Matt Griffin’s first blog post for Adafruit!

Hello! I’m Matt Griffin, and I’m thrilled to be diving into this team as Adafruit’s director of community support and evangelism. Those of you who have ventured into the wild open seas of DIY 3D printing might have encountered me in my former position as MakerBot’s Community Manager, building that community one human+robot at a time since late 2009. Working at Adafruit is going to be really exciting. I’m looking forward to getting to know, well, all of you and your incredible projects more intimately in the coming months.

While I’m away from my tools and such for a proper show-and-tell, I wanted to point out two projects of mine I shared on Thingiverse that speak to my passion for using computers, robots, and tools as collaborators when creating art or documenting experiences.

A few years back, a colleague of mine, Will Langford, designed the Unicorn toolhead to transform a MakerBot 3D printer into a pen-plotter. One element to the design that from some perspectives could be seen as a flaw, was the tendency of the pen-gripping carriage to torque a teensy little bit on its slider due to resistance created by the pen nib pressing against the paper. As it happened, this unexpected twisting behavior ended up granting the resulting pieces a hand-drawn, natural illustrative feel far different than the stair-stepped curves and technical illustration feel of most DIY pen-plotters.

I went wild for a bit plotting all sorts of vector art that I  pulled into Inkscape and prepped for printing with the project that became Marty McGuire’s Unicorn G-Code Extension for Inkscape. As I got to know how the machine would respond, I began creating my own pen-plotter illustrations to suit it strengths, including the two images below!


Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.

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  1. Congratulations on the move Matt. Your work at Makerbot was greatly appreciated and you are joining a fantastic team at Adafruit. Their community and support has been stellar to date, and your addition is sure to take it … intergalactic? (sorry I;m at a space/interstellar conference this weekend). Looking forward to seeing your touch here.

    – Jerry

  2. The photo was taken by the multi-talented Ethan Hartman.

  3. Hey Matt, good to see you with the team at Adafruit, one of my favorite companies in the making/hacking community. 🙂

  4. I’m not sure how the already excellent community & service side of Adafruit will improve with your addition, but knowing you, I am sure there will be some great things happening. Congrats on the new job at one of my favorite companies.

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