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What is Patran

From MSC Software:

MSC 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.

Supported Operating Systems

Win10-logo.pngLinux-logo.png Available for Windows and Linux. Mac users will need to install Windows first.

VPN requirement

Vpn-depends.png Connection to campus VPN is not required to for the free student edition but is required for the campus FEA bundle.

Free student version

MSC offers a free student version of MSC Nastran/Patran. The MSC Nastran/Patran Student Edition complements the FEA Academic Bundle by enabling students to improve software proficiency and use for personal and school projects. Only students currently enrolled in engineering programs are eligible to download the MSC Student Edition. The student version differs from the UA full academic bundle in two ways: software is limited to 5000 node models and some features (such as DMAP) are not included in the student version.

Instructions for downloading the student version:

  1. Go to the MSC Student Center (
  2. Click on the 'Download Now' button on the right-hand side of the webpage
  3. Click 'Register' and complete the form. (Please note you will need an electronic version of your Student ID to upload when registering)
  4. Once you have completed and submitted the form, click the link that is automatically sent to your email address to confirm your registration.
  5. Once you have successfully registered, you will receive an email notification from MSC either approving or denying your registration.
  6. If you have been approved, you will be provided instructions on how to download
  7. If you have been denied, you will receive instructions on how to upload information required to confirm your student status for approval

University finite-element analysis (FEA) Bundle

This version of Nastran and Patran can only be licensed while on campus or while connected to the campus VPN. Students should normally select the free student version above.

Installation files can be downloaded from our UA Box site (requires myBama login):