I am working on a new video game idea and am well versed in Inventor 2016, but, new to Blender. How might I import my Inventor models into Blender 2.77?
Between Inventor and Blender you can use the .STL file format. There are also paid addons for Inventor to export in .OBJ or other types (some have free Trial).
Note that a parametric mesh from any 3D cad app will not be best suited for game engines, because the mesh will be relatively high-poly and non-optimized. You will get better results building the mesh in Blender from scratch, because you have direct control over the polygons and vertices (as opposed in CAD you have parametric control over the surfaces).
To export assemblies or parts go to File > Export > CAD Format. Choose the .STL format and under options select the polygon resolution (dicing rate) and the units the object will be exported in. You can choose either binary or ASCII file (both work).
In Blender import with File > Import > .Stl. If the option is not there, head into preferences and enable the import Stl addon which comes standard with Blender. In import options select the Y up axis. After you import the model it is good to inspect it and remove duplicite vertices -> go into edit mode (Tab), select whole mesh (A), (W) > Remove doubles.
Here is an assembly imported into Blender:
Another way you might import Inventor CAD models is by using another program to convert the file types.
For example, Rhino 3D will import CAD models and save as an .FBX file which Blender reads nicely. You may need to save your Inventor file as a .STEP file first, and import that into Rhino.
For me .FBX has worked much better than .STL in Blender. With .FBX the scaling and orientation was useable immediately. With .STL I had to scale and rotate every model. .FBX through Rhino also maintains the part names.
There is also Freecad, which looks like it could be used as a converter, though I haven't tried that yet.
Rhino has a 90 day free trial at the moment.
(EDIT: I had only done this with assembly files. Tried a single part just now and it didn't work. In SolidWorks I made an assembly file of the one part only, exported that as .STEP and then the .FBX worked.)
Models cannot be imported in a usable way , if at all from blender to cad type programs, because the data type is too different. This is what I have read when I have tried to figure out the same question. However, it may be possible to go from cad or cad style program file types like inventor to blender. If that is accurate, would the same be true for both soft and hard bodied models?