There is a new laser engraver on the block, and it's called the Sculpfun S9. It has tons of features that make it more efficient than its predecessor and competitor. It has some unique features that make the experience more fun for hobbyists and makers alike! If you're considering buying a laser engraver but don't know where to start, read on!
The Sculpfun S9 is a higher-end machine, superior to its predecessors and all the competitors available in the market. The S9 laser engraver comes with good assembly instruction manual which are easy to follow. The mechanical parts are easily identifiable which makes the assembly a breeze. All the necessary tools are included. Screws and parts come in separate bags, labelled accordingly to the necessary step in the assembly manual. The machine can be assembled in less than 30 minutes, as the entire X-axis comes pre-assembled!
The laser head is much more powerful than the previous S6 model and features some clever optics inside that allow the beam to be focused for longer distance and has a higher light density, allowing you to cut through thicker materials with more effective power. The advertised max cutting depth is 15mm. The Sculpfun S9 is advertised to be 90W CO2 laser equivalent power. The laser diode itself is a fixed focus diode which is great.
Fixed focus means there are no moving parts in a beam’s way, which means that the focus can be narrower and the focusing procedure is much quicker than with the adjustable focus. The head has a protection shield around it, as an extra layer of protection, but wearing included safety googles is still advised. I would also recommend getting more quality protection googles with OD6+ protection. You only have one pair of eyes. Protect them! These lasers work in visible light spectrum and even reflections can be very harmful for your eyes!
Cutting and Engraving Different Materials
Engrave: wood, leather, cotton (clothing), rubber, paper, glass, mirrors, acrylic, black anodized aluminum, blackened metal, even stainless steel…
The Sculpfun S9 is a very a capable cutteras well.
Cut: wood, paper, tape, cloth, acrylic, cardboard, fabric, bamboo, plastic board, KT board…
With the machine you can cut paper, tape and thinner cardboard in one pass and wood in multiple passes. The machine can cut acrylic and wood, especially Poplar plywood which is soft and it is the preferred wood for all laser cutters.
Software and Supported Formats
You can use the Sculpfun S9 laser engravers with free LaserGRBL software which works great. The software is great for tests and someone who is just starting engraving, but with time and experience you may desire a better version and we recommend Lightburn software which is much more capable software, and it is very intuitive to use. It is not free though, the license costs a little. But, the software offers 1 month fully functional free trial which will help you decide if it is worth it to you, after that there is a lifetime cost of $60. For most of the businesses we've mentored it was definitely worth it because it saves so much time.
With LaserGRBL you can import vector files (NC, BMP, JPG, PNG, DXF…) and bitmap image files (bmp, jpg, png and gif),
Vector format is preferred format for these machines because it contains the paths around the shape edges on which the laser head tracks. Engraving vector files is faster because the laser directly cuts on the path versus scanning like a printer and making dots when engraving bitmap images (photos).
You can get millions of free vector designs on the internet, or you can use free vector drawing programs like Inkscape or QCAD (for more technical drawings)
You can also import tons of vector designs and images from free vector sites online.