Scalability is one of the core requirements of OSE Specifications.
Intensive refers to increasing size by enlarging in one or more dimensions. In one dimension, that means lengthening - such as lengthening the rods of the Universal Axis. In 3 dimensions, it means going from the basic Universal Axis to the 1" Universal Axis or 2" Universal Axis.
Extensive refers to increasing size by adding multiples or additional modules - such as doubling the number of Z axes for the print bed from 1 to 2, or 2 to 4.
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.