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About model and data exchange with 3rd party solutions: Revit, Solibri, dRofus, Bluebeam, structural analysis solutions, and IFC, BCF and DXF/DWG-based exchange, etc.

Export Archicad > 3DS Max - Message intended to Graphisoft

Not applicable
The export from Archicad (mac osx) to 3DS MAX is pitiful!

Export in .3ds format:
- name reduced to 8 characters
- exported to bmp (24 bits, not recognized by Max> 32 bits)
- UV mapping not conforming to Archicad mapping

Materials :
- name reduced to 16 characters
- merging of materials if the first 16 characters are identical
  (Example: "material wood 2564A" and "material wood 2564B", result: a unique material "material wood 25")
- merging of materials that have exactly the same parameters on Archicad (example duplicated materials)

Export in .obj format:
- loss of all material and texture informations
(The .mtl file is useless)

Since when did Graphisoft no longer update the export in .3ds?
I use Archicad 17, I do not know if export works better on Archicad 20.
It's still more than twenty years since file names are no longer limited to 8 characters on a PC!

Autodesk (Revit, Autocad) is a competitor for Graphisoft. You prefer to favor export to Cinema 4D. But in this way, you let YOUR USERS of Archicad also using 3DS Max, in the shit!

Congratulations Graphisoft!

FWIW, the 3DS format is an old binary format for 3D Studio for MS DOS (!).
The limitations you explain are inherent with the file format (which uses short names and DOS-limitations). Meshes are also limited to 65.000 vertices (16-bit indexing).

The MAX file format is only relevant for 3DS Max and is not usable in other software (you cannot read nor write it). Software that claims to do so, actually uses 3DS Max installed on your machine to do the conversion (e.g. Polytrans).

The better way to get ARCHICAD models into 3DS Max would be to have full FBX support in ARCHICAD.

As an alternative, you could use Wavefront OBJ or the Collada DAE files as used with the Google Earth export.
--- stefan boeykens --- bim-expert-architect-engineer-musician ---
ARCHICAD-user since 1998
Archicad Book

Not applicable
Thanks for your contribution Stefan.
stefan wrote:
FWIW, the 3DS format is an old binary format for 3D Studio for MS DOS (!).
The limitations you explain are inherent with the file format (which uses short names and DOS-limitations). Meshes are also limited to 65.000 vertices (16-bit indexing).
Effectively, the 8 and 16 characters limitations are inherent with the file format. 3DS max export in .3ds with textures files jpg > jpg. Why Archicad exports with jpg > bmp ? And theses bmp files are not recognized by 3DS max !

I dropped the .3ds export. I use the .obj. I have found how to use the .mtl file (exported with .obj file, as materials description). In the .obj file (open as text file), the second line corresponds to the .mtl file path. Simply modify it.

Yes we can wait for FBX export solution, or perhaps, keep on dream...

Katalin Borszeki
Hi All,
The basics of how we export 3ds files haven’t changed since AC17. There are 4 ways to export:
1. ARCHICAD objects (native output):
2. Element types – Surfaces
3. Layers – Surfaces
4. Surfaces

There is however feature, introduced in AC19. In case the model is far enough from origin a “Move exported elements close to project origin” checkbox appears in the dialog.

3D Studio works with names up to 10 characters.
For names generated by ARCHICAD the naming convention is the following:
Chars 1 to 7: represent the unique ID or clipped layer/surface name.
Chars 8 to 9: are used for a distinctive number to avoid identical names generated by clipping. Up to 100 variations of the same name are allowed this way.
Char 10: is used for slicing information. 3D Studio can handle up to 65,536 polygons by object. If an object has multiple polygons, ARCHICAD will split the object into several objects and put the segment number into Char 10.
Hopefully this clears some of your questions,
Katalin Borszeki
Implementation Specialist
GRAPHISOFT - the ArchiCAD knowledge base

Not applicable
Autodesk has a free FBX converter that is working with obj, 3ds, dae

Don't use 3ds as export format, as stefan said you have the option for obj or free plugin also available for collada

Not applicable
You can use this, and keep all materials from your Archicad model :

Has anyone tried to export to revit via BIM6x and then import to 3dsMAX?
Any limitations?
arch. ernest atanasiu
AC 10-26 INT/GER/FR on Win 10/ Win 11

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