A friend of mine made his first open source project on Codeplex, XNABEE.
He uses a tool from Microsoft called XNA for making DirectX-based games.
For basic effects on lighting, textures, etc., you have to make a change, recompile, and see if it was what you wanted. Major pain.
He made an external tool that lets folks import in the object and then adjust all of the BasicEffect settings in real-time.
When the user gets it how they want, they can save all of the properties and throw it back into XDA.