These days, Arduino simulators make it possible for anyone, meaning both beginners and professional circuit designers to learn, program and test ideas without worrying about wasting time and money.
Arduino simulators are the perfect platforms for programmers and designers who want to learn the basics of circuit schematics and design.
With the help of an Arduino simulator, you’ll get an avenue to learn without being afraid that you will damage your board and design equipment.
Students who face challenges purchasing electrical equipment without any clue on how they’ll work can eliminate trial and error mistakes with the help of Arduino simulators, saving both time and money.
Another advantage of Arduino simulators is the fact that they support line to line debugging and the user will identify exactly the spot where things went wrong.
Arduino simulators come in all kinds of forms, and they have been developed in such a way to be compatible with the main OSs.
In this article, we’re going to list the best Arduino simulators compatible with Windows PCs.
What are the best Arduino simulators for PC?
Autodesk Eagle (recommended)
Autodesk Eagle provides powerful and easy to use tools for every engineer out there.
You can now bring your electronic inventions to life with the help of a complete set of PCB layout and schematic editing tools, community-driven features and library content.
The key features of Eagle include the following:
- Schematic editor
- Modular design blocks – you can reuse the existing blocks of circuitry.
- Multi sheet schematics – you can keep designs of any size organized.
- Electrical rule checking – you will finally be able to have confidence in your schematic design.
- Real-time design synchronization – you can stay in-sync between schematic and PCB layout.
- PCB Layout editor
- BGA fanout – you can escape from your BGA in seconds.
- High-speed design – you can design with the latest technologies, including DDR4, PCI Express, or USB-C.
- 3D models for PCB layout – you can unite your PCB and enclosure seamlessly.
- Complete components – this is the one-stop shop for reviewing your component needs.
- User language programs (ULPs) – you can improve your design tool process.
– Get Eagle Standart version from Autodesk‘s website
Proteus is a great Arduino simulator that combines simplicity with its various features and manages to make Arduino simulation seem like the easiest thing.
It’s compatible with both Linux and Windows, and there are lots of things to know about its offerings and its vibrant community.
The most prominent and exciting feature of Proteus is its ability to simulate the interaction between software running on a microcontroller and any digital/analog electronics connected to it.
The microcontroller model sits on the schematics together with the other elements of your product design. Just like a real chip, it simulates the execution of your object code.
Proteus includes various virtual instruments such as Oscilloscope, Logic Analyser, Function Generator, Pattern Generator, Counter Timer and Virtual Terminal and also simple voltmeters and ammeters.
More than that, Proteus provides dedicated Master/Slave/Monitor mode protocol analyzers for SPI and I2C – you simply have to wire them onto the serial lines and control/interact with the data live during the simulation process.
Proteus offers an invaluable and inexpensive way to get your communication software right before hardware prototyping.
Proteus also allows the following operations:
- Debugging: it can perform simulations in single step modes, and it works just like a debugger.
- Diagnostics: Proteus is equipped with comprehensive diagnostics or trace messaging.
- Co-simulate both low and high-level micro-controller code in the context of a mixed-mode SPICE circuit simulation.
- Proteus improves efficiency, flexibility, and quality all over the design process.
Autodesk Circuits allows you to bring your ideas to life with online free and easy to use tools.
In case you are only a beginner, you can start with more simple experiments in the Circuit Scribe or the Electronics Lab. Users who are more experienced can skip ahead and go straight to PCB Design.
Electronics Lab Hub includes the following:
- Real-time simulation: you can design and prototype before you build a circuit in real life; you can use anything from resistors, capacitors, and potentiometers all the way to oscilloscopes.
- Arduino programming: you can program and simulate any Arduino code in the editor, and you’ll have a full serial monitor and a growing collection of various supported Arduino libraries.
- Collaborative editing: you can invite others to collaborate in real-time on your designs.
- Circuit Scribe Hub allows you to design and simulate circuits, and then print and share your templates. You can also embed your design and learn from the community of the developers of Autodesk Circuit.
PCB Design Hub includes the following features:
- Schematic design: you can choose from a growing component library by the community, or you can create your own components.
- PCB Layout: this includes all the tools that you need such as copper trace, copper fill, via and drill holes and lots of silk screen tools.
Learning to code is much easier when you can program things that really work. Autodesk Circuits is a free tool so you should go and check it out now.
UPDATE: Autodesk Circuits is no longer available as an Arduino simulator. Instead, AutoDesk turned this tool into a platform to PCB packages.
Virtronics Simulator for Arduino
This Victronics Arduino simulator promises to be the most full-featured one that is available now.
Here are its most important benefits that it boasts:
- It features the ability to teach and demonstrate the inner workings of an Arduino sketch.
- You can test out a sketch without the hardware or before purchasing equipment.
- You can debug a sketch.
- Using it, you can demonstrate a project to potential customers.
- You are able to develop a complicated sketch faster than when using the hardware.
You can download the free version, try it out, and when you are ready, you can upgrade to the Pro version.
