The MAX file extension is used by the 3D modeling software Autodesk 3ds Max. Max is a proprietress 3D format and includes a complete 3D scene with 3D objects, textures, color and lighting settings, animations and other 3D design elements.
3ds Max is used for the creation of graphics and animated films, especially in the professional field such as film, television and games. 3ds Max used to be 3D Studio Max, which saved scenes in 3ds format. This format, unlike the MAX format, can be read by some other 3D application. However, 3ds Max can still save the old 3ds format.
The free 3d software Blender can import MAX files via script by way of an obj conversion. (still alpha status)
Most often resolving problems with opening MAX files is very simple. Just install an appropriate program that supports such files. All of the listed programs support MAX files, but may vary in offered function and purpose. Some programs may be capable only of viewing contents of MAX files or offer file conversion options, but may not be capable of editing such files.
It is possible that although a compatible program has been installed on user’s system, it is not used by the system to open it. This may happen because no default application was associated with this type of files. To associate MAX files with given application, select "Open with" from drop-down menu (accessed by right-clicking on the file). Then select from the list the program or application you want to be used to open this type of file. If the 3D Studio Max applications is not on the list, select "Browse" option in order to manually locate the directory where 3D Studio Max has been installed.
Sometimes problems with opening MAX files may not lie with the application itself, but can arise due to other causes, such as: