Well, in your plugin manager, there are a few highly-supported export plugins that are NOT enabled by default.
Check them out
Windows/settings and preferences/plugin manager
Check ON BOTH checkboxes for the, obj, and vrml plugins at least
Right now, there is no free .3ds exporter that I know of.
However, Max will understand the .obj format
Israel "Izzy" Long
Motion and Title Design for Broadcast-Film-DS