The software is designed for the Arduino Uno, Mega, and more standard Arduino boards. It performs lots of processes including the following:
- It steps through the program line by line. If a new line is selected, the program will continue from that point.
- Performs digital write, digital read, and PinMode for pins 0-53
- Analog read for pins 0-16 and analog write for digital pins 0-53
- Emulates Serial, LCD output, Ethernet, Servo, SD card, EEPROM, SoftSerial, SPI, Wire
- If,while,for,switch, do whileloop functionality
- Subroutines (multi-level) with arguments
- View variables in real-time
- Step Into, Step Over, Step Out of or Run mode
- Ability to edit sketch or open in Arduino IDE
- 2 and 4 line LCD support only with improvised CGRAM
- 2-dimensional arrays (without initialization).
You also have the ability to change the font, style, and size of the simulator.
The minimize mode is perfect for demos/training. The software offers limited support for custom libraries, pointer, and structures.
You can check out more information about this simulator on its official page.
Electronify can be very helpful in case you are struggling with electronics and especially if you have found yourself stuck in your electronics projects.
It will also come in handy if you are a newbie and you desire to learn electronics and embedded system to make yourself a career in the field.
With Electronify you will be able to learn basic electronics to various hardware level language.
The website provides you all necessary knowledge from basic to advanced about electronic communications and embedded systems in simple methods.
You will be able to learn everything from scratch and become a skilled pro.
You can check out more about Electronify on official web page.
Fritzing is an open source hardware initiative that makes electronics accessible as a creative material for everyone who is interested in the subject.
The website provides a software tool, community, and services in the spirit of Arduino and processing and it fosters a creative ecosystem that allows users the following:
- Documenting their prototypes
- Sharing the prototypes with others
- Teaching electronics in a classroom
- Layout and manufacturing professional PCBs
With Fritzing, you can inexpensively and quickly turn your circuit into a real custom-made PCB.
This tool can only act as a creative platform if lots of users are using it as a means of learning and sharing.
You can learn a tremendous amount of things from the many tutorials available. Here are some of the most interesting ones:
- Building a Circuit
- Using a Stripboard
- Working with SMD parts
- Creating Paper Templates
- Curvy Wires and bendable Legs
- Designing a PCB
- One minute Arduino Shield design
- Double-sided routing
- Producing a PCB
- Soldering SMD parts
- Creating custom Parts
- Attaching Programming Code.
It is also interesting to know that Fritzing turned from a publicly funded research project into a non-profit organization.
This means that to make it self-sustaining and to continue the development Fritzing is offering a few services that include the following:
- Fritzing Fab – With the Fritzing Fab, the PCB production service, you can quickly and inexpensively turn your sketches into professional PCBs.
- Workshops – There are lots of workshops on Arduino, Fritzing and everything related, which are offered to beginners and professionals.
- Part Creation – You can also have your product featured in Fritzing, and if you don’t want to do it yourself, you can hire the developers to create high-quality parts.
- Products – Fritzing has created an educational starter and upgrade kit.
You can check out more info on Fritzing’s officiall website.
VBB4Arduino – Virtual Breadboard for Arduino
Virtual Breadboard for Arduino is created to help users take the first steps in learning all about the cool world of physical computing with the Arduino micro-controller and the breadboard based electronic circuit models.
Here are the main things that you’ll be able to learn using Virtual Breadboard for Arduino:
- You can learn all about physical computing in a safe virtual sandbox environment.
- You can learn from built in Arduino examples.
- You can explore dozens of different types of sensors, lights, and motors.
- You will be able to learn the Arduino commands and what they do.
- You can use layout breadboards as a reference for making real circuits.
Here are the key features of Virtual Breadboard:
- You can design solderless Virtual Breadboard circuit applications.
- You can safely experiment with microcontroller based electronic circuits.
- You will be able to test circuit layouts before committing to a build.
- The software features a built-in firmware editor for custom micro controller App development.
- This is a circuit and microcontroller emulator for testing your code and circuits.
- The program offers you interactive virtualization for exploring based learning and circuit testing.
- You will have enough examples explorer to navigate the numerous built in documented learn by examples.
- It features an integrated Wiki system for documentation and coursework development.
- You will be able to check out animated GIF screenshot recording for documentation highlights.
- One-click compiles and deploys embedded Apps to real world Vbb4UNO microcontrollers.
- Cross platform development with 8-bit micros and Raspberry Pi 2 with Windows 10 IoT Core targets.
According to most users, this software is perfect, but it needs a bit of fixing because it has a few bugs.
VBB4Arduino is a simplified version of the full VBB product. It is intended as a standalone getting started version with fewer options and modules which can confuse starters.
It is best used as a sandbox to learn physical computing concepts. Advanced users might like to progress to using the full version of VBB with the ArduinoToolkit expansion module.
Check out the software on its official page.
You have reached the end of our Arduino simulator list. Take advantage of the one that you think is right for your needs.
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Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to show the most accurate download links and software solutions.