SDS MK3 Swerve Module

Swerve Drive Specialties is proud to release our next swerve module iteration, the MK3. It is further refined, simpler, lighter, and less expensive. MK3 is a no compromise top level module at a very competitive price.


MK3 Product Page (In Stock for Immediate Shipment as of 10/5/2020)

I’ll be the first to admit that the MK3 module looks quite similar to the MK2. So, what are the advantages? The most notable design difference is the centrally located steering encoder. The MK3 uses an on axis CANcoder or SRX Mag Encoder to directly measure steering angle without the use of gears. This simplification has numerous advantages. It eliminates encoder backlash, makes module maintenance easier, and perhaps most importantly reduces the part count and cost.

We are passing along cost savings from this design change as well as cost savings from sourcing and process improvements to our customers. The price of the MK3 is $100 less than the MK2. Starting price of the standard kit is $300.

The MK3’s double gear is a key component to the design. It is machined from a single piece of 4140 steel and is pocketed for weight reduction. Even though the MK3 module features an all steel gear train for the best longevity, it is 0.2 pounds lighter than the aluminum geared version of the MK2 module.

The MK3 is available with standard or fast gearing. The table below shows the gear ratios and free speeds with NEO and Falcon 500 motors.

The MK3 is fully configurable from Swerve Drive Specialties. Choose what type of motors you plan to use, what gear ratio you would like, and if the Billet wheel is included. We are also offering individual MK3 parts and a MK2 to MK3 upgrade kit.

MK3 CAD:

MK3 Assembly Guide

MK3 Parts List

SDS Billet wheels now include preinstalled blue nitrile tread.

Here is the machining video for the MK3 motor plates utilizing the fixture pallet from the teaser.

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RIP @Plugh

All jokes aside, this module looks really dope, especially at that $300 price point. The double gear is also really neat part – would you able to share how those are made? (If you don’t want to make it public I totally respect that)

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@heatblast016 The blank for the double gear is turned on a CNC lathe and then teeth are cut on a gear hobbing machine.

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Nice – do they have any sort of coating for longevity?

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@heatblast016 They are hardened and black oxide finished.

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Love it

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Ngl best swerve out right now. Having the central is just so much better.

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Every time I think I’m finally over swerve, I swear, something new comes out and I just can’t get my mind off of it for a second. Must resist…

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My status on Discord has been “thinking about swerve drives” for months now. This is what I mean.

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Really nice improvement! I can see how this removes some potential failure modes.

I assume that you can also use the MA5 encoder with this?

Have you made any changes to the steering system? Or is that common with the MK2?

Have you been able to measure any noticeable differences due to the reduced backlash?

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Imho the mk2 was already the best cots swerve. This is just furthering the gap.

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Thanks! It is nice to get rid of the encoder gears. They didn’t take any appreciable load under normal operation, but were fragile if something reached inside of the module and hit them.

The MK3 is not compatible with the US Digital MA3, however there is space for it. An adaptor would need to be created.

For packaging the steering ratio has been reduced. The 45T 32DP used on the MK2 is a 32T gear on the MK3, however, the overall steering ratio is still less aggressive than the WCP SS Swerve (Falcon) which is proven to work well.

The difference in backlash rollout at the wheel is measurable, but in all honestly would probably not be noticeable in practice.

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If you ever need to take a module apart at competition and do not want to recalibrate the steering encoder offset there is no need to make sure the encoder gears go back together with the exact same teeth matching up. Even if you remove the MK3 central column, with the way it is keyed there is only one way for it to go back together.

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Do you need testers?
Do you already have testers?
Can I just have one? Or like 4?

Seriously though this is really cool!

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I’ll do the same testing with just three modules!

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Nah make it a unicycle…

This is MFD! Love it.

I’m really loving the central encoder, very clever

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This is gorgeous. Definitely love the double gear.

-Nick

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