Key Features

Multi-Board Design in Proteus provides a formal way to design products that consist of a single schematic but multiple rigid PCB boards.

  • Individual board stackups, drill ranges and design rules for each board.
  • Global board selector to switch between boards during design.
  • Design Explorer provides a global project view and quick navigation.
  • BOM, Reporting and Manufacturing Output systems are all board aware.

Setup


When a project is created from the New Project Wizard you end up with a single schematic and a corresponding board. To create a multi-board project you then switch to the layout tab and select the create board command from the file menu. Once you have more than one board in the project a board selector combo box will appear at the top of the layout module

At any time you are working on a single board as defined in the global combo box at the top of the application. This has advantages for performance since only one board is rendered at a time and also provides clear separation between the boards to allow different design rules and layer stacks on each PCB. You can quickly switch between boards at any time by toggling the board selector.

Navigation


Navigation between boards is easily done via the board selector at the top of the application. On the schematic side you need to remember that a sheet belongs to a board. So, to work on the design for a particular board you need first to select the board and then select the sheet in the normal way from the Design menu. Alternatively, if you prefer to navigate globally you can do so from the Design Explorer or you can use the Global Goto Sheet command on the Design menu in the Schematic Module.

Power


GNDVCC

Power by default is global to the project and not the board, meaning that VCC and GND for example are the same on different boards. If you need board specific power rails you can easily create extra in the Power rail configuration dialogue form.

Design Rules


Design Rules and Net Classes are board local. This allows you to set object clearances and routing widths for each board in the project independently. Coupled with the individual board stackup and drilling it means that each board is treated as a separate entity in the project

Annotation


U1U2U3

Annotation is by default scoped to the board rather than the project since this tends to make more sense of assembly drawings and BOM reports. However, should you wish project global annotation you can do this by unchecking the board local IDs option on the Edit Sheet properties dialogue.

Assembly Variants


Assembly variants are global to the project. You cannot for example have Variant 1 of Daughter Board 2 along with Variant 2 of the Main Board. Instead you should create a new variant and use the 'copy from variant' option in Design Explorer to initialise the whole project from the nearest variant. You can then make the necessary changes to the board or boards required for the new variant.

Output Systems


All of the output systems work on a per-board basis. Whether it's the Bill or Materials, the diff pair report or the CADCAM Output itself you will need to generate the file set for each board individually.

Tutorials

Tutorials

Visit the tutorial videos page to learn more about productivity features in Proteus.

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