There are two different types of simulation within PE6.

  1. The simulation animated image, which appears in the Simulation panel. You can change the simulation image via the 'Simulation' drop down list in the Workspace Explorer (below where you select the PICAXE type). By default the image is the chip but can also be changed to a different design.
  2. Plugins are completely separate programs that ‘talk’ to PE6 via named pipes and are connected via the Simulate>Connect menu. They are much more complex to develop and are designed for integration with other (third party) software. 

These instructions are designed for advanced users who wish to create their own animated simulation image, for instance of a project PCB they have made.


Simulation Image Files

PE6 simulation images are stored as an .edd format image file which is generated in a third party development tool called ‘Diagram Builder’, which may be downloaded here. Kindly note that Diagram Builder is not designed as full production release quality software, it is primarily an internal development tool.

Supplied with PE6 there are two types of .edd simulation files; chip simulations and product simulations. The chip simulations are basically datasheet outlines of a PICAXE chip while the product simulations are more real world, reflecting the boards upon which PICAXE chips are used.

Both types of simulations are held in the PE6 'simulations' sub-folder and are further placed under a sub-folder representing the leg count of the PICAXE chip they apply to.

For example the 08M2-based AXE107 Rudolph simulation is located at

    C:\Program Files\Revolution Education\PICAXE Editor\Simulations\08\AXE107_Rudolph.edd

The best way to get a feel for how simulations work is to open various .edd files to see how they are constructed.

However this folder is a locked, read-only folder, so the best way to work is to make copies of the original files in a secondary Settings folder under which the ‘home-made’ simulations can then be placed. That folder can be found by launching PE6, and selecting File > Help and then clicking the 'PICAXE Editor Common Settings Folder' link. As an example that may be

    C:\ProgramData\Revolution Education\PICAXE Editor\Settings\Simulations


Looking at an existing .edd file

Please make sure you are using the latest version of PE6!

The 08M2-based AXE107 Rudolph simulation is a good example to see how things are configured.

First copy (not move!) the file from

    C:\Program Files\Revolution Education\PICAXE Editor\Simulations\08\AXE107_Rudolph.edd

into your ProgramData folder, and save it with a new unique name such as 'My_Rudolph.edd'.

Restart PE6 and you should see this new simulation appear as 'My Rudolph' in the drop down-list (PE6 does not show the .edd file ending and also displays any underscore character in a filename as a space). Tip - to 'refresh' the image in PE6 (after saving changes in Diagram Builder) simply select a different image and then re-select the updated image. 

Now launch the Diagram Builder application, select File -> Open and select the new file.

Each simulation consists of a background image, over which ‘nodes’ are placed. Nodes can be transparent (e.g. for an analogue input or non-changing output (like a piezo)) or have a colour allocated for on/off illumination (e.g. a red or green LED).

Clicking in the middle of an input or output node (button, LED, piezo etc ) will select the node and show a square or rectangle which represents the area which can be touched / illuminated when the simulation is running. Areas illuminated will generally be circles or ellipses, but can be any shape. Adjusting the size of the bounding rectangle will adjust the size of circle or ellipse that will be shown.


When an item is selected (either the background main form or a node) the properties window contains information about that item.

Only a few of the properties generally need to be used:

General > Name

(Main Form) For the main form this is an arbitrary unique identifier for the simulation, eg "AXE107".

(Nodes) For input and output items this is the name of the PICAXE pin to which the item connects. For example "C.3" is the push button on the Rudolph simulation. For the eyes, both at first appear to be named "C.4" and hence both will be activated by pin C.4 being taken high - but note that in fact the left eye has a leading space “ C.4” (as each node must have a unique name). Using this protocol any number of items may be tied to the same PICAXE pin, providing each use of the name has a different number of spaces leading it.

Misc > Background Image

(Main Form only) Click within Background Image then click the "..." to select a background image which will be imported (e.g. as the PCB or other image which represents the simulation). This background image may be a photo or an image generated in a third party graphics application.

Misc > Labels

(Nodes) Click within Labels then click on the "..." to select item attributes. Of the label item, only one property is important, that is General > Text. This allows the colour of the item to be specified for when it is active. Options are "black", "blue", "brown", "green", "red", "yellow" and "transparent" ( all in lowercase ).

In the Rudolph example push switches are "brown", LEDs are "red" or "green" and the LDR and analogue pots are "transparent". Solder pads and piezo devices usually have an empty option, nothing in the Labels collection.



To quickly find a node; in the Properties panel, click the combo at the top, and this will highlight the item selected on the simulation area.

To copy a node - select that node, then use the Edit -> Copy option, then Edit -> Paste.

To remove a node - Select that node, then use the Edit -> Delete option