We’ve recently been testing the xTool RA2 Pro, which is touted as the world’s first 4-in-1 rotary for laser engravers. Unlike conventional rubber roller-based rotary systems, this rotary system has a unique design featuring a chuck similar to that of a lathe. This design offers better accuracy when engraving intricate designs on cylindrical objects.
In this Xtool RA2 Pro 4-in-1 Laser Rotary review, we look at the capabilities of the accessory and compare its performance against rubber roller systems.
Let’s get started.
AVAILABLE ON XTOOL
xTool RA2 Pro 4-in-1 Review
The xTool RA2 Pro arrives in impressive packaging. The unit is built from robust metal materials that exude a high-end quality.
The xTool RA2 Pro can also function as a conventional rubber roller attachment, albeit in a slightly larger size than the standard xTool roller system.
Two sets of jaws are included in the package. If you need even larger jaws, xTool provides a free 3D model for download on their website that you can 3D print.
Included in the package is a roller support module that enables the engraving of longer objects on the opposite end. This added support even allows engraving of large objects such as a baseball bat.
The hardware components are constructed of durable metal.
The connection process is straightforward. One end of the rotary system attaches to the stepper motor while the other end substitutes the x-axis motor on the left side of the machine. Next, you have to install the raiser feet onto the machine to accommodate taller cylindrical objects.
Difference Between Rubber Rollers and Chuck Style Rotary System
Let’s look at the main differences between rubber rollers and chuck style rotary systems.
1. The rubber roller works by friction between rubber rollers and the object you want to engrave.
Vector engravings require many minute rotations of the object. Due to the frequent changes in rotation, and the slippage that inevitably occurs between the object and the rollers, position errors increase and worsen over time. Ultimately, this results in significant skewing of the engraving.
Advantages: User-friendly, uncomplicated design.
Disadvantages: Inability to engrave cone-shaped objects, distortion caused by slippage between the roller and cylinder.
2. The chuck style rotary system operates by securely clamping the object within the chuck jaws.
Advantages: Guaranteed perfect engravings every time due to the absence of slippage. The chuck jaws allow a wide range of objects to be clamped. Examples include wine glasses, cones, bottles, baseball bats, flashlights, and even tea cups with handle. Virtually anything can be engraved with this system.
Disadvantages: The design is comparatively more complex. Moreover, the system is more expensive and has a slightly more involving setup process.
The xTool RA2 Pro rotary attachment is versatile enough to operate in both configurations. To evaluate the unit’s performance, we conducted tests engraving the same vector image of a motorcycle onto a stainless steel cylinder using both configurations.
The first two engravings were produced using the rotary system in its rubber roller configuration.
The engravings came out different because of the differences in the engraving optimization settings. As you can see in the pictures below, changing the engraving optimization setting changes the number of small rotation movements and also leads to slippage.
The bottom engraving was made using the xTool RA2 Pro rotary attachment in its chuck mode. In this mode, the cylinder is securely clamped in the chuck. To attach the rotary, we rotated the toothed gear on the chuck and tightened it using the included wrench. You can also mount cylinders from the inside out.
Engraving Long Objects
The xTool RA2 Pro rotary attachment allows you to engrave lengthy objects using the support module. To test this capability, we decided to engrave a weighty Maglite flashlight. Due to its weight, we used the support module to ensure it stays stable. The leveling process was precise. We used the included bubble level to maintain the levelness of the piece.
Engraving Spherical Objects
The xTool RA2 Pro comes with a bracket designed for supporting spherical objects. To test the bracket, we chose to engrave a plastic Christmas ornament.
We set the power too high, and this led to some overburn on the corners of the engraving. Nevertheless, this highlights the precision with which the rotary chuck can engrave spheres. With some further power adjustments, the engraving would undoubtedly be flawless.
More Ways To Use the xTool RA2 Pro Rotary Chuck Attachment!
The steel pins included in the xTool RA2 Pro can be used to hold small objects such as rings, lids, or cylinders. This helps to keep them away from the jaws, which may interfere with the laser module during the engraving process.
Laser Engraving a Tea Cup With a Handle
Engraving a cup with a handle was not possible with a rubber roller design. However, even with the clamp-style rotary system, the handle can still interfere and hit the bottom steel plate. To avoid this, you can unscrew the plate and rotate the gantry by 180 degrees. By doing so, you can lift the assembly, place a weight on the other side, and prevent the handle from causing any interference.
Setting The xTool RA2 Pro in Lightburn
To use the xTool RA2 Pro in the chuck configuration, you need to access the “Rotary Setup” menu and specify the circumference of the object to be engraved. Otherwise, the software won’t know the diameter of your object.
Through our testing, we discovered that the value for “mm per rotation” must be determined through trial and error.
Keep in mind the circumference value and create a rectangle with the same height as the circumference. This will ensure that the engraving covers the entire 360 degrees around the object. Next, frame the job and check if it completes exactly one full rotation. If not, you need to adjust the millimetres per rotation value until the alignment is perfect.
Using the xTool Laserbox software simplifies this setup. However, its features are quite limited. Therefore, we only recommend the software for beginners.
Can You Use xTool RA2 Pro Fit with Other Laser Engravers?
Yes, you can!
The xTool RA2 Pro features an adapter cable. You can use the adapter to make it work with other popular laser engravers, such as Sculpfun and Atomstack.
The xTool RA2 Pro is a high-quality rotary system that is compatible with xTool laser engravers as well as other popular brands.
The rotary chuck is an impressively crafted and durable tool of exceptional quality. Its versatility is remarkable as it can function as a rubber roller attachment or can be transformed into a chuck-style rotary attachment. You can use the rotary module to engrave objects of various sizes and shapes. You can engrave small and big cylinders, long and short ones rings, as well as spheres and balls.
The xTool RA2 Pro rotary attachment will expand your creative possibilities tremendously!
Take advantage of the discount offer by applying the coupon code JTxTool at checkout to receive a 10% off on both the xTool RA2 Pro and the xTool D1 Pro laser engraver.
If this machine is not available for sale in your country, you can still purchase it from THIS STORE.