3DS File - opening and understanding

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

What is a 3DS file?

A .3DS file is a 3D Studio mesh file. 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.

How to open 3DS files

You will need a program compatible with the specific file you are trying to open, as different programs may use files with file extension 3DS for different purposes.

While we have not verified the apps ourselves yet, our users have suggested 10 different 3DS openers which you will find listed below.

Suggest another file format using extension 3DS

While we know of one file format using the .3DS file extension, there may be more. It is widespread that different programs use files with the same file extension for very different types of data. Please let us know if you are aware of a different kind of .3DS file.

Various viewers for this file format

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 software that we know for certain will work with 3DS-files on Mac. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!
We have not verified any web services that we know for certain will work with 3DS-files. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!