3d File Format Cheat Sheet

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Something that I love to talk about is how we should be using the best tool for the job. I tend to use a lot of tools for 3d architectural design, and I usually use more than two on any 3d modeling exercise. I decided it was time that I put together all of the file format knowledge I have gained over my many years of experience into one place to create a resource for 3d designers.

Which file type should you use to make Program A talk to Program B? The Cheat Sheet is here so you can get all of these programs talking to each other without having to guess anymore. 

I show you how to get the following programs talking to each other:

  • 3DStudio Max
  • AutoCAD
  • Artlantis
  • Bonzai3d & FormZ
  • Cinema4d
  • Revit
  • Rhino
  • SketchUp

This is a cheat sheet to use when sending geometry from one 3d modeling program to another. Stop guessing and use these tried-and-true shortcuts.

This will make you faster, and worth more.

All 3d programs give you too many (or not enough) options to choose from when you export. Which one do you use? This resource gives you exactly what you need to stop experimenting to get that geometry into another 3d program. They all talk to each other, but it can be a chore to figure out what language they all speak - DWG, FBX, DAE, 3DS… the list goes on and on. I give you the best format to use for the current version of the software and some extra notes to make the transfer as painless as possible. Lucky you!

Productivity is a huge asset. Now you never have to explain to your boss or client why you spent 2 hours doing something when it looks like you didn’t do anything!

A disclaimer: Your mileage may vary. Some geometry is more complex than others, and sometimes it just plain won’t work they way I tell you. In that case, you are on your own. But don’t stop there! Once you figure it out, please let me know and I’ll add it to this list. This is a living document. As each piece of software matures, things will change. I hope to keep this list current with your help. Let me know if you see any problems, corrections, or additions to this list. You can get in touch with me on my contact page for updates.

Also, if you have particular requests, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do to get them incorporated.

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