Sculpfun S9 Laser Engraver Review

The Sculpfun S9 is a recently launched laser engraver that is an upgrade of its predecessor, the Sculpfun S6. The main competitor of the S9 is the Atomstack A5 Pro. The S9 has various features that enhance the user experience for hobbyists and makers.

In this review, we look at the features, performance and price of the Sculpfun S9.

Sculpfun S9 Review

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What is the Sculpfun S9?

The Sculpfun S9 is an advanced laser engraver that surpasses its forerunners, the Sculpfun S6 and Sculpfun S6 Pro. In terms of features and performance, it is also superior to its competitor, the Atomstack A5 Pro.

The Sculpfun S9 comes with a well-written and straightforward assembly manual. The mechanical components are nearly identical to those of the S6 series. All the essential tools are provided in the pack. The screws and parts are separated into labeled bags corresponding to the relevant assembly step outlined in the manual. It takes less than 30 minutes to put the machine together.

Below is a picture of the Sculpfun S9, placed next to the Sculpfun S6 Pro, which we reviewed a while back.
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Sculpfun S9 Specifications

Parameter Value
Engraving Size
Engraving Materials
wood, paper, cardboard, plastic, white, PCB board, aluminum oxide, black-painted metal/ceramic
Laser Output Optical Power
Laser Wavelength
Focusing Method
Fixed focus laser
Operating Software
LaserGRBL, LightBurn, Benbox, GrblController, LiteFire, Support Windows system, Support OSMAC system. Supported file formats NC, BMP, JPG, PNG, DXF and other image formats.
Input voltage
AC100-240V, 50/60Hz
One Year

Laser Diode

The Sculpfun S9 laser engraver has a laser diode that produces around 5.5W of optical power. The laser head is larger than that of the Sculpfun S6. Moreover, it has innovative optics that enable the beam to be focused over longer distances with a greater light density. This feature allows for more efficient power when cutting through thicker materials.

The Sculpfun S9 is marketed as having 90W CO2 laser-equivalent power. The fixed-focus diode can cut materials up to 15mm.

An air assist set/kit upgrade is also available for purchase. The kit including an air pump that is compatible with both EU and US specifications.

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The picture below shows the Sculpfun S9 laser head and those of the Sculpfun S6 Pro and S6 30W. The S9’s head is notably larger and appears to feature an enhanced circuit board.

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With a fixed focus, there are no obstructions in the beam’s path. This enables a narrower focus and a faster focusing process compared to adjustable focus systems that have moving parts.
The head of the laser engraver has a protective shield. However, you should still wear the included safety goggles at all times.

Focusing Procedure

The focusing process for the Sculpfun S9 is similar to that of the Sculpfun S6 Pro and S6 30W. To achieve optimal cutting results, the head should be positioned 20mm above the engraving surface using a focusing aluminum block. Once the head is focused, the light guard sits approximately 3mm above the surface.

However, the light guard can be easily removed if necessary, e.g., when engraving irregularly shaped objects like spoons or axes. The laser head is secured with thumb screws, making the focusing process quick and effortless.

To achieve optimal cutting performance on thicker materials, you should remove the acrylic guard and focus the laser head a few millimeters lower than the standard position. This will improve the cutting performance significantly.

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Cutting and Engraving Different Materials

The Sculpfun S9 laser engraver is a versatile and efficient machine capable of cutting a wide range of materials with precision and ease. This advanced laser engraver can cut materials such as wood, acrylic, leather, paper, fabric, cork, rubber, and various plastics. Its powerful laser beam allows for intricate and detailed cuts in these materials. Therefore, it is ideal for crafting, signage, prototyping, and artistic projects.

Whether it’s delicate patterns on paper or intricate designs on wood, the Sculpfun S9 laser engraver provides consistent and accurate results.

The Sculpfun S9 laser engraver not only excels in cutting but also offers exceptional engraving capabilities on a diverse array of materials. In addition to cutting, this versatile machine can engrave metals such as aluminum, stainless steel, and brass. Therefore, as a maker, you can create personalized metal tags, jewelry, and industrial components with it.

