Importing 3DS Objects - Punchhelpers

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Importing 3DS Objects
For programs up to Version 19
3DS is a format generated by 3D Max, a 3D object oriented program, developed by Autodesk (the AutoCAD manufacturer). With this program, the objects are defined by polygons in structures called meshes. There are other programs to create and develop 3DS objects but unfortunately, they are expensive.

In the web, there are many free 3DS libraries; however, not all the objects can be imported easily in Punch and not all of the imported objects can be used in Punch. Some 3DS objects increase their size 10 times in Punch.

These are some tips to import and use 3DS objects.

1- Remember that the texture maps are not imported in Punch so the best models for Punch use are the 3DS files without texture maps. Wireframe models are excellent.
2- If you try to import a 3DS object in Punch and you get an empty file, some adjustments are necessary. Open the object in a CAD program, adding all the meshes by object (don't use colors or materials). Inspect the layers to confirm they follow the original model --> Purge all --> Save as --> 3DS --> Derive Layers --> Override (uncheck) --> Smooth (check) --> Welding (check).
3- Now, you have a 3DS file ready to be imported in Punch, however, the size of the POB (Punch object) will be an issue. To solve this problem, return to the CAD program (or 3DS program) --> decrease a number of segments for some typical 3D objects (Surface Options). For example, to change a number of Sphere segments in CAD, select it --> Properties --> Surface Options --> decrease the values of XX and YY segments.
4- You can use the same procedures above to convert DWG objects to 3DS object and import them in Punch. Just keep in mind that most of the DWG objects use a different concept to convert transparencies (transparent texture); therefore many DWG 3D objects in the web (such as cabinets, for example) are not wireframe objects but solids with transparencies, therefore you should create the openings.
5- In all the cases, verify the dimensions and scale.

Note:  An updated version of this Tutorial is also available in the FREE e-book
"Learning Punch Software (R): Mini-Tutorials"
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