Mechanical, electrical, and embedded software engineering are being combined in modern products. This combination has come to be known as mechatronics. The high level of multidisciplinary interaction makes it difficult for collaboration and use of computers in Mechatronics’ design.

Dassault Systems’ SolidWorks and National Instruments’ LabVIEW are industrial grade softwares that can be used in the development and deployment phase of engineering design. SolidWorks is used for physical modeling and analysis of geometric parts, while LabVIEW is used as a programming language for control logic and data acquisition. National Instruments has developed a module, known as SoftMotion, which allows communication between these programs and thus the ability to develop and analyze fully functional prototypes virtually. This provides a new field for optimal design and development of multidisciplinary mechatronics systems with fewer design iterations and low cost. This research will develop and analyze a fully functional virtual prototype.

In this directed project the researcher developed and analyzed a virtual prototype of a product-vending device, because was a useful device for exemplifying virtual prototyping of a mechatronics device. This is a device meant to store and dispense soda cans. The can virtually dispensed was one of 16 available, and chosen by the user. It was meant to be similar to vending machines found in convenient locations across the world.


Mechatronics, Virtual, Prototype, SoftMotion

Date of this Version



Mechanical Engineering Technology

Department Head

Vahid Motevalli

Month of Graduation


Year of Graduation



Master of Science

Degree Type

Directed Project

Head of Graduate Program

Gary Bertoline

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Haiyan Zhang

Committee Member 1

Bradley Harriger

Committee Member 2

Craig Miller