Been out of town. Ya know, I do usually model the consoles individually. When you say work with it as a 3ds file, since I don't have 3DStudio, do you mean output 3ds files to use Thea ? The stuff on their website is jaw-dropping good.
Funny, I bought TCAD for the render engine, and too soon found out it's limitations. For control room projects, there's usually a lot of stuff in there, so assembled files tend to be big. Can't put in too many chairs, and forget about equipment in the racks. Might have to spring for Thea sometime when budgets allow. Right now, upgrading laptop, and soon rendering computer. Anxious to try Brad's softlight download.