At TurboSquid, we encourage sellers to export their 3D models to multiple file formats to maximize your sales. However, publishers need to be aware of known issues with some file formats. Being aware of these issues, and following the procedures described here, will ensure customers who buy your models will be happy with their purchases.
3DS is a very popular file format that can be imported by many 3D applications, making it an excellent addition to your product offerings. However, when you export your model to 3DS, all texture names are truncated to 8 characters within the 3DS file, meaning the texture names in the model file no longer match the actual texture names. In effect, when a customer loads the 3DS model in his/her software application, the model won't be able to find the textures anymore. While a savvy customer can figure out the problem and correct it, a less experienced customer is likely to be frustrated and claim that the model isn't what it claims to be. To make the 3DS version of your model useful to all customers, you will need to create a special set of textures for the model, each with a filename of 8 characters or less, and re-map the textures to the model before exporting to 3DS format. Include these short-named textures in the ZIP file for the 3DS product.
IGES is a NURBS-based file format, and is usually purchased by customers with NURB-based software. While many applications export to IGES format, the resulting model is useful only if the model was created with NURBS tools. In fact, polygon models exported to IGES format have been uniformly reported by customers to be unusable within NURB-based applications. Software applications that do export useful IGES files are NURBS-based programs such as Rhino 3D, SolidWorks, and Inventor. If your model is polygon-based, please do not include an IGES version with your product, as this is misleading to customers.