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ROAM special cycles

Roam Special Cycles B.V. is a manufacturer of special bikes for people with a disability. From low entry bicycles to specially balanced means of transport for the disabled. One of the most important products is the Handbike, a bicycle part that can be connected to a wheelchair. The wheelchair rider can start cycling with just one action!

At Roam, people are central and we take all the time to discuss the wishes and possibilities.

Visit the website om ROAM:

“For our clients, a custom made, 3D printed handle literally means the difference between riding a bike or not.”

Johan de Rouw – CEO of ROAM special cycles

ROAM case video
Watch the story behind the ROAM special cycles case

The challange of ROAM

ROAM special cycles specializes in making special bikes for people with disabilities. This means that we make bicycles for people in wheelchairs, our special handbike, but also for people with multiple disabilities.

An important element of building a special bike is to ensure that the cyclist can move around comfortably on the bike. In addition, it is of course important that the customer can start cycling anyway.

Where the feet and pedals on a normal bike take care of the transmission, for our customers this is the hands and the handlebar. You can imagine that customers with a handicap on the hands can’t just use every handle. For example, if you miss a finger or can only apply limited force. Then you can’t just go cycling with every handle.

We noticed that this was becoming more and more apparent from our customers and we wanted to come up with a solution for this. Everyone should be able to cycle in our view.


The steps of the process in five pictures

Making a clay model
Scanning the model
Editing and slicing the handle digitaly
3D printing the model
Ready for use!

The solution of ROAM

We’ve looked at what kind of special solutions are already on the market. Unfortunately, these solutions did not meet the wishes and requirements of our customers. As a result, we started looking for another solution.

Through a thorough investigation we came to the possibility of making a custom-made handle by means of 3D printing. The possibilities in terms of printing shapes and materials are endless, so it took us some time to make a choice.

Step 1 – Clay modelling, just like in kindergarten

First of all, we had to find a way to make a good handprint of our customers. This had to be simple and editable, and also unique per hand and per customer.

Since we always let our children clay, we soon found out that this is an ideal way to get a custom print.

Step 2 – Scanning the clay model

After an extensive test period, we found the ideal 3D scanner that not only converts our files, but also makes them digitally editable.

Step 3 – 3D printing the handle

From the digital file we still had to get a 3D printed handle. Fortunately, our office is a short distance away from an established name in 3D printing, Tractus3D. The advantage is that we could just drive to them and together with Tractus3D we picked the perfect 3D printer for our case: the T850.  This 3D printer is capable of printing in high quality, and is the perfect size for printing 3D handles.

We upload the gcode to the 3D printer through the web interface and we start the print. Within a couple of hours we have a custom made handle.


Laura de Vaan - World champion handbike and testrider

Laura de Vaan is world champion Handbike and a medalwinner on multiple paralympics.

World Championships
Gold medal: 2011, 2015, 2018
Silver medal: 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2017
Road race
Silver medal: 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
Bronze medal: 2009, 2011

Paralympic medals
2012 London
Bronze – Time trial
Silver – Road race
2016 Rio de Janeiro
Bronze – Time trial
Silver – Road race

  • The ROAM special cycles team

3D printer used by ROAM

The T850 is the mid range industrial 3D printer in our DESK series.