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Scalability is one of the core requirements of OSE Specifications.

There are two forms of Scalability: intensive and extensive. See Intensive and Extensive Scalability

Intensive refers to increasing size by enlarging. Extensive refers to increasing size by adding multiples or additional modules.


Scalability may occur in at least two ways:

  • Intensive - enlarging a component or unit
  • Extensive - adding multiples of a component or unit in layers (such as metal plates) or via stacking (such as using multiple Power Cubes)


It is a common misconception that scalability refers to mere enlargement or multiplication of components. In some cases, this is true. But in most cases - other provisions need to be made to accommodate the enlarged/multiplied components. Thus, calculations and an understanding of design are needed - so that adaptations can be made.

For example in 3D printing - to go from a small frame to a large frame - there will be a limit to the length that 8 mm rods can support in a 3D printer. This limit needs to be determined.

As another example in 3d printing - to use multiple print heads at the same time - it is not sufficient to simply add more print heads. It is also important to add a mechanism that can keep all the heads at the correct distance from the build plate - probably in the form of an additional height adjustment mechanism, or additional sensors and more complicated electronics.

In any case - the key to good scalable design is understanding the simplest way that scaling can occur - without complicating the design. Complicating the design is easy. It is harder to produce simple design.