TEST - Sculpfun S9, a printer that engraves with laser (Discount coupon) - Tinynews

2022-05-14 06:44:49 By : Mr. Lou Yanqing

The quirky Belgian hi-tech blogAfter the 3D printer, it was with immeasurable joy that I agreed to test another geek object, a laser.Not a Jedi sword, as my partner's son thought, but a laser capable of engraving, burning, or cutting wood, metals, and many other materials.Be careful, this test will heat up!Compared to a 3D printer, the Sculpfun S9 box is smaller and lighter.Once mounted, the laser has the same dimensions as a 3D printer and offers a fairly large work surface (410mm x 420mm) that will allow you to carry out many projects.I opened the box alone at home and, faced with the quantity of parts to be assembled which seemed enormous to me, I preferred to wait for Audrey and her son (Lego specialist) to do so.In the end, it was less complicated than it looked and we finished editing in 40 minutes (while taking pictures).The instructions are well detailed and the bags containing the parts are numbered making assembly even easier.From a technical point of view, this latest generation laser has a power of 5.5 watts, can cut 15mm of wood and has a fixed focal length (offering an accuracy of 0.06mm), which means that you have to redo fine-tuning with each change of materials.Setup is done in less than 20 seconds.The assembly finished, I find myself with a laser, a pair of protective glasses, two pieces of wood included in the box, but without knowing what to do, there is no indication on how to proceed.To make it work, there is no control screen (like on 3D printers), you have to install software on your computer and connect it to the Sculpfun.There is no brand-specific app, so I install a free beginner app, LaserGRBL.I'm printing a test file found on the same site.Before starting the first wood engraving project, Audrey's 11-year-old son Tom was very afraid that the laser would burn down their apartment.It is certain that compared to a 3D printer, if there is a malfunction the damage would be significant.Unlike the latter which I left running unattended in a room, for laser projects I prefer to keep an eye on it for the moment, despite the small protective metal plate to be placed under the wood.The first test was conclusive and the rendering is beautiful, but imperfect.The circles are not regular.I did not find the solution on the Sculpfun site, but by searching on various enthusiast forums.The problem is recurrent during the first uses, the laser carriage was not tight enough.Although I did not make any adjustments (speed, quality, power) for a first test, I was already delighted with the result.First negative point which is quickly felt (pun intended), as much as the smell of melted plastic from a 3D printer is not very pleasant, that of burnt wood (or rather MDF with glue) is still worse and can be harmful.Even with the windows open and the doors closed, the smell spreads through all the rooms.It smokes, it stinks and the lingering fumes give a headache.First lesson: use the laser in a workshop or garage.Faced with the lack of advice and projects offered for beginners, randomly during my wanderings in the software, I discovered that it is possible to burn images in PNG format.I use a piece of wine bottle crate to engrave a photo.The trolley got stuck instead of moving forward, the laser tirelessly burned the same part of the wood until it pierced it.Fortunately, I had put the metal protection provided, otherwise it would have burned my desk, see more.This is a known issue, you have to loosen the rubber treads on the side.Unfortunately, this information is not in the manual.I print the photo again, but the result is disappointing, the contrast is too low, the lines are not perfectly straight, in short, this machine must be tamed before giving results in terms of its capabilities.I embark on a simpler engraving, the logo of “Tinynews”.I decide to test another application allowing to adjust more parameters hoping to achieve the expected result.LightBurn is paid, but free for 30 days.The result is clear, the quality, precision and speed of engraving are better.Carriage and bearing issues seem resolved.Setting up and using a laser is simple, but getting it to work properly for optimal results is not easy.I had to watch an incalculable number of videos to understand the subtleties of the settings and despite fifteen hours of learning, I have the impression of not mastering anything.If, for example, I decrease the print speed, but leave the same laser power, it will burn the support more intensely.To have a perfect result, you have to play between several parameters (speed and power among others), but also adapt them to the support (wood, metal, plastic, glass, etc.).My biggest problem in learning the Sculpfun S9 is that to use it in my apartment I have to wear a gas mask.The Sculpfun S9 is powerful and allows a plethora of projects.The engraving applications are so complex (and there are few tutorials) that I did not have time, in three weeks, to achieve the result I wanted for photo engraving, but I obtained magnificent achievements with manga images.Like a 3D printer, a laser engraver is an object that every geek must have.The possibilities are so numerous that it promises endless fun, and this for a contained price (less than 300€).The Sculpfun S9 is the first laser I tested and I was totally won over by the build quality, power, speed and precision (after adjustments of course).If I had had more time, but above all a garage to avoid being asphyxiated (while writing this test, I still have the smell of burning in my nose), I could have tested more features.Big positives compared to a 3D printer, the power consumption is only 30 watts against more than 1000 watts, and the laser fan is also much quieter.If you are a geek or a handyman, I recommend the Sculpfun S9, it will meet your expectations and allow you to create a lot of things.On sale at Geekbuying for 295€, without customs fees (shipping from Germany).Thanks to the discount coupon “NNNGKBSC9”, the price drops to 268€.You 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