How to open 3DS files

Did your computer fail to open a 3DS file? We explain what 3DS files are and recommend software that we know can open or convert your files.

What is a 3DS file?

3DS files are 3D Studio mesh files, which you can read more about below.

The 3DS file extension indicates to your device which app can open the file. However, different apps may use the same file extension for different types of data. So a 3DS opener may not be able to open all kinds of 3DS files. In this case, though, we only know of one specific use.

3D Studio mesh

Files that contain the .3ds file extension are most commonly associated with the Autodesk 3D Studio software. The software's 3DS files contain a variety of information used to form a three-dimensional scene, like coordinates, a list of polygons used to form the objects, color information, etc.

3DS files are stored in a binary file format. This enables the files to load faster and makes them smaller than the text-based file formats of a similar nature.

3DS files were commonly used to transfer 3D models between different 3D software applications. The 3DS file format has been increasingly replaced by the newer MAX file format created for, the newer 3DS Max software program.

We have not verified any programs yet that works with this specific format. If you know any, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below. Thanks!

3DS file openers, viewers, etc.

These apps are known to open certain types of 3DS files. Remember, different programs may use 3DS files for different purposes, so you may need to try out a few of them to be able to open your specific file.

Adobe PhotoshopAdobe PhotoshopUser submitted
WinDS PROWinDS PROUser submitted
ACD/3D Viewer FREEWAREACD/3D Viewer FREEWAREUser submitted
WinDS PRO AppsWinDS PRO AppsUser submitted
pCon.plannerpCon.plannerUser submitted
ViewViewUser submitted
MicroStationMicroStationUser submitted
ACD/3DACD/3DUser submitted
3ds Max3ds MaxUser submitted
3D-Tool3D-ToolUser submitted
We have not verified any programs that we know for certain can work with 3DS-files on Mac. If you know one, please use the Suggest link below and tell us about it!
We have not verified any online services that we know for certain can work with 3DS-files. If you know one, please use the Suggest link below and tell us about it!