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Home > Supported File Formats > 3D Studio to 3MF


How to convert 3D Studio (.3ds) to 3MF?


PolyTrans|CAD+DCC performs mathematically precise CAD, DCC/Animation, GIS and BIM 3D file conversions into all key downstream 3D packages and file formats. Okino software is used and trusted throughout the world by many tens of thousands of 3D professionals in mission & production critical environments, backed by respectable personal support directly from our core development team.

     

3D Studio

The .3ds file format was the native file format of the old Autodesk '3D Studio R1-R4' software, which was popular up to about 1996 before its successor (3ds Max) replaced it. The file format is a dated, 16-bit, obsolete format. It is limited to triangle geometry, 65536 polygons per mesh, no vertex normals for accurate smoothing, 8.3 DOS filename naming and a maximum of 10 characters for object names.

Please do not confuse the .3ds format with the 3ds Max .max format. You will find throughout the 3D industry that some companies refer to .3ds as the "3ds Max file format" but this is not true. The native file format of 3ds Max is the .max format, whereas .3ds is just a legacy import/export file format ported over to 3ds Max by Tom Hudson during the transition from 3D Studio R4 back in the early 1990s. DO NOT use the .3ds file format to convert to/from 3ds Max but rather use Okino's dedicated PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in system for 3ds Max.

     

3MF

3MF, 3D Manufacturing Format, is a modern replacement for the legacy STL (StereoLithography) file format with an explicit focus on the proper transmission of CAD and non-CAD model data for 3D printing as well as to downstream services and platforms. From Okino's long term perspective, the VRML2 file format was and is "just as good" for such requirements but never had the correct understanding nor traction since its introduction in 1995.

Features of 3MF over the legacy STL format includes: geometry instancing support, layered texture maps, multiple layers of UV texture coordinates, vertex colors and extended material types.

History, features, overviews, implementation partners and more can be read on the 3MF Consortiumís web site.

Note: Microsoft Windows uses the 3D Manufacturing Format (.3mf) for all 3D printing tasks.

Please also refer to the 3MF export converter for more information related to 3MF.