• About HB3D

    From an old welding robot to large-volume robot printing

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.

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.

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.

Our team


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


I am studying Mechanical Engineering M&R at the H.v.A. I am currently doing my internship at HB3D, focusing on the Lattice Project. I love to design with computer aided programs.

Time for a good conversation?

Please contact Erwin de Vlugt (Engineering & Business):