Swerve Price

So I am adding up the costs for the swerve drive module I am designing and the numbers seem too high. I understand swerve cost a lot, but im seeing number for Andymark’s Swerve and Steer and 1640’s DEWBOT XIV of $325 and $282 respectively per module. I don’t expect to get below $300, or even $350, but I’m very close to the $400 dollar mark (with motors. Without them it is a little more than $340), and that is for the “cheap” version. Is this a reasonable number? I don’t understand how some teams get the price down that low. If any teams have any thoughts that may enlighten me, please share them.

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There are a lot of things you can do to make a swerve module cheaper.
• Machine in-house. Each module is roughly 10 hours of total machine time, which can come out to be quite expensive. Raw aluminum is significantly cheaper than machined parts. While you can eat your labor time, AndyMark or otherwise will forward the cost onto you.
• Use the cheaper motors. For comparison, a 775pro is $20 and a NEO is $40. Adding in motor controller costs, using a 2x 775pro module can cut module costs by a huge amount. However, this can also be harder to design for since you need to design for their higher free speeds.
• Stay away from COTS assemblies. This is especially true for gearboxes, where a planetary with a low enough reduction for turning can cost a pretty huge amount.
• Consider secondary vendors. Alibaba and AliExpress can be a source for very cheap parts, although quality is variable. Most teams get their large bearings there, since a comparable bearing from McMaster is in the 100s of dollars.

At the end of the day, it really just comes down to being clever and designing with the intent of savings.


We worked up the cost of our design in this thread

The COTS parts total to $290 with motors but without motor controllers.

The plates for our design are cut from scrap metal by on of our sponsors so I did not include that in the total.

We have made a few changes since that thread. We are using Banebot 550s which are cheaper than the AM 9015s. We are using VP LITEs for the steering gearbox which are cheaper than the standard VP gearboxes (and lighter too). We ran with NEOs this year which are a bit more expensive than the miniCIMs (but we were able to get rid of the encoder slice on the drive gearbox because the NEOs have a built in encoder so the overall cost was cheaper).

Hope this helps.


The advice above is absolutely correct. The best way for the CD community to provide specific feedback would be to post the CAD of your module so we can make suggestions specific to it. That being said, swerve is very expensive, the costs you are citing, while a bit high, are not surprising.

For reference our modules cost around $330 a module with a CIM and BAG for motors.

When I designed one, the cost was around $327 + machine time a module so ¯_(ツ)_/¯, unless you can show us some CAD/BOM.

Your numbers are in line with our swerve modules that we made last year. Swerve is not cheap. You’re going to drop over a grand on it and probably closer to two if you’re buying new speed controllers.

It also helps tremendously that after a few years we re-use many components, particularly for development or practice modules - there the costs are minimal. But initial costs for full package will run $330 - $400 per module.
You can also get some swerve development learning by just using two modules along with 2 omnis. you will get same holonomic motion, and can develop code, at half the cost.

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