• About HB3D

    Van een oude lasrobot naar grootvolume robotprinten

HB3D was founded in 2015 by Niels Haarbosch, Erwin de Vlugt, Robert van der Vliet and Tjeerd Vos. Three engineers and a lawyer, all with a passion for robotics and the urge to make beautiful large products in an efficient and sustainable way.

How it started

An old welding robot from the automotive industry was converted into a robot printer and with advice from various partners we started pioneering. At first, the printed shapes were still quite simple, such as cylinders and tubes. The technology developed steadily and soon we were able to print more complex shapes that caught the attention of artists and designers. The first projects mainly concerned single pieces and small series were form and esthetics were leading.

In the summer of 2020, we moved from Haarlem to a spacious workshop in Amsterdam. We currently use two robots, one on a track with a reach of 12m and an automatic tool change for printing and milling.

High-volume robotic printing

High-volume (large product size) robot printers are complex technical systems and are currently undergoing rapid development. The ‘trick’ is to perfectly match the extrusion and the robot’s movements to deposit the plastic melt in the right amount at the right place and at the right temperature for optimal layer adhesion and shape consistency.

The printer settings are different for each combination of material and product design. While small robot printers are widely used, large volume robot printers are a completely different practice.

Our expertise

In addition to expertise in robotics, we have gained knowledge and expertise of materials for pellet extrusion (thermoplastics) for 3D robot printing (FGF = Fused Granulate Fabrication) and recently also in post-processing by robot milling.

Through years of practical experience with various projects, we understand the essential dependencies in the trinity of material, printing process and design; the basis for making high-quality products with 3D robot printers.

The technology has now been developed to such an extent that we can also print constructive products: large, beautiful and strong. Over the years, we also worked on technical construction applications such as boats and bridges and, in addition to final products, we also print molds for the composite industry.

Our team

Niels

I am an inventive maker with 30 years of experience in the composite industry. My passion is producing high-quality products from sustainable materials. I enjoy sharing my experience to people about 3D printing.

Robert

I am trained as an aircraft builder and experienced in engineering of production automation systems. In our previous company, I worked a lot with Niels on optimizing production processes for composite construction. My drive is to make manufacturing processes efficient by using robotic systems.

Erwin

I am a mechanical engineer, a concept thinker and experienced as a scientific researcher in robots for healthcare applications. My passion is to engineer measurement and control systems and use of parametric design tools in robot printing.

Tjeerd

I have a background in tax law and responsible for the financial affairs and arrangements on intellectual property. My enthusiasm for technology mainly translates into encouragement of my colleagues and facilitation for sound business operations.

Dennis

I am an all-round technician with a practical drive. In 2020 I graduated at the Digital Production Research Group (DPRG) at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). At HB3D I can practice my passion for parametric design and CAM programming, and I like to support the production in our workshop.

Mees

My interests are in programming (high level languages) and parametric product design. Currently I am responsible for the design and implementation of all PLC controllers.

Julian

Student at AUAS. My graduation assignment aims to realize a new servo drive system for the printer head. Mechatronics and robotics are my passions.

Ian

Student, 3rd year Business Studies at InHolland. My internship assignment is aimed at identifying the market potential of reusable 3D printed products, initially for the consumer market. My passion lies in both business and design.

Marten

Student at AUAS. My bachelor graduation assignment is aimed to design and implement a controller for tool changing to fully automate the switch-over between printing and milling on the same robot. I am passionate about robotics and control.

Sparren met een kop koffie?

Neem contact op met Erwin de Vlugt (Engineering & Business):