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.ai into 3DS

Hope I'm posting this to the right forum
I'm trying to import height data from illustrator into 3ds.
It is basically grouped contour lines levels 0 - 200.
trying to import basic ai says file exceeds 255 lines (what to do here perhaps?)
trying to import file saved to Illustrator 8 comes in but looses the levels and the groups and brings every contour in as a seperate shape.
I'd be very grateful here for any suggestions anyone might have, I'm trying to use the data as a terrain and export for 3d printing.

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