the volume of smoke produced.
Installing the Rotary Attachment
The xTool rotary attachment allows for engraving cylinders, glasses, and other circular objects.
There are two modes – roller for smooth cylinders, and chuck for irregular shaped objects.
For roller mode, attach the roller bars to the rotary base. Slide your cylindrical object onto the rollers and secure with rubber bands if needed.
For chuck mode, install the chuck pieces and tail stock to hold the object in place.
Position the rotary attachment on the P2’s baseplate or riser base. Use the tape measure on the riser to ensure proper height positioning.
Select the appropriate mode in the XCS software when engraving cylindrical objects.
Now that the xTool P2 and accessories are assembled, let’s look at the initial setup and calibration.
Initial Setup and Calibration of the xTool P2
Before starting your first project, the xTool P2 needs to be calibrated and test engraved to ensure proper setup.
Here is the recommended process for initial setup:
- Update firmware – Connect P2 to computer via USB and update firmware in XCS software to latest version.
- Configure network – Setup WiFi network or ethernet connection for wireless operation.
- Exhaust setup – Confirm exhaust system is connected and configured properly.
- Baseplate leveling – Use auto-leveling feature to level baseplate.
- X/Y axis calibration – Calibrate using XCS calibration test engraving.
- Z-axis focusing – Set proper focus height with focusing tool and test engraving.
- Test engraving – Perform an engraving test on material to confirm proper setup.
The one-touch auto-focus and auto-leveling features of the P2 make calibration much easier than other laser cutters. But taking the time to precisely calibrate and test will provide the best results.
Learning the XCS Software and Controls
The xTool P2 comes with the XCS engraving software for controlling the laser cutter. Here’s an overview of the key parts of the software:
- File operations – Import images, open/save files, edit operations
- Image processing – Crop, scale, invert colors, etc.
- Text tools – Add/edit text elements and fonts
- Shape tools – Lines, circles, curves, polygons.
- Positioning tools – Move, copy, rotate, mirror objects
- Engraving parameters – Speed, power, passes for vector and raster
- Simulation – Shows engraving toolpath and estimates time
- Material settings – Recommended starting parameters for different materials
- Camera controls – Focus, refresh image, manual positioning
- Machine controls – Home axes, unlock cover, emergency stop
The XCS software tries to simplify laser cutter operations into a few clicks. But spend time learning the different tools and options for maximum flexibility.
In addition to the software, the xTool P2 has a few hardware controls on the machine itself:
- Power switch – Rear power switch to turn machine on/off completely.
- Control panel – Front panel with pause/start button and status LEDs.
- Emergency stop – Large red button to immediately halt operation.
- Door locks – Locks on the top lid and front door for safety.
Make sure you are familiar with the location and function of these hardware controls on the machine.
With the machine assembled, calibrated, and controls learned, you are ready to start laser cutting and engraving.
Materials and Applications for the xTool P2
The 55W CO2 laser in the xTool P2 can cut, engrave, or mark a wide variety of materials:
- Wood – Hardwood, plywood, MDF
- Plastics – Acrylic, ABS, engraving laminates
- Glass/crystal – Engraving or etching
- Coated metals – Anodized, powder coated, ceramic coated
- Rubber stamps
- Food items – Chocolate, fruits, vegetables, cheese
It’s best to start with easier materials like wood and acrylic to get experience with laser settings. Settings like speed, power, and number of passes can then be adjusted as you work with different materials.
The xTool P2 can handle both vector cutting and raster engraving equally well:
- Vector cutting – For clean accurate cuts in materials like wood and acrylic.
- Raster engraving – For shading, textures, photos, designs in wood, acrylic, paper, leather, glass, etc.
With the optional accessories, you can expand applications even further:
- Rotary attachment – Engrave cylindrical items like mugs, glasses, bottles, etc.
- Conveyor feeder – Streamline production runs on multiple pieces
- Riser base – Engrave large thick items up to 200mm
Take time to experiment with different materials and applications to get the most versatility from your xTool P2 laser cutter.
Now let’s look at some common mistakes to avoid.
Common Mistakes to Avoid with the xTool P2
The xTool P2 is an incredibly capable laser cutter, but like any machine, there are some pitfalls to avoid:
Not leveling the work area – Failing to level the baseplate can lead to uneven cutting and engraving. Always use the auto-leveling feature.
Forgetting to focus – Forgetting to focus the laser using the camera and engraving tool can lead to poor quality results.
Incorrect speed and power settings – Using the wrong speed and power can lead to under/over cutting and engraving. Check material settings and experiment.
Not venting exhaust – Operating without adequate fume exhaust can lead to smokeyworkspace and inhalation hazards. Always use extractor.
Leaving machine unattended – Never leave the machine alone while operating due to fire risks. Stay nearby in case of emergency.
Engraving highly reflective materials – Some metals with glossy polished finishes can damage the laser. Use caution.
Not cleaning optics – Smoke residue on mirrors or lens over time will degrade performance. Clean regularly.
Operating without lid closed – Keep lid closed when operating for safety and proper laser path.
Inserting material incorrectly – Always ensure material is flat on the baseplate and the engraving area is positioned properly under the laser.
Forgetting emergency stop – Remember the location and use of the emergency stop button in case of problems.
By being aware of these common mistakes with the xTool P2 laser cutter, you can avoid issues down the road.
Follow the guidelines in this review for proper setup, configuration, materials, and operation. And don’t forget to experiment and have fun with this incredibly versatile machine!
Step-by-Step Assembly Guide for the xTool P2 and Accessories
To recap the key steps covered in this review, here is a step-by-step guide to assembling, setting up, and using the xTool P2 laser cutter and accessories:
- Assemble riser base if purchased
- Attach conveyor feeder if purchased
- Connect exhaust system
- Install rotary attachment if purchased
- Update P2 firmware
- Configure network connectivity
- Level baseplate
- Calibrate X/Y axes
- Set proper Z-axis focus
- Test engraving on material
- Make adjustments and test again
Prepare Design and Material
- Design vector and/or raster elements
- Select appropriate material and thickness
- Lookup recommended settings for material
- Place material in machine
- Focus laser for material thickness
- Import design file into XCS
- Set speed, power, passes
- Preview design and toolpaths
- Hit start and monitor progress
- Allow exhaust to vent all fumes
- Carefully remove finished project
Cleaning and Maintenance
- Clean mirrors, optics, and work area regularly
- Check water cooling level and refill if needed
- Monitor component wear and replace as needed
The xTool P2 opens up a whole new world of laser cutting and engraving possibilities with its robust 55W power and large work area.
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Taking the time up front to properly assemble, calibrate, and learn this complex machine will pay off with reliable, high-quality results for years to come.
Avoid common mistakes by following the guidelines in this review and experimenting with settings carefully as you work with new materials.
With practice, you will be able to create amazing laser engraved and cut projects with your xTool P2!
What materials can the P2 laser cutter engrave?
The P2 can engrave wood, acrylic, leather, glass, coated metals, paper, cardboard, fabrics, and more.
Does the xTool P2 require assembly?
Yes, the riser base and some accessories need assembly before use.
What software does the P2 laser cutter use?
It uses the XCS engraving control software included with the machine.
How thick of material can the xTool P2 cut?
It can cut up to 18mm thick wood and 20mm acrylic in a single pass.
What safety features does the P2 have?
Emergency stop button, fire detection system, enclosed design, and automatic lid locking.
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