I work for a not-for-profit company that provides physical therapy to kids in the developing world who otherwise wouldn’t have access to healthcare. Most of the kids I work with need braces/splints, but are not available, or very expensive if bought from the medical community here. So they go without. Which has me looking into 3d printing as a potential solution to provide these materials to them.
I’m COMPLETELY new to 3d printing.
I’ll be printing most likely 95% of our stuff in PLA
Prusa i3 MK3 purchased FROM Prusa
HICTOP Creatlity CR-10s
Tevo Little Monster
I’ve heard nothing but greatness about the Prusa, the downside is the print volume with maximum height of 250mm. I *think* this will work for most of our kids, since they’re kids and smaller than adults, however I’d hate to spend $750 on a machine and then find myself running into circumstances where I wish I had the extra 15 or 25 cm.
Will be buying a build kit, any idea if the build for Tevo or HICTOP is as straightforward as the Prusa? I’m a PT, not an engineer/electrician etc. I want a build kit that’s reasonably simple to put together.
Reliability/durability of parts. Since it’s being used in the developing world with difficulty accessing replacement parts - I’m looking for something that’s generally known for being reliable. Otherwise I may have to fly into Europe to access replacement parts.
Learning curve/community support - Once it’s put together and working, I get to figure out how to use it. I’ve found some files on thingverse that I can start out printing, and since I’m using PLA - will heat mold to get exactly the shape/support needed. Do HICTOP or TEVO have support communities that are substantial/anywhere near the Prusa community?
Do they all use the same open source software? Is there an open source software that’s easier to learn initially than others?
Thanks so much for your help, I’ve been searching the 3dhubs community for related past topics, but a few points of my situation are unique.