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VRML file importer?

This is a little off the wall but has anybody written or know about an IDL
routine to IMPORT vrml, .3ds, or any other "standard" 3d file format?  My
guess is that something exists somewhere since RSI imported the geometry for
the teapot that is in one of the demos.  Now if they would share it......

Or conversely, does anyone know of a free 3d modeling package that outputs
files in .ase (the 3ds max ASCII file format).  I have found a C routine to
import .ase files that I could wrangle into a dlm.  The object is to find a
good free modeling package and a tool to import the vertex, connectivity,
color and texmap info into IDL.

IDL's object graphic system is pretty darn neat, but it is missing some key
features. :(