The Sulpfun S30 Ultra comes with three different laser modules. An 11w, 22w, and a 33w module. This review will look at the 22 Watts version. So is the Sculpfun S30 Ultra a good laser engraving machine?
The Sculpfun S30 Ultra is a good laser engraver that can cut and engrave various types of wood, dark acrylics, leather, and more. It can also engrave metal. The engraver is also fast and accurate but it has an open design that is a safety issue.
|Powerful 22W or 33W laser
|Open laser design
|Well build and sturdy frame
|No honeycomb included
|Can´t cut transparent acryl
|Can cut wood, dark acrylic,
|Only third party software
|No direct control screen
You can find more information down below.
In the following, I will go into more detail about the Sculpfun S30 Ultra including assembly, software, potential security concerns, and quality.
Where to buy?
What Comes With the Sculpfun S30 Ultra?
The Sculpfun S30 Ultra comes with quite a lot of accessories. It comes with:
- An illustrated manual
- Some wood for engraving and cutting
- Parts, screws, and tools for assembly
- Two metal sheets as a work surface for cutting
- A cleaning set for the laser
- A spacer to set the laser focus
- Some metal weights to weigh down workpieces
- A power cord
- Air assist
- Safety goggles
- A USB cable
The machine was also very well packaged and all of the parts are labeled to make assembly easier.
All of the screws and parts are packaged in separate bags that are labeled with the number of the assembly step to make assembly even more simple.
Overall, the assembly process took me about 20 minutes, and the instructions were very easy to follow. The whole assembly was very enjoyable and other companies can definitely learn something from Sculpfun in this regard.
Features and Specs of the Sculpfun S30 Ultra
The Sculpfun S30 Ultra has quite a list of impressive features.
Features and Specs:
- 600 x 600 work area
- Emergency stop button and key
- High-pressure air-assist
- High precision
- Sturdy frame
- 11w, 22w, 33w laser versions available
Most cheap laser engraver machines use third-party software like LightBurn to control the laser engraver. And the Sculpfun S30 Ultra is unfortunately no exception.
There is no way to control the laser directly as it has no SD-card slot, no control screen, no control buttons, and no USB A port for a USB stick. So the only way to control the laser is through third-party software such as LightBurn.
And Lightburn has no free plan. So take into account that you have to pay around $60 for a LightBurn software key when you buy this laser engraver.
LightBurn is an amazing software and well worth the price but I´d like to see at least a collaboration with LightBurn that will give the customer a free license key with every laser engraver. This way there are no hidden extra costs and the laser engraver can be used right out of the box.
Once the machine is turned on and connected to the PC all you need to do is start LightBurn and find the connected machine.
Everything else will be done automatically and you can start your first engraving job.
The Sculpfun S30 Ultra with the 22-watt laser is fast with an optimal engraving speed of 8000 mm/minute for wood, 4000 mm/minute for metal, and about 3500 mm/minute for acrylic. Overall, the Sculpfun S30 Ultra is very well-suited for engraving various materials.
I first engraved some wood to see how fast you can engrave with the Sculpfun S30 Ultra.
Here are my results:
As you can see, 6000 mm/minute looks a bit light. 5000 mm/minute looks much better and this is probably the speed at which I would engrave most types of wood.
4000 mm/minute is a bit darker and can be used to engrave some darker wood.
Overall, the engraving speed for wood is very fast compared to other similar laser engravers.
Metal and acrylic need a bit slower speeds to get optimal results but even 3500 mm/minute for engraving acrylic is still quite fast.
Cutting is a whole different thing though. And the S30 Ultra does not fair quite as well when it comes to cutting.
The cutting speeds are much slower, which is normal. And the edges of wooded material are often charred which is unfortunately also normal for non-CO2 lasers.
For a 4 mm thick wood plate, the S30 Ultra needs at least 900 mm/minute to cut clean through the plate in one go.
But the Sculpfun S30 Ultra is only being shipped with two metal sheets that you are supposed to be used as a cutting and engraving surface.
But when you cut anything on them, especially something that develops a lot of smoke when burned, then the bottom side of the cut piece will be quite dirty.
And the active air assist won´t really help here either. The air assist only works on the top side of the workpiece and not the bottom side.
If you want a clean cut on both sides then you will need the active air assist and you need to cut on a honeycomb surface such as this one.
But that will cost you about $100 more.
Quality wise the Sculpfun S30 Ultra is quite impressive.
I engraved a lot of detailed designs and writing without issues. The Sculpfun S30 Ultra engraves accurately and cleanly. I had some issues with engraving greyscale images on wood, as you can see below, but nothing that couldn´t be fixed with some adjustments to the contrast of the image.
It will take some time to dial in the correct settings for optimal results but after that, the results will be consistent and good.
It helps to do some test engravings with different speed settings to see which settings look the best.
This should be done for every type of material on a test piece first. This way you can ensure consistent and good results on any material.
Even very small writing turned out very clean on the Sculpfun S30 Ultra, as you can see right here.
The Sculptfun S30 Ultra is also quite accurate. I cut the whole box with the S30 Ultra and all parts were accurate to 0.1 mm in every dimension.
All parts fit together perfectly. No sanding was required to make any of the over 20 parts fit.
How Noisy is the Sculpfun S30 Ultra?
The Sculpfun S30 Ultra is very noisy even when the laser is not actively working. The cooling fan on the laser head is very loud at 70 dB and it is always at full power as soon as the machine is turned on regardless if the laser is currently working or not.
The Sculpfun S30 is definitely not a desktop machine so it doesn´t have to be silent. This laser engraver will and should only be used in a workspace with adequate safety precautions.
So it should not really matter that the Sculpfun S30 Ultra is as noisy as it is.
There are some safety concerns with open lasers that don´t have an enclosure. And I want to mention them here.
You need to wear safety goggles when operating the laser engraver as it operates with a very powerful laser that can damage your eyes. Even indirect light from the laser can be damaging.
Fumes from engraving different kinds of materials are also dangerous and because the Sculpfun S30 Ultra has no enclosure and no exhaust those potentially dangerous fumes will be in the air. So only operate the laser engraver in well-ventilated areas.
And finally, make sure that you always have a fire extinguisher nearby. The laser is used for cutting and engraving wood, amongst other materials, and can potentially start a fire.