3D Studio Files in ARCHICAD

by GRAPHISOFT, Katalin Götz, Márta Trón, Emőke Csikós and Dániel Alexander Kovács · updated: 01.09.2017

Import 3ds Max Files (.3ds)

With the help of ‘3DStudio’ In Add-On you will be able to convert .3ds files to ARCHICAD GDL objects. By default, it is not integrated into ARCHICAD. You can find a detailed description about the Add-on and how it works on this page.

Export to 3DStudio File (.3ds)

3DStudio File (*.3ds) format can be saved from ARCHICAD by default; it is not necessary to have any add-on installed.

  • Open the model you would like to export in 3D view.
  • Choose File / Save as… command and select file type 3DStudio File (*.3ds) format and save your model.


  • While saving a 3DS file you have to specify in millimeters or inches the unit to which dimensions of the model should be converted to in the resulting 3DS file.



  • Originally 3D Studio was always expecting dimension data in inches. That was its default dimension unit. In 3D Studio Max, however, there is a setting in Preferences called ‘Default Units’. Because of this the conversion can go wrong if not the correct procedure is followed. There is a checkbox in 3D Studio MAX: Convert Units:


  • When this checkbox is unselected, 3DS MAX assumes the units in the imported file match the current system unit of 3DS MAX and doesn’t convert the units. If the units set in 3DS MAX and during ARCHICAD export are different, you have to use the Convert Units option in 3DS MAX. If the units are set to match, you should leave the checkbox unchecked.


Tips & Tricks


DWG/Import/3D Tips to Exchange Models Between ARCHICAD and Autodesk 3ds Max
Some tips to import 3D Studio Files into ARCHICAD, export 3D Studio Files from ARCHICAD and the suggested workflow for data exchange
DWG/Import/3D GDL Objects’ Link Collection
Thousands of objects that are available and can be downloaded in native GDL format on DBIMcomponents.com and on other object download sDSites
  • Was this Helpful ?
  • 6   ​23

Related content

GDL Object Downloads for ARCHICAD

  Objects on BIMcomponents.com ArchiCAD 16’s new modeling capabilities, connected with the cloud-based BIM Component database allows you to create, search, upload, and download custom BIM components of your choice. The fully-integrated web portal…


When placing a new Wall, Column, Beam or Object-type element (including a Level Dimension), you can use the Gravity function to automatically place the new element directly on top of a Slab, Roof, Shell or Mesh on the same story, thus taking on the…

Alpha Channel

Defintion of Alpha Channel in Wikipedia . Alpha Channel in ArchiCAD In 32-bit color images, the Alpha Channel is an extra channel (in addition to RGB components) that can be edited in image editing applications such as Adobe Photoshop. You can use all…