Guide to Use Touch Sensor Plugin in Altium Designer®

This article provides a step-by-step guide to create a button and surface touch sensor design in Altium Designer®.

It is recommended that you install the Microchip Touch Sensor plugin in Altium Designer before proceeding.


Create a New PCB Project

Go to File > New > Project > Local Projects > Default.

Choose a Project Name, a Folder, and click on Create.



New Schematic and Printed Circuit Board (PCB) File

After the PCB project has been created, you can view the PCB Project Name under the Projects tab.

Right-click on the name of the newly created project and select:

Add New to Project > Schematic and PCB file.



Save Schematic and PCB File

Save the schematic and PCB file with the appropriate file name.



Add Sensor Patterns

Drag the Buttonself and Surface Diamond sensor patterns from Microchip Touch Sensors.IntLib to the schematic.



Annotate Designator Name

Go to Tools > Annotation > Annotate Schematics.

After selecting the Annotate Schematics tab, the Schematics Annotation Configuration window will appear.

Click on Update Changes List, Accept Changes (Create ECO), and then click Validate Changes. Once validated, click Execute Changes, then close the window.



Configure Sensors

Right click on the schematic symbol CS1 and CS2 to open their Configure window.



Configure Parameters

Click on Configure CS1 and Configure CS2 and enter the required parameters values.

For ButtonSelf, use the default configuration. Then, update the SurfaceDiamond parameters.



Update the PCB

Once you are done with the schematics, you will need to update the PCB file to reflect the changes. Go to Design and select Update PCB Document.PcbDoc.

After you update the PCB, the Engineering Change Order window will appear.

Click on Validate and Execute Changes. Finally, check for any warnings or errors before closing the window by clicking on Close.



The PCB file will automatically open with the imported sensor footprints for Buttonself and SurfaceDiamond.

Drag and place the sensor footprints inside PCB.



Finally, you can switch the PCB view from 2D to 3D. Go to View > 2D Layout Mode > 3D Layout Mode.


It is strongly recommended that you verify the generated sensor patterns using the "Capacitive Touch Sensor Design Guide".

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