by Nigel Ambayec, October 27, 2017

What is Autodesk Nastran In-CAD?

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Over the last few months, I’ve increasingly gotten the question: “What is Nastran In-CAD and why do I use it for?”. This has become more prevalent as Nastran In-CAD has become an important part of the Autodesk Product Design and Manufacturing Collection.

At its core, Autodesk Nastran In-CAD is Autodesk’s premiere Finite Element Analysis, or FEA, software. It offers a wide-range of simulation spanning across multiple analysis types. But most importantly, it delivers a high-end simulation tool in a CAD-embedded workflow so engineers and analysts can make great products. For emphasis, let me reiterate that. Nastran In-CAD is simulation embedded “IN-CAD”.

Traditionally, simulation tools have been separate from the CAD programs that they were created in. One would have to import a model, set up the simulation, and run the analysis. If there were changes made to the model, the entire process would begin again; import, set-up, and analysis. This disconnect could cause hours, or days of delay between iterations, meaning your designs may not make it to market before the competition. Nastran In-CAD addresses this problem by bringing the simulation directly into your CAD tools. The seamless integration in Inventor means that you are always connected to your model. There’s no need to export or transfer to another system, nor is there a need to recreate the setup for each iteration of your design. By leveraging the speed, accuracy, and flexibility of Nastran In-CAD you can create better designs earlier in the design process.

Like I mentioned earlier, Nastran In-CAD has recently been added to the Product Design and Manufacturing Collection. This means that you can get this powerful analysis tool in a simple package with tools like Inventor, AutoCAD, Vault, and more. The change means even more for those who already have the collection, as they automatically inherit the new tools at no additional charge. If you don’t already have a collection and want to know how you can transistion your existing software to one, leave a comment below, or contact us at

Again, Nastran In-CAD is a powerful analysis tool that is directly built into the familiar Autodesk Inventor environment that can help your organization get to market faster by reducing physical prototyping and testing cycles. Learn more about Nastran In-CAD by watching some of our training videos on YouTube or joining us for our Autodesk Virtual Academy sessions every Thursday at 10am.

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