Complete FEA modeling solution

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Patran is the world's most widely used pre/post-processing software for Finite Element Analysis (FEA), providing solid modeling, meshing, analysis setup and post-processing for multiple solvers including MSC Nastran, Marc, Abaqus, LS-DYNA, ANSYS, and Pam-Crash.

Patran provides a rich set of tools that streamline the creation of analysis ready models for linear, nonlinear, explicit dynamics, thermal, and other finite element solutions. From geometry cleanup tools that make it easy for engineers to deal with gaps and slivers in CAD, to solid modeling tools that enable creation of models from scratch, Patran makes it easy for anyone to create FE models. Meshes are easily created on surfaces and solids alike using fully automated meshing routines, manual methods that provide more control, or combinations of both. Finally, loads, boundary conditions, and analysis setup for most popular FE solvers is built in, minimizing the need to edit input decks.

Patran's comprehensive and industry tested capabilities ensure that your virtual prototyping efforts provide results fast so that you can evaluate product performance against requirements and optimize your designs.

Image of Patran software in use
Image of Patran software in use
Image of Patran software in use
Image of Patran software in use
Image of Patran software in use
Image of Patran software in use
Image of Patran software in use
  • Collateral
  • Advanced geometry creation, editing and feature recognition

    Patran contains an advanced set of geometry creation tools in addition to the direct CAD access capabilities for generating finite element model geometry.

    Patran also has a sophisticated feature recognition capability that allows users to delete or edit holes, fillets, and chamfers. For 3D solid geometry, existing meshes and loads will be automatically re-applied to the model after a change is made to the geometry.

  • Support for multiple FEA solvers

    Patran is tailored to support both MSC Nastran and MD Nastran to enable the use of common finite element models and perform advanced engineering analysis and enhance designs using Nastran’s Design Optimization and Topology Optimization capabilities.

    In addition to MSC Nastran, Patran also supports the other solvers developed by MSC (Marc, Dytran, and MSC Sinda) and also solvers like Abaqus, Ansys, LS-Dyna and Pamcrash, enabling you to stay in a single graphical user environment even if you have to use multiple solvers for various analyses.

  • Post-processing and reporting tools for easy results evaluation

    Patran displays results for structural, thermal, fatigue, fluid, magnetic analyses, or in relation to any other application where the resultant values are associated with their respective finite elements or nodes. Imaging encompasses the complete graphics capability found within the Patran product, including graphic shading and visual verification prior to analysis. Imaging features a number of options that take advantage of specialized hardware capabilities, including local view manipulation, local shading, multiple light sources, and transparency. You can also export images and movies in many standard formats to include in documents and web-based reporting.

  • Patran Command Language


    Patran Command Language (PCL) is the programming language at the heart of Patran. PCL is a high-level, block-structured language that provides many features found in traditional programming languages. It can be used to write application or site-specific commands and menus, perform variational modeling, and to more completely integrate with commercial or in-house software programs.

  • Patran FAQ

    Q: Is Patran still being developed and supported?

    A: Yes! Patran is currently on a bi-annual release cycle, with new capabilities and enhancements added every year. Recent releases have improved Patran’s user experience and expanded MSC Nastran support. No other software supports MSC Nastran pre- and post-processing capabilities as comprehensively as Patran.

    Some of the latest MSC Nastran features supported in Patran include initial geometric imperfection buckling, nonlinear buckling, initial contact distance check, flexible glued contact, automatic contact generation, pyramid element creation and large rotation bolt modelling.

    Q: Can I still buy Patran?

    A: Yes, you can still buy Patran. Patran is available with either MSC One tokens or as a bundle with MSC Apex. With the combination of MSC Apex and Patran, you get the direct modelling capabilities of MSC Apex and Patran’s unparalleled support for MSC Nastran. You won’t miss out on any features, and you’ll be able to choose the best tools for your workflow.

    Q: When should I use Patran over MSC Apex?

    A: Both MSC Apex and Patran are powerful pre- and post-processors, but there are some circumstances where Patran truly excels. For example, if you’re using a solver other than MSC Nastran, you may find that Patran offers more processing capabilities.

    Some capabilities of MSC Nastran are also only supported in Patran, such as aeroelasticity. MSC Apex supports MSC Nastran solutions 101, 103, 105, 111, and 400—for other MSC Nastran solutions, you may choose to construct the model (CAD-to-mesh) in MSC Apex, and then use Patran for the final attribution and solution setup.

    You’ll want to use Patran when post-processing older models with results in XDB or master/dball formats. Patran is also the best tool for orphan mesh edits in typical aerospace global FEM models.

    Patran is still the all-around best tool for post-processing MSC Nastran models. MSC Apex is continuously adding capabilities, but we offer both MSC Apex and Patran as a combination so you never miss out on features or capabilities.

    Q: When should I use MSC Apex along with Patran?

    A: MSC Apex is a powerful solution for moving from CAD to mesh. Whether you’re de-featuring, idealizing, or cleaning geometry, MSC Apex offers robust functionality. Direct model interaction along with automatic model updates makes MSC Apex the perfect choice for handling geometry and meshing.

    Patran offers tools for transferring geometry and mesh from MSC Apex to Patran while maintaining associativity, making them a powerful duo when used together.

    Q: Why should I update my older version of Patran to a newer version?

    A: Patran gets better with every new version and includes more support for MSC Nastran. You may be missing out on these enhancements by not upgrading. In addition, if you’re using an older version of Patran and don’t have the Patran and MSC Apex combination, you might be limiting your modelling and meshing capabilities.

    Q: What is the Patran Command Language (PCL)?

    A: PCL is the Patran command language. PCL is very useful for automating workflows and processes in Patran. PCL can be used to create interactive forms, select items from the viewports, and perform other tasks to streamline your workflows.

    Q: Does Patran only work with MSC Nastran?

    A: Patran also works with other MSC solvers such as Dytran and Marc. In addition to seamless support for MSC Nastran, Marc, and Dytran, Patran also works with solvers such as Abaqus (Simulia) and Ansys.

    Q: What solvers does Patran work best with?

    A: Patran is most powerful when used with MSC Nastran, but Patran also supports a wide range of solvers in addition to MSC Nastran.

    Q: Why should I learn to use Patran?

    A: Patran is the industry standard for many large aerospace OEMs for pre- and post-processing for MSC Nastran. Patran’s development team has worked closely with users over many years to help users develop efficient workflows.

    Patran follows the development of MSC Nastran closely, meaning new capabilities in MSC Nastran are supported in Patran—sometimes before they’re supported in other software.

    Q: I’m an aspiring FE analyst. Will I need to know how to use Patran as I start my career?

    A: Patran is one of the most widely used pre- and post-processors in the world. Having experience with Patran may give you a head-start in your career. You will likely be expected to use the solution your organization works with, but because Patran is standard in many industries you will likely encounter it in your career.