Best Swerve drive to Buy off the shelf

Ok so im just a ex frc kid in college. I have always wanted to and plan to make my very own swerve drive chassis. This plan will take a long time as I am in college and very broke at the moment. But i don’t want to cut corners.

With that being said, I’ve been looking at all the obvious contenders. So obviously WCP Swerve X, SDS MK4i, and The Rev module. My biggest concern is fluidity while I control the chassis. However I have seen so many teams have their own issues with each model. So I don’t know what to pick. I have noticed that every team that has the rev modules have been really sooth. Is there good field sentric source code out there that is reliable?

What are your thoughts?

And are there any teams that might sell their used parts for a lower price?

I’d say Rev module 100% except for the fact that off the shelf it doesn’t allow using CIMs which may seem important except for the massive selection of these parts teams have already which would reduce the cost of prototyping with swerve for them.

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Mucho cheapo swerve for the win! Mucho Cheapo Swerve - $20 Test Module - #31 by Skiddy4795

I would use the MK4 not inverted for a fun bot. That’s what we are using on our real robot too… I think the inverted version leaves the motors too exposed. Certainly for -my- comfort level. YMMV.

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In the FRC community there is basically no debate. SDS Mk4i is king. Reliability, performance, quality, robustness… but it’s pricy. Probably not worth the cost for a home chassis

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I think the inverted version leaves the motors too exposed.

As long as you mount the mk4i modules on a 2" tall tube, they are perfectly protected. I am completely confused at how you could say that the mk4 motors are less exposed than the mk4i, we have had falcons sheared off of mk4 modules in 2022, they literally stick straight up…

Just putting this out there, as an FRC alumnus and mentor I have played with a lot of hardware and bought my own.

A chassis really sucks to move and store, especially in 1 or 2 bedroom apartments I would minimize its footprint and plan for it having a future life as a coffee table / end table (spots to mount uprights for a tabletop, etc).

As far as hardware to play around with: used modules are probably your friend. Maybe discontinued stuff like Mk2s, AM swerve & steer, or thrifty swerve (@Ryan_Dognaux might have some stuff kicking around on the cheap) or someone has an old revolution swerve they would pull the modules and gearboxes and mail to you on the cheap. I think you are on the right track with used (or 3dprinted if all you have to do is print and someone already has the shafts, gears, etc).

Building your own modules is fun if you’re into that sort of thing, but it’s not a fast way to get a chassis going.

The fastest omnidirectional you are going to be able to build is kiwi if that’s what you are after, I have done several small kiwi bots.

And as a fun fact - Kiwi can emulate every other drivetrain with some clever software…

In this case emulating a brick drivetrain. Not moving at all unless thrown.

I agree, the MK4 motors are quite exposed, BUT they are on the top, rather than underneath where protecting them interferes with ground clearance.

The top view of the MK4i is, of course, really sweet! I just don’t like the bottom stuff.

All depends on which set of tradeoffs you like better!

When mounted correctly, the bottom gusset perfectly protects the falcons from and large objects you might be driving over (charge station comes to mind). If you are referring to the modified mounting solution with more ground clearance (gusset above tube above module), then the motors can be hit by anything, please don’t do this.

If you want more ground clearance, then that would be a reason to choose the mk4 over the mk4i.

Just gonna say that CheapoSwerve v2 behaves and controls almost identically to MaxSwerve, if you run baby neos and sparkmaxes, and is still less than $20 per module without control components.


Maxswerve price includes an absolute encoder and ultraplanetary kit for steering and gearing for drive (although no motors for either), so if you want a direct comparison CheapoSwerve would be $130 or so per module.

If you’re willing to use the included HD hexes with the ultraplanetary kits, though, and an amazon DC motor controller you can get full function for less than $150 per module. The cost of a fully functioning MaxSwerve module with motors and controllers is $556. Cost absolutely adds up if you want to go full brushless with sparkmaxes, though, so I’d recommend trying to get these from your old team if you really want full accuracy.

It really all depends on your budget, but you can get a great controls experience from brushed motors and the absolute encoder with a cheap PWM motor driver or something.

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