We were asked about the interoperability of Inventor and Revit a few weeks ago. Revit cannot open native Inventor files (.ipt, .iam) so what options do we have.


Good ol trusty DWG. This file format, even though it started off as a humble 2D/3D file exclusive to AutoCAD has blossomed into the glue that binds all Autodesk products. (the one file that rules them all,the one file that binds them)


This is a 3D file that can be shared across various CAD applications. Inventor can write out SAT files and Revit can import SAT files. This is also a ‘dumb’ solid. No parametric intelligence.


This is a data exchange file created by Autodesk which transfers files between Inventor,Revit, AutoCAD Civil 3D and AutoCAD Architecture. This is also a dumb solid.


YES!!!! You heard right. Since Inventor 2014 you can save Inventor parts and assemblies into the native Revit file format using the BIM exchange.

Lets take a look at the workflow for using the BIM exchange and the 2 files that it spits out, RFA or ADSK, and the differences

In Inventor, you will create either an assembly or part component.

With the assembly you would want to simplify it first before taking it into the BIM environment. This is not necessary for the part file but there are some tools available if it is a very complex part.

You would then go to the BIM tab and get it ready for export to either ADSK or RFA file format.

Depending on how complex your model is or what information you would like to share with the Revit users would determine which file format you would take it out to.

In the follow up blogs I will show you how to take a chair that I have created using both traditional solid modelling techniques and the new freeform modelling which has been introduced after the acquisition of T-Splines (which has been enhanced in 2016) from Inventor to Revit and some of the pitfalls along the way.