What is the cleanest way to export from Rhino to 3ds Max? - NURBS to Poly

Hi all,

Normally I export surfaces as DWGs using a high poly default, it works very well for all my rendering needs. However I want to try out the Unreal Engine 4 with designs created in Rhino, Unreal Engine 4 requires much cleaner poly geometry for creating UVs/lightmaps - can someone advise on the cleanest way to export?



I was hoping to give Zbrush a try but no demo download available. Now giving Poly-trans a go

3DCoat it’s even better in retopology stuff. Cost lot less and has demo. :wink:

How can we use 3DCoat to export a model from Rhino to 3Ds Max ??
I have checked their website, but couldn’t find anything about converting Rhino Model to 3Ds Max!!!

Hi @Bara_Sabsabi! You can export directly from Rhino to 3DS Max by using 3DS or DWG for instance.


And other formats to try, depending on what you want to keep, are .obj and .fbx

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Thanks for reply…
I have tried 3DS, DWG, but when Rhino Convert Polysurface to Mesh it creates unnecessary Edges and triangulated Faces, wish makes the 3Ds Max File Slow.

Is there a way to remove the unnecessary edges in max without changing the object typology ?

Actually i need to export my Architectural Model from Rhino to Max just for visualization and Rendering with V-Ray, But since now there is V-Ray for Rhino i’m rendering in Rhino, But i faced another problem which is lack of Blocks (Trees, Furniture, People,…) can you point me some website that provide 3D Models with materials for Rhino ??
or is there a way to export 3ds Max Blocks (Models) to Rhino With it’s Vray Material ?

Thanks for your time.

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sculptris is the skinny free version of zbrush

For this kind of needs in my workflow I open my Rhino file in Moi3D, from there export as OBJ choosing meshing as Ngons (controlling level of detail numerically on export).

Then that clean obj file can go to 3DS Max, Maya, Modo…

I hope that helps,



Hi @Bara_Sabsabi

Rhino supports many file types and can insert them as Blocks. So you can use models from most 3d model sites such as 3Dwarehouse and insert them into your Rhino file. Here are other sites:


You can export as .dxf from Rhino, making sure that during the export you edit your ‘scheme’ changing the option that says ‘Surfaces’ to ‘Meshes’. Then choose lower polygons.

Your model should arrive to Max as meshes without extra subdivisions.

I think this is an old post, but…
YEP!!, open Rhino scenes in Moi3d (moment of inspiration) it gives the best result ever when imported them to 3ds max. I found that is because n-gons, non-destructible blend surfaces.
Awkward is that in Rhino 6 you have n-gons on OBJ export but its oposite on how is need to uncheck n-gons before export obj.

I have been fighting with those undesire triangular edges that result after export objects from Rhino to 3ds Max. I found many artists arguing diferent mechanisms and aproaches… In the end of the day it would be better to model and create all scenes and assets inside 3DS Max. All modelers creates all kind of assets primarly for 3ds max, blender, maya, etc… And you have FlyinArchitecture just for Rhino.
But i understant that modeling ArchViz stuff inside Rhino is away easy and a fast workflow specialy if we have in count the easy way of snaping and cplanes work in Rhino.

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I was using .3Ds But Recently I used DWG Format with solid 2007 and it works very well clean no extra edges or triangulated faces in 3Ds Max or Unreal

Rhino 6 User

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Best method i found is:

  1. Import in MoI and then export to 3DS

  2. Export from Rhino to DWG (but you need to have you geometry as simple as you can. no complex curves is good for this)

  3. Export from Rhino in STEP format (it is solidworks like, and it read all complex and curves very well)

  4. All this options are required for a clean geometry and tessellation inside 3DS max. For that you have Sini Software of Optimize modifiers or AutoEdge under Edit Mesh .

  5. There is a plugin QUAD REMESHER that makes magic to objects. but you need to check some minor youtube videos to understand how it works.

Otherwise you need to know a lot of retopology techniques to get you model accurate, otherwise chamfers wont work.

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Hi guys,
I just did a test with exporting a meshed building from Rhino to max through 3DS and OBJ with nGons.
The 3DS file became 40MB and the OBJ 240MB, any idea why the OBJ is so much bigger in filesize?
And does MOI a better job than v7 on this?

I guess because Obj format is not compressed.

Hi Jørgen, the .3ds file format caps at about `65K polygons limit. So could it be possible that your .3DS is only exporting part of your model? while the .obj is exporting the whole thing?

What happens if you import back the .3ds? Do you see a full model? or only some of it?


OBJ is a text format - I think 3ds is binary - that is probably the main difference in size on disk. (assuming the contents are the same)


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Hi, the file is just fine, all data triangulated and intact.
The limit is only per part in the file, so bigger parts are split into chunks of 65K (Can result in ugly seams) 3DS not supporting longer material names and object names is another annoying limitation, but it’s an old format that is best preserved as it is IMO. In the end of the day it can be a life saver.

Thanks, that makes sense.

Side note, I often see Rhino truncate names for .fbx files for some reason, do you know why? We use FBX for TwinMotion export and sometimes long names are changed to shorter versions. (But it doesn’t happen every time)