(Editor’s Note: More than two million people — so far — have downloaded DraftSight from nearly every corner of the Earth. To celebrate this wide geographic appeal, we plan on periodically casting the spotlight on businesses and professional CAD users from various countries.)
After 15 years toiling behind the scenes in the lighting and electrical services industry, draftsman MJ Smyth decided to be his own boss by co-founding I.T. Monkey, a computer consulting and CAD training/service firm. But you may be extremely familiar with his prior work.
Smyth drew the electrical and ventilation diagrams for many of the McDonald’s restaurants dotted across the Emerald Isle.
“I never got turn the Golden Arches on,” he laments with a smile.
“We get asked about our name a lot,” says Smyth. “Well anyone in the CAD world has heard the term ‘CAD Monkey,’ and everyone in the car world has heard the term ‘Grease Monkey,’ so we figured, why not an I.T. Monkey? Plus, it sounds better than ‘Naas IT Services’ or something else boring.”
Smyth’s co-founding Monkey is Liam MacNamee, an Apple engineer and large format print configuration specialist.
Smyth splits his time between general I.T. consulting and CAD services. Recent projects include the fire alarm layouts for the Royal Dublin Society, a historic complex of arenas and exhibition halls known for concerts and championship horse shows; and site drawings for the oil industry in Dublin Harbor and the Irish Rail‘s central oil depot for diesel trains.
“It’s expensive to run your own business,” he says. “I know many engineers and draftsmen in Ireland who are using bootlegged copies of CAD programs and they are always fearful of being hit with massive fines. It’s way too risky.”
“If you are starting a new company with new clients, the last thing you want hanging over your head is the possibility of getting caught with dodgy CAD software. Yet the cost of AutoCAD is just ridiculous — thousands of Euros for just one seat. That’s a huge obstacle to getting started. And there are no grants in Ireland to help small businesses,” Smyth adds.
I.T. Monkey encourages its clients to download DraftSight so they can view any DWG files.
“The first thing they ask is ‘Why is it free?’ and then when I say it is from Dassault Systèmes, it answers all their concerns,” says Smyth.
He also enjoys the opportunity to engage with fellow DraftSight users on Facebook for brainstorming ideas and troubleshooting problems.
“The CAD world is a funny place,” he says. “We’re a pretty tight-knit and courteous bunch. Nobody knows everything about CAD. And if anyone tells you that they do, they’re lying!”