I'm curious why .3ds import/export addon was removed

As per the thread title.
I have some OLD model libraries, and most of the models are in .3ds format. So I’m more interested in importing .3ds than exporting.
I can’t imagine it’s an issue with Autodesk, considering both .fbx and even .dxf (still !!) are in there. Both of which are Autodesk formats.
It seems like a strange feature to drop, considering how prevalent .3ds files were for many years.
Sure. I can import into 2.79 then copy/paste into 2.8x or 2.9x … Or use MeshLab to convert to .obj … But still. It’s an extra and unneeded step.

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Most likely because nobody is willing to maintain that add-on. If your old model library is worth something to you, it should be worth the time for you to import them in 2.79 and save them as blend files.

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That makes sense I suppose … tho it seems quite odd. Particularly since someone(s) is apparently still willing to maintain .dxf import/export. LOL
As to converting the libraries … There’s 100s of models in there. Doing that manually (as a whole set) isn’t really a viable option. Just one at a time I guess, if and when I want to use any of them.

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There’s an effort to port the old importer/exporter to Blender, but it will not be ready anytime soon: .3ds is basically a relic from the past, when software couldn’t do more than 65535 triangles in a model. (And people nowadays complain Blender is slow manage millions nowadays :slight_smile: ). DXF is still in use nowadays, particularly for those people who needs to import/export from CAD and BIM software that supports most of the geometry the format is capable to manage.

Anyways, you can follow the development here: https://developer.blender.org/D7454

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Hey cool, thanks.
People still use .dxf? o.O … Wow. Truly. Wow. Such an inefficient format LOL to each their own I guess.
I’d not have even noticed this had I not gone into the libraries recently to find some basic static props. Then I was like, “Huh? Blender can’t import .3ds anymore? I must’ve not turned on that addon.” … but Nope. It’s not there.
I look forward to it coming back.

DXF is still used and broadly to exchange CAD information between CAD/BIM/Construction Machinery, wasn’t designed to be used with 3D artistic applications like Blender, but is still the only way to exchange CAD information from/to Blender. FBX was axed by Autodesk when it was reverse engineered, and DWG is a can of worms. DXF is ineficient because is meant to be Human Readable in case of problems. The problem the format have is that part of it is not well documented, particularly solids geometry, which is propietary, encoded and encrypted, but since we’re talking about autodesk, consider that as “totally normal”.

3ds was axed years ago from everywhere, because is an arcane format nowadays. Particularly the 65535 face limit is annoying, and material handling representation is obsolete nowadays. Even 3dsmax axed the format, but too much users complained so Autodesk started supporting again, but “as is”, with no guarantees at all.

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3ds is so bad that it can only do triangles. No quads or other ngons.

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I’m a simpleton, but is it possible to take the “io_scene_3ds” addon in the 2.79 scripts folder and put it in the 2.9x folder, or would you have to update the code to get it to work?

For Blender 2.91.0, the addon (io_scene_3ds) can be found at the directory “…\2.91\scripts\addons_contrib”

Just move it to “…\scripts\addons” and activate it.

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Moving it isn’t really necessary, you can enable Testing in Add-ons tab and should find it there, at least in Blender 2.91 Alpha it is there. Don’t know if it works, though.

i am using bforartist a another blender, i has aadon in testing that can import .3ds files without any issue.

In the non-alpha 2.91 it is not there. However version from this repo seems to be working: