Because many manufactures of MEP equipment and Architectural Manufactures (Windows, Doors, Etc.) use Inventor to model their products, we often get asked if it’s possible to use inventor files in Revit.
While you cannot use native Inventor files in Revit, you can Import a exported ACIS SAT files from Inventor into any Revit product. You will need to export your Inventor model to a SAT file and then use Import/Link-> CAD Formats in Revit which has the option to import SAT files.
SAT files act pretty much like any other CAD format that is imported into Revit. Like DWG files, SAT files can be very useful if you import them into a new Family and then import that Family into your Revit project. This lets you use the 3D geometry of the SAT file in sections like a regular Revit family.
There some things to bring up though if you want to try this. Be careful about the complexity of the Inventor model you are trying to bring into Revit. Manufactures use Inventor to model content so that they can fabricate their parts. This can mean that the parts are very complex and can contain every bolt, nut, hinge, and connection that is needed to assemble the product. This level of complexity can cause problems in Revit because of the size of the exported SAT files and all that detail.
If you’re trying to use manufacturer files, check them to see how much detail is in the file and eliminate anything that you don’t absolutely need to see. This will save you headaches in the end.
If you’re looking for more information on using Inventor with Revit, I recommend that you check out Lisa Brady’s two classes at this year’s AU in Las Vegas.