Moreover, it can engrave glass, ceramic, stone, marble, and even some composite materials. You can make intricate etching projects and decorative designs.

Software and Supported Formats

The Sculpfun S9 laser engraver works with different computer programs that help control how it cuts and engraves. One popular choice is LaserGRBL, which is free but might take a bit of getting used to. Another good option is Lightburn, which is easier to use but costs $60. However, Lightburn lets you try it out for a month before deciding.

When it comes to the kinds of files these programs can work with, LaserGRBL can handle different types like drawings (NC, BMP, JPG, PNG, DXF) and pictures (BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF). On the other hand, Lightburn can work with more types, like drawings (AI, SVG, DXF, PDF, HPGL, PLT, RD) and pictures (PNG, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, TGA, GIF).

Using the right type of file is important. Drawings are like clear roadmaps for the laser, making the engraving faster and more accurate. It’s like following a path. Pictures, like photos, take more time because the laser has to make lots of tiny dots to create the image.

Both programs let you bring in designs from different files. There are many free designs you can find online. And if you need more technical designs, there are free drawing programs you can use. Also, you can buy a wide variety of laser designs online, giving you lots of options to make your projects special.

Our Test Results

We conducted a standardized test, as we do with all laser engravers and cutters, to enable easy comparison of results across machines. Detailed images of the test results, along with explanations, are presented below.

Wood Engraving

Our standard engraving pattern helps to uncover the laser beam’s effectiveness at various settings. This way, we can get an idea of the engraving capabilities of the machine.
The Sculpfun S9 produces significantly clearer and more contrasting engravings compared to other machines we have tested before. It also has minimal smoke staining on the wood surface, which is quite impressive.
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Power Scale

The pattern for the power scale test demonstrates the engraving performance of the machine at varying power levels and speeds.

The power scale test pattern displays how the machine engraves at different speeds with varied power levels from 10% to 100% in 10% increments. The speeds used are 600, 1200, 1800, and 2400mm/min.
The Sculpfun S9 appears to have a notably higher output power than the Sculpfun S6 Pro.

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Interval Scale

The interval scale test determines whether the laser focus spot has a square or rectangular shape. The scanning interval is gradually increased from 0.1mm to 0.5mm.

The Sculpfun S9 produces a beam shape that is quite close to rectangular. This is shown by the relatively balanced engravings in both the vertical and horizontal directions.

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Photo Engraving

Below, we engraved a small 20mm photo while varying the maximum laser power. The results show that the Sculpfun S9 is competent ewhen it comes to engraving photos. The photos are remarkably sharp and have a high level of detail and contrast.

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Vector Image Engraving

We also engraved a Tit bird at the top right corner. This engraving took only a few minutes to complete as it was created using closed shapes that were filled with a pattern through scanning with a 0.1mm step.
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Anodized Aluminium Engraving

We also tested the Sculpfun S9 on a discarded piece of black anodized aluminum. The test pattern is designed to assess the focus dot size in both directions and the impact of speed.
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The interval scale is, once again, the most significant part of the test pattern. By scanning vertically and horizontally with different interval steps, we can estimate the size of the laser dot. Based on the results, the laser dot of the Sculpfun S9 is almost square-shaped because the engravings in both the horizontal and vertical directions appear quite balanced.

The text was engraved at a speed of 600 mm/s. This is fairly fast for small movements, and it resulted in some shaking of the laser head visible in the corners. To prevent this, adjust the settings to reduce the acceleration and speed.

Further tests were done using the Celestron 44341 digital microscope. Below are the images captured for analysis.
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Upon closer inspection with the Andonstar AD407 digital microscope, the Sculpfun S9 laser dot shape measures approximately 0.1 by 0.2 millimetres.

Next, we engraved text of varying sizes. The Sculpfun S9 engraved 1mm tall text flawlessly. The speed used for this test was relatively high (600mm/min). Therefore, accuracy can be improved significantly by reducing the speed.

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Displayed below is an engraving of two sets of squares on the right side. The inner square has been engraved with a speed of 1000mm/min while the outer square has been engraved at 100mm/min.
From the result, it’s clear that higher speed leads to more wobbling. This is a mechanical issue. However, the brightness of the engraved pattern is not affected by the speed.

