labview - data acquisition system

LabView Software & Everything You should Know about it

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LabVIEW software, also known as Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench, is a data acquisition system that allows users to visualize their application, which includes debugging, configuring hardware, as well as measuring data. 

With this LabVIEW data acquisition software, users can simplify complex logic through diagrams, integrate measurement hardware from any supplier, develop custom engineering UIs, as well as create data analysis algorithms. 

In this post, I’m going to walk you through, step-by-step everything you need to know about Labview software. Take note that this is not one of those run-off-mill posts you will always find by doing a simple Google search – this is a detailed post with all the information you need. 

Let’s get started. 

What is Labview Software Used For? 

Like I said earlier, LabVIEW allows users to create programs using graphical notations. It is important to note that LabVIEW is different from other programming languages, such as Java, C, and C++, which requires you to program using text. 

Therefore, LabVIEW involves more than just programming language – it is designed for people like engineers and scientists whose daily routine requires programming. 

If you use “G,” the most powerful programming language, you can immensely increase your productivity. In other words, you can carry out tasks that would have taken weeks or months in just a few hours, if you opt to use LabVIEW software. This is because this software is specially designed to help you take measurements, help you analyze data, and present them to you. 

Additionally, LabVIEW software is suitable for general programming, simulations, programming in general, as well as guiding a beginner to get started with basic programming. This is because LabVIEW has a graphical UI, which is easy to use. 

Secondly, LabVIEW gives you more flexibility as compared to a standard laboratory instrument because you determine the instrument’s functionality. That means that you can use your LabVIEW, computer, and plug-in hardware to complete your daily tasks. 

Also, you can use LabVIEW to create the virtual instruments you need the way you want them and when you want. The best of all is that you can do this at a lesser cost as compared to traditional instruments. In case your needs change in the process, no worries, you can tweak a bit your virtual instruments in less time. 

In a nutshell, LabVIEW software aims to make your life stress-free. You can complete your programming tasks without worrying about memory allocations, pointers, or other programming pain points you may always encounter with traditional programming activities. 

How LabVIEW Works – The Three Palettes in LabVIEW? 

LabVIEW gives you the freedom to create or edit your front panel, as well as a block diagram. There are three palettes – Tools palette, Controls palette, and Functions palette. 

You can get the Tools palette on both the block diagram as well as the front panel. Now, when you select any tool, your cursor icon will change to the tool icon. You can then use the tools in operating and modifying block diagrams, as well as your front panel. 

labview tools palette
Labview Tools Palette

The second palette is the Controls palette, which you can position anywhere on your screen. You can find the Controls palette on your front panel. The Controls palette has indicators and controls that help users in creating their front panels. 

Controls palette

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Finally, the Functions palette can only be found on your block diagram. It has VIs and functions that you can use to create your block diagram. Just like the Controls palette, you can also position the Functions palette anywhere on your screen.

Block diagram

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Is LabVIEW Easy to Learn? 

It is not hard to get started with LabVIEW as an amateur programmer. However, you’ll need tons of years of experience, as well as dedication to master it just like other programming languages. 

Now, it is essential to note that real mastering of LabVIEW requires you to know how to architect complex applications, understand some of the design patterns to help you solve specific problems, and know the merits and demerits of each. 

Such mastering can be downright frustrating if you are using books and online courses. Instead, you need an expert or an experienced programmer to walk you through one-on-one. 

Finally, you may have read a lot about how simple CLAD exams are, but there’s one thing you probably don’t know. CLAD exams do not measure your programming skills in any way – this exam is just used to test for some basic LabVIEW terminologies and concepts. 

Therefore, if you want exams that will give you a reflection of your programming skills, be sure to check out CLD, CLA, or CLED

What Industries Use LabVIEW? 

In most cases, LabVIEW is used in the manufacturing industries to test if a product was done in line with the quality requirements and to ascertain that the products work perfectly before they leave the industry. 

Uses

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Additionally, LabVIEW is used to research, more specifically by higher learning institutions and government laboratories to carry out LabVIEW projects. LabVIEW can be used in the following industries: 

  • Energy/power
  • Medical Device
  • Computers and electronics
  • Telecom
  • Military/aerospace
  • Consumer electronics
  • Semiconductor 
  • Automotive

LabVIEW Training

How do I get LabVIEW certification? 

There are a ton of LabVIEW training courses for engineers using LabVIEW software to develop applications. You will go through courses, take some examinations to ascertain that you have scaled from just developing basic applications to architecting large applications. 

Check out some of the LabVIEW courses on Udemy here. Also, you can check out this YouTube tutorial to know what LabVIEW certifications are and how you can get them. 

LabVIEW courses on Udemy

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LabVIEW for Students 

Is LabVIEW free for students? 

You must confirm with your college or university whether or not they have ‘NI LabVIEW Academic Site License for university computers.’ 

There is a free six-month evaluation student edition that you can leverage on. NI LabVIEW for students is almost the same as the LabVIEW full version. LabVIEW for students has a student watermark on the block diagram, as well as the front panel. 

How to Download LabVIEW Software Student Version 

The first thing you should know is that you can’t download the LabVIEW Student Edition using a direct link. That means that you can only download it by first downloading a Base LabVIEW Version. Below is a step-by-step process: 

  • Head over to the LabVIEW download page and download the base version. 
  • Once the download is complete, activate it by using your LabVIEW student serial number. 
  • And boom, you have a LabVIEW student version installed. 

Wrap Up 

You landed on this post to know everything about LabVIEW software – from what it is, how it works, industries that use it, and how to download and activate one as a student. 

Now, back to you. Have you ever used a LabVIEW software before? What was your experience with it? Feel free to share your experience in the comment section. 

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