FABelgrade 2016

FABelgrade 2016 is the 1st conference in Serbia and the region dedicated to promotion of digital fabrication and fab lab concept and their application in various fields.  It was organised by this fantastic team: Ivana Gadjanski, Danko Radulovic, Nikola Andonov, Borko Jovanovic and Milena Zuza.

If you want to see Ivana in action in Serbian, then check this out!


I was invited to give a presentation about fablabs and entrepreneurship.  When I got my flight tickets I was surprised to see that the name of the airport in Belgrade is Nikola Tesla! So I adapted my original presentation and talked about what we can learn from this greatest inventor in the 20th century. Check it here!

For me it was so cool to be there and meet all these great people who are kicking off the maker movement in this part of Europe.  They got a very interesting program and cool workshops.

On Saturday morning, on my way to the breakfast, I almost collided on Adrian Bowyer - a real superhero for the maker-movement.  Adrian started the RepRap project. RepRap is about making self-replicating machines, and making them freely available for the benefit of everyone. RepRap was the first of the low-cost 3D printers, and the RepRap Project started the open-source 3D printer revolution. It has become the most widely-used 3D printer among the global members of the Maker Community.


Ever did neuroscience experiments with cockroaches? Greg Gage from Backyard Brains knows all about it. Man, this presentation was just awesome!  If I had these kind of biology classes in highschool, I would have been so excited!

Backyard Brains enables everyone to be a neuroscientist! They provide affordable neuroscience experiment kits for students of all ages to learn (hands-on) about electrophysiology. Now everyone from schoolchildren to grad students and every grade in between can experiment with similar tools used by real neuroscientists worldwide!


Eating an apple will never be the same again after you've met Andrew Pelling.  This guy grows body parts - like ears - using an apple! No Shit! The ears are made up of real, living human cells, but the material that gives them structure — the scaffolding — is apple cellulose.

Andrew directs the Laboratory for Biophysical Manipulation, an exploratory space where scientists, engineers and artists work in close quarters, the lab is dedicated to understanding the limits of living systems and how biological entities can be controlled, manipulated and re-purposed using non-genetic and non-pharmacological approaches. The work is heavily informed by the biophysical and biological sciences, DIY and a culture of manipulation.

Saša Jokić is an inventor and an entrepreneur in the field of construction robotics and architecture. In 2012, Saša has been a co-inventor of the new 3D printing technology under the project called “Mataerial” together with Petr Novikov. During 2014, he had been leading a robotic research project “Minibuilders”, at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IaaC), as a part of the Open Thesis Fabrication course.


Next to the auditorium where all the presentations were given, there was a real FabLab installed with lasercutters, CNC milling machines, 3D printers, genuino electronics, ... One of the stands that got my attention was that from GoodEnoughCNC. They showed different CNC machines: a 3D printer branded as TroubleMaker! :), Precise XY - an affordable and precise XY and Z movement platform for scientific experimentation - and others.  So I started a conversation with Luka Mustafa, the guy behind this project. Luka is really amazing, he designed all these open source machines just for fun while being a PhD student at UCL and developing KORUZA. KORUZA is a low cost, open source and open hardware, wireless optical system, making the free space optical (FSO) technology available to masses and providing an alternative to Wi-Fi networks.

My good friend Memet Ünsal presented the most awesome Mobile Entrepreneurship Program ever!  With InnoCampus they set up a sort of popup incubator space for students at different universities in Turkey.  They even have a fablab onboard so that the teams can really prototype new products and services!


This conference was the first about FabLabs in the Balkan region, and I really have to congratulate the team for the superb organisation.  It was really interesting and a good opportunity for al lot of people to connect.  I am curious about all the initiatives that will come out of this.  Keep up the good work!

Stijn De Mil
Stijn De Mil