Also, for the two squares, the dot shape appears to be slightly rectangular, since the horizontal lines are thinner than the vertical ones.
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Laser Focus Distance Test

This test aims to determine the ability of the laser to maintain focus as it cuts deeper into the material. The ability to maintain focus deeper into the material is crucial for cutting thicker materials.
For the test, we lowered the board progressively by 3mm for each square, without refocusing the laser head.

The focus is initially set to perfection at 0mm (using an aluminium block). We then lowered the test piece by 3mm for each square without readjusting the laser head. The resulting squares show the increasing size of the laser dot as we go deeper into the material. This principle can be applied to larger distances as well.

The Sculpfun S9 maintains focus for a greater distance as advertised.

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The beam thickening effect can also be used for faster engraving of larger items with lower detail. By adjusting the laser to an out-of-focus position, the beam is enlarged and the spacing between engraved lines can be increased, resulting in a quicker engraving process.

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Acrylic Engraving And Cutting

We conducted a brief test on 3mm black acrylic (at a speed of 600mm/min. The engraving and cutting produced excellent results with a clean and precise cut edge. The Sculpfun S9 was able to cut through the material in just 8 passes.

We have also successfully cut black acrylic that is 7mm thick.
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Plywood Cutting Test

Three different speeds were tested for cutting 3mm and 6mm thick Poplar plywood. The test was conducted in both the horizontal X axis (left-right) and vertical Y axis (back to front) scanning directions. The Sculpfun S9 exhibited a well-balanced cutting performance in both directions.
The following table provides a comparison between Sculpfun S9 and Sculpfun S6 Pro. It is apparent from the table that Sculpfun S9 has a clear advantage in cutting thicker materials.

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We conducted some tests on light Paulownia wood that was 12mm and 15mm thick to test the machine’s capability of cutting thick materials. We found that the laser beam remains narrow for a significant depth, although it requires many passes. In the future, we plan to try using an air assist system, which would provide significant benefits.

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The cutting performance of the Sculpfun S9 was also tested on 10mm poplar plywood. It only took 12 passes in the vertical direction and 8 passes in the horizontal direction to cut through the material.
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Hardwood Cutting Test

This test demonstrates Sculpfun S9’s ability to cut through harder woods at a speed of 600mm/min. The S9 cut it in 8 passes without any issues.

We then tested the machine on denser 3mm thick Beech wood. It cut through it effortlessly in just 5 passes.
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Below are the test results images of all the engravers we have tested so far for easier comparison.

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Engraving Stainless Steel

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This machine can engrave stainless steel. However, to achieve this, the stainless steel needs to be coated with a black spray paint. Engrave the painted surface with a slow speed, then remove the paint with acetone. The resulting engraving is highly durable and not easily scratched off.

Upgrades and Accessories

The Sculpfun S9 is compatible with the xTool RA2 Pro rotary attachment for users who require more advanced features for rotary engraving. Also, if you want to engrave cylindrical objects, you need the Sculpfun Rotary Attachment.

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The Sculpfun S9 machine’s working area can be expanded by more than two times using the Sculpfun Expansion kit. We’ve previously reviewed the Sculpfun extension kit.

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If you’re looking to enhance your current S9 laser engraver, the Sculpfun S10 laser module is available for purchase separately. Also, check out our  Sculpfun S10 review.

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We also suggest using a laser engraver enclosure to safely vent harmful air out through a window. Read our guide on  laser engraver enclosures.

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This laser cutter is highly capable and has performed the best in our testing so far!


The Sculpfun S9 laser engraver is a fantastic tool for cutting and decorating various materials like wood, acrylic, and metal. It’s like a creative magic wand! You can control it using different computer programs, such as LaserGRBL or Lightburn, which make it do what you want.

This machine is compatible with different types of files. Some files help the machine engrave more precisely and quickly, like using a map. Others, like photos, take a bit more time because it’s like connecting dots.

One of the best things about this laser engraver is that you can bring in lots of different designs to make your projects special. You can find many of these designs for free on the internet. It’s a perfect tool for people who love creating things and want to make their projects stand out!


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