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Kim, it has been my experience that when importing parts into SW, they always come in as dumb solids. You then have to run FeatureWorks, which is a SW Office feature, to identify features, dimensions, etc. It's hit-and-miss. Sometimes you end up with a usable part and sometimes it becomes a dumb solid with some features recognized.
From knowledge base:
"It is possible to import Inventor Part files.
The Inventor Part translator imports Autodesk Inventor® part files as SolidWorks part documents. The imported part files contain only geometry; sketches, features etc are not imported.
The Inventor Part translator is integrated into the SolidWorks software and is always available under Files of type in the Open dialog box.
To open an Autodesk Inventor part:
Click File, Open.
The Open dialog box appears.
Set Files of type to Inventor Part (*.ipt) and click Options.
The Import Options dialog box appears with General selected on the File Format tab.
Set the import options, then browse to the desired file and click Open.
The Inventor translator supports all Autodesk Inventor versions up to and including Autodesk Inventor 7."
Knowledge base info is old. IPT import works up to Inventor 09 if you have Inventor 09 OR the free Inventor View 2009 viewer.
Actually according to the SW 2009 help it states up to Inventor 11 is supported if Inventor View is installed on the same system as SW 2009.
Search topic: "Autodesk"
Actually according to the SW 2009 help it states "including Autodesk Inventor 11 and above."