According to Wikipedia, the Proteus Design Suite is a proprietary software tool suite used primarily for electronic design automation. The software is used mainly by electronic design engineers and technicians to create schematics and electronic prints for manufacturing printed circuit boards.
It was developed by Labcenter Electronics Ltd
The Proteus Design Suite is an application for schematic capture, simulation, and PCB (Printed Circuit Board) layout design.
Schematic capture in the Proteus Design Suite is used for both the simulation of designs and as the design phase of a PCB layout project. It is therefore a core component and is included with all product configurations.
Proteus PCB tools seamlessly combine schematic capture and PCB layout to provide a powerful, integrated and easy-to-use suite of tools for professional PCB Design.
The circuit simulator is used to Design, Test and Debug complete embedded systems inside schematic capture before ordering a physical prototype. VSM brings AGILE development to the embedded workflow
The microcontroller simulation in Proteus works by applying either a hex file or a debug file to the microcontroller part on the schematic.
The PCB Layout module is automatically given connectivity information in the form of a netlist from the schematic capture module. It applies this information, together with the user specified design rules and various design automation tools, to assist with error free board design. PCB’s of up to 16 copper layers can be produced with design size limited by product configuration.
The 3D Viewer module allows the board under development to be viewed in 3D together with a semi-transparent height plane that represents the board’s enclosure. STEP output can then be used to transfer to mechanical CAD software such as Solidworks or Autodesk for accurate mounting and positioning of the board.
Now the main question is
Why use Proteus
Once you get the hold of it, it becomes super easy to use. Other than this you can do multiple things at one place, starting from designing the circuit then making its pcb design, viewing it in 3d, and you can even simulate your microcontrollers code using hex files.
You can watch you led glow or blink, you can rotate your motors, you can see it on a lcd screen and do many more cool and complex stuff
Working with Proteus 8 Professional
On opening your Proteus 8 professional app, it might look something like the image below.
Using the open project button, you will be able to access your previous projects.
Now we will be starting with our first project.So to start a project, click on New Project in the start panel.
It will take a few minutes for the initialization of the project
You will now need to give your project a name and set its location/path.
Click on Next and then Finish.
Designing the Schematic
You will land on a blank grid where you will be creating your circuit.
On the left, you will see a panel
With various tools. We will go through many of them as we move ahead while taking the example of a basic circuit
To make a led glow we will need a led and a battery.
So to select a led , go to the third vertical column and select the button labelled P. Search for LED blue or any other color , select one and click ok
Make sure you select the animated LED to see the working on playing the simulation.
You will see the selected component displayed below the button
Now, to select the battery, follow the same procedure.
Type battery and select the DC voltage source
Now search for a resistance by typing the keyword res
Now we have our components
Place the battery resistance and then your led
Now to connect the components select the second button named component Mode in the leftmost vertical column.
Using the pencil on screen join the components as shown below
To connect 2 components, hover your pencil to the end of one component, you will see a red square box , click on it and move it towards the end of the other component.
Once you are done designing the circuit, you can alter the components name as well as their values
Double click on the component to do so.
Now it’s time for simulation
On the lower left corner, look for the play button and press it. You will see the led glow. Click the square button to stop the animation.
And here is your first working proteus project.
This was the most basic circuit, but proteus provides you with enormous components for circuit designing and simulation. It even has probes to measure voltage and current at certain points, graphs and generators as well as instruments like oscilloscopes and virtual terminals which are a common requirement.
Now, Proteus has various other features as we discussed previously like the pcb layout and 3d modelling
So let’s have a quick look on these 2 as well
Starting with the pcb layout
To design the pcb layout, make sure while selecting all the components have their pcb previews in them otherwise you will have to create the footprints yourself
Designing Schematic for 7805
So we will design the pcb layout for a 7805 voltage regulator circuit which takes an input in the range of 9 to 25 volts and gives out 5v
For this, select a 7805 voltage regulator
From the components as we did for the LED glow circuit. Next search for a capacitor. While selecting the components check for their pcb previews.
Also, while selecting the capacitors, see if they are SMD components or through-hole ones.
Choose whichever you are comfortable with. I have taken through-hole capacitors.
Now place all the components as shown below and then wire them according to the circuit.
Now to place the Ground, go to Terminals Mode symbol in the left-most column.
At last make sure to check the values of the capacitor.
You are now ready with your circuit. It’s time to make the PCB Layout.
Making the PCB Layout
To make the pcb layout, click on the red symbol labelled PCB Layout in the top row.
You will land on an empty black grid. It’s time you place your components and do the wiring.
To do so, click on the Components Mode symbol, the second symbol in the left-most column.
You will see all the available components. Place them one by one and you will see some possible connection options. With the help of the same we will do the wiring.
Now select the track mode symbol, which will enable wiring.
Select Bottom Copper option from Layer Selection option.
Now do the wiring.
Avoid making any acute or 90 degree angles as this may cause problems while etching.
You will get your pcb layout something like one below.
Now we are almost done. The last part is the 3D Modelling.
3D Modelling enables us to visualise our circuit and see how it will finally look.
From the top row, select the 3D visualiser option and you will land here as shown in the image below.
You can look from all the sides of the circuit using the options present.
The image is the top side of the circuit and if you rotate it, you will find the wiring on the bottom side.
You can make many more projects using the Proteus 8 Professional!
So keep exploring!