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Sculpfun S30 Pro Laser Engraver Review

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    The Sculpfun S30 Pro is a 10W diode laser engraving machine with air assist, perfect for anyone looking to get into the hobby.

    The Sculpfun S30 Pro Laser Engraver is very similar to many other machines of this type on the market. I mean, once I started going online to learn how to operate it with the software I needed, I was amazed at all the options. Since this is the only laser engraver of this type that I've used, I won't compare it to anything else. I can't even compare it to other laser engravers I've tested because they're completely different types of lasers, but that's a story for another day.

    First, let's talk about the construction of the Sculpfun S30 Pro. Once assembled, it is very sturdy! The joints where the X and Y frame members meet are tight. The frame pieces are made of aluminum alloy, which is lightweight and strong. I don't know if they are machined or extruded, but each one is well made, straight and has clean channels. I don't think anyone will fault the build of the S30 Pro.

    Sculpfun S30 Pro 10W

    Next up is a 10W diode laser. From my very limited experience, what I can tell you is that there seem to be 3 types of lasers available to hobbyists: CO2, Fiber Optic, and Diode. Diode lasers seem to be the least expensive of the 3 lasers, making them an excellent choice for hobbyists and experienced users alike. The things to know when choosing one should be based on the type of material you will be cutting or engraving. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. I've had more fun with the Sculpfun S30 Pro diode laser so far, so it's definitely a pro in my book. It's strong enough for me at the moment.

    Another great thing about the Sculpfun S30 Pro is that it comes with automatic air assist and the required nozzles are already installed on the laser head. All you have to do is connect the air pump and air hose. Air assist isn't necessarily necessary, although some might argue against that statement. The reason this is a great feature is that it keeps charring to a minimum when cutting materials like wood, resulting in a cleaner end product with less sanding.

    The brains of the S30 Pro are in the box at the bottom right corner of the unit. It has the latest 32-bit motherboard with support for air assist and bluetooth. I say should because I haven't tested this feature yet. To use it, you must purchase a compatible antenna. I've read online that other people have done this on other similar engravers with mixed results, I didn't do anything with it because the feature was more worth having.

    When setting up your Sculpfun S30 Pro, please take the time to get it right. You'll thank yourself later. It took me about 45 minutes to an hour to build it. The instructions are easy to follow, so be sure to read them.

    Each piece and bag of parts is labeled so you know what to use when.

    They label the cables so you know where to connect them.

    Everything you need to get the job done is included, such as tools and hardware.

    Even the velcro and zip ties for organizing the wiring are here.

    When assembling the frame, be sure to let the corners loose until everything else is assembled. Once you're done, you can go around and make sure each corner is square and flush. The most difficult part of the construction was the belts running the gantry. The belt has to pass through the channel in the frame and then run the gantry wheel up, over and down. That doesn't mean it's hard to do it. I just have big hands and that part can be a little clumsy.

    Nothing wrong there, just the nature of the beast. The last thing to do is connect it to your PC via the included USB cable. I don't like the USB-B connection. It's made on top of the control box, and the weight of the cable pulls on it a bit.

    The next thing you need to set up your S30 Pro laser engraver is software. So you know, it doesn't come with anything. I find that odd too, but my impression is that most laser engravers don't have their own software. From my experience with my first laser engraver, I can see why. While these companies can make great hardware, that doesn't always mean they make great software. Like many other products, the S30 Pro is designed to be compatible with third-party software, and the focus of third-party software has been strictly on production software. I know there are two programs available, one is free and the other is free to try and then $60. I tried both and ended up choosing the paid version. Another great thing about this software is that there are many communities, websites and Youtube videos teaching you how to use them. Believe me, there is a lot to learn. From speed and power settings for different materials, to designing your project in the software, to using all the settings to ensure you get the most out of your engraver.

    I am very impressed with the Sculpfun S30 Pro laser machine. Yes, there is a learning curve due to the software and all the different setups, but as I said, there is a lot of support to help you dial in. Most people recommend that you do a material test based on your material. I'm trying to sculpt or cut, but I've chosen a different strategy that involves finding a library to import. All of these settings are ready to go, although I do need to tweak a few .

    With the S30 Pro, I can engrave metal, wood and leather. I haven't gotten around to cutting anything yet, and my wife keeps coming up with other projects for me to do for her, although I have no doubts that it will turn out great.

    Now to the security issue. Wear the included goggles when using the S30 Pro, and boy, you don't want to shoot yourself in the eye! Also, make sure you know which materials are safe to use. Some emit toxic fumes when burned. Finally, make sure you're in a well-ventilated area and/or have a smoke extractor. I thought I could pull the smoke out of my home office windows with a powerful fan. Let's just say it didn't turn out as well as it should. Totally my fault and nothing to do with the Sculpfun S30 Pro.

    I found a new hobby with the Sculpfun S30 Pro. I love this stuff, it's fun to make for friends, family, and myself. So if you want to pursue a laser engraver as a hobby, or even start a side business, check out Sculpfun. They work great on the S30 Pro!

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