Ab3d.Reader3ds - 3ds file importer

Create 3D models in almost any 3D modeling
application and use them in your WPF application.

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Ab3d.Reader3ds - 3ds file importer

Ab3d.Reader3ds is a class library than can be used to read 3D models from 3ds files.

Reader3ds Schema
  3D modeling application 3ds file WPF application using Ab3d.Reader3ds


The library is very easy to use. In XAML the 3D models can be shown with using Viewport3ds control or Model3ds Visual3D. For advanced usage the Reader3ds class can be used. It contains many properties and methods to control the reading of the 3ds file.

The Reader3ds reads the model hierarchy and their names and makes it very easy to access the read models by their names. It contains the Transformer3ds class that simplifies transformations on the objects. There is also a Animator3ds helper class that makes playing animations stored in 3ds files very easy.

The library comes with many samples that demonstrate its usage.


  • Read Positions, TriangleIndices, TextureCoordinates and Normals.
  • Read object hierarchy and object names.
  • Read Smoothing Groups - data that define which edges are sharp and which are smooth.
  • Read animations from keyframes data.
  • Read all lights and cameras.
  • Read solid color materials, texture materials and specular materials (specular materials are adjusted to be correctly displayed in WPF).
  • Read multi-sub materials (breaks objects into more if one object contains more than one material).
  • Included simple transparency sorting.
  • Integrated tga image reader.
  • Get formated XAML with GetXaml method.
  • Simplified transforming of objects with Transformer3ds class.
  • Simplified playing animations with Animator3ds class.
  • Reporting progress while reading 3ds files.
  • Fully managed code.
  • Tested with thousands of 3ds files.

.Net 5 and newer notice:

Ab3d.Reader3ds library do not provide a special build for .Net 5 or newer framework. But the library can be still used in .Net 5 and newer frameworks because newer frameworks support using assemblies build with older framework version. But to distribute a .Net 5 or newer application you will not be able to use standard licensing with license.licx files. You will need to use licensing by using "Application license key".



Animator3ds sample demonstrates how to play 3D animations stored in 3ds file
Sample with animated 3D buttons
Sample shows a 3D robot arm that is controlled by sliders
R2D2 3D model loaded with Ab3d.Reader3ds
3D models shown with Viewport3ds control
Customizing 3D models with Model3ds control


RobotArm sample:

[all videos]

Animator3ds sample:

[all videos]



Viewer3ds is an application that is using Ab3d.Reader3ds library to read 3D objects from 3ds files and convert them into XAML.

Viewer3ds is not available from NuGet package. It can be installed by using an evaluation version installer (download from Downloads) or by installing the commercial version of Ab3d.Reader3ds (download from User Account web page).


Viewer3ds features

  • The objects hierarchy is displayed in a tree view. It displays names of the objects that were defined in a 3D modeling applications. So when the exported xaml is used in your application, you can know which names to use to access the objects.
  • All the 3D objects can be renamed (or given a name if a name was not specified).
  • If the 3ds file contains an animation, it can be played with Viewer3ds. A selected frame can be exported into xaml.
  • Besides exporting all the 3D objects, only selected objects can be exported.
  • Camera can be freely rotated around the read objects (select Free Camera in Cameras Panel).
  • Lights can be turned on and off. A camera light that shines in the direction of the camera can be added to the scene (in case the scene does not contain any light).
  • There are many options on how to load the 3ds file. For example it is possible to disable transparencies, control the shading of objects, etc.


Viewer3ds Screenshots

The following images are showing screenshots taken from Viewer3ds:

Viewer3ds application after a 3D phone model was read.
Viewer3ds with opened info window with details about selected object.
Viewer3ds with opened export dialog.
Viewer3ds with opened 3ds file that contains animation.
Showing details of selected object - bounding box in red, triangles in green and normals in blue.



To see the development history of Ab3d.Reader3ds and Viewer3ds, check out the related blog posts.
A complete list of Ab2d.Reader3ds versions can be seen here.


Information about changes:
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