Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

How to learn all those?

I am a 2nd grade mechanical engineering student who is willing to learn about test machines, test systems and lab applications. Simply, I want to design and make use of lab systems. 


I just do not know where to start because I still could not make a connection with my major. Whoever people I see working on areas fitting my description are either physicists or electronical engineers, so I started to think getting some additional lessons or getting into electronics might help, but how?


I have not started using labVIEW. As much as I informed, labVIEW does exactly this, so I thought there should be people who might give some idea.


I am open to any comment. Thanks for help.

0 Kudos
Message 1 of 4

If you have some test machines, test systems or lab applications that you want to write code to control/use, then LabVIEW is an excellent choice.


If you don't have any systems, machines or applications to hand, then you can use LabVIEW to do plenty of other things, but using it without those systems available won't necessarily help you learn about them.


Your post makes it sound like you want to do what I'm doing for my work, which I find pretty fun. However, my workflow typically goes something like

  1.  I have an instrument I want to use to do something
  2.  I find the manual for the instrument online, and determine its I/O setup. Is it RS232 over serial connection? Can I use it via USB? How do I plug it into my computer or DAQ board?
  3.  Having plugged it into my system, what can I tell it to do? Do any of the commands that I can find documentation for do exactly what I want (usually they do) or will I need to use some combination of those commands?
  4.  Having found the commands I want, I need to work out how to use LabVIEW to send those communications. For me, this often involves the VISA commands available in LabVIEW to Read and Write. Some people find using the LabVIEW drivers available from the instrument manufacturer more simple or quick - your mileage may vary.
  5.  Place my shiny new results or process control in a larger application. This is beyond a first step with LabVIEW, but its accessibility in LabVIEW forms the motivation for almost all of my programming work. I can link my machines and systems together and make them do interesting things based on each others' results, and reduce the amount of manual input needed from a user (typically me!). Why not make my job simpler?
  6.  Repeat with the next instrument!

LabVIEW has a lot of resources available in the forums (the LabVIEW forum - you posted in Breakpoint, which is usually for off-topic conversation. It's a reasonable choice for this thread, but you won't find as much help here with actual LabVIEW problems), and at the top of the main forum there are links to help you getting started.


Since you are a student, your institution may well have an Academic Site Licence. (Software included link) This information should be available from your department or similar. If so, you can download LabVIEW and more importantly, can access online training courses. These are really great for getting started (I find online training typically a little frustrating, it is always too fast, or too slow, or whatever, but it's still worth using and you can do the best you can with the forwards and backwards controls - I don't remember exactly how they are on NI off the top of my head).


Beginning in 2017, the LabVIEW ASL allows installation on students' computers. I don't know the exact specifics, but that information should also be available somewhere from the above links. I can only find the 2016 release notes at the moment (2017 released a week and a half ago, so that information is a little harder to find I guess - the keynote videos describe the change but it's harder to feel you can rely on that as legal advice!)

GCentralI'm attending the GLA Summit!
Message 2 of 4

I had a little check and It seems I am not able to reach a kind of device in near future.

Well, I guess I will need to learn more about electronics and basic control to build some simple measurement systems first, to actually use Labview.


My school does not provide most programs to students, unfortunately, only to academicians. I have trial version yet. I might ask one of my teachers though.


Thanks for help. 

0 Kudos
Message 3 of 4

You need to learn LV anyhow, so hardware isn't required. For a typical test program that's usually what they do, though, and an Arduino would get you a long way. 🙂


G# - Award winning reference based OOP for LV, for free! ADDQ VIPM Now on GitHub
"Only dead fish swim downstream" - "My life for Kudos!" - "Dumb people repeat old mistakes - smart ones create new ones."
0 Kudos
Message 4 of 4