How to Convert a DWG to 3DS

Written by david gray
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How to Convert a DWG to 3DS
Both AutoCAD and 3DS Max have powerful drawing and rendering capabilities. (3d rendering, abstract figure image by Stasys Eidiejus from

A .dwg file is an AutoCAD drawing file, which can be two- or three-dimensional. A .3ds file is a 3D model file used by AutoDesk 3D Studio. A .dwg file can either be exported as .3ds from AutoCAD or imported by 3DSMax.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Download and install the 3DSOUT Command Utility (see Resources section).

  2. 2

    Open the .dwg file you wish to convert in AutoCAD.

  3. 3

    Use the 3DSOUT command to export the .dwg file to .3ds.

  1. 1

    Open 3DSMax and create a new model.

  2. 2

    Select the "Import" option from the "File" menu.

  3. 3

    Select the .dwg file type from the drop down menu and browse to the .dwg file you wish to import. You can also set options for the conversion process. Finally, click "OK" to complete the conversion.

Tips and warnings

  • One option may be better than the other depending on which version of AutoCAD or 3DSMax you have.

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