DC Motor Modeling

In this lab students will begin by learning the theory and background, including the necessary equations, behind First Principles Modeling and Experimental Modeling. Then they will implement their knowledge by building a DC motor model, running a VI, and obtaining a waveform graph. From here students can formulate their differential equation and analyze the data with the help of short answer questions. The ultimate goal of modeling for control design is to be able to create a simulation of a plant and various controllers in order to gain confidence that an approach will work before implementation on hardware.
by Quanser Inc.

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This is lab 1 of 6 in the course, Control System Design and Analysis.


After completing this lab, students will be able to:
  1. Create an electromechanical model of a DC motor using first principles.
  2. Inspect the step response of a DC motor to characterize a transfer function.
  3. Use Bode plotting to experimentally determine the model of a DC motor.


  • Differential Equations or equivalent
  • Linear Algebra or equivalent
  • Dynamic Systems or equivalent
  • Basic LabVIEW Proficiency


LabVIEW is systems engineering software for applications that require test, measurement, and control with rapid access to hardware and data insights.


Engineering laboratory solution for project-based learning that combines instrumentation and embedded design with a web-driven experience, delivering a greater understanding of engineering fundamentals and system design.

Quanser Controls Board for NI ELVIS III

The Quanser Controls Application Board is a versatile servo system designed to teach the fundamentals of DC motor control, with an optional pendulum module to teach advanced topics in non-linear control.

Required Software

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  • NI ELVIS III Software Bundle (2018 or later)
    • LabVIEW (Requires license)
    • LabVIEW Real-Time Module (Requires license)
    • NI ELVIS III Toolkit
    • LabVIEW Control Design & Simulation (Requires License)

Required Hardware

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