Looking to invest in a plastic ID card printer and have always wondered how they work? Here, we’ve got all of the information that you need to know when it comes to plastic ID card printers.
How exactly do they work?
Plastic ID card printers are quite similar to inkjet printers that most individuals already have in their homes or office. Perhaps the main difference is that plastic ID card printers are designed specifically to print on blank plastic or proximity cards.
Here’s how they work:
- The plastic card passes through a thermal print head at the same time as a ribbon that can have a single colour or is simply monochrome.
- The colour from the ribbon is then transferred onto the print head.
- Once that’s done, the images and text will be on the card and it’s ready to be used.
It’s important to note, however, that there are a few different card printer technologies - direct-to-card plastic card printers, inkjet plastic card printers and retransfer plastic card printers.
What are these different printer technologies?
- Direct-to-card printers
These are the most commonly available printer technologies and are great for printing a large volume of ID cards. They come with a printer ribbon which is controlled by two spools in the printer.
Direct-to-card printers are ideal for printing photo IDs and it’s also one of the most versatile printing methods out there. They’re not only efficient but are also suitable for printing on magnetic stripe cards.
- Retransfer ID card printers
These printers still come with a printer ribbon, but they use a different method that allows IDs to be more secure and durable. The printer head of retransfer ID card printers do not come into direct contact with the card and hence, they’re able to produce high-quality ID cards.
These printers are pricier, but you’re able to print additional security features on them. They also come in both single and dual-sided options.
- Inkjet plastic card printers
If you don’t like working with printer ribbons, inkjet plastic card printers would be a great option. While they’re relatively new in comparison to the other two types of printers, they’re still great for producing a wide array of cards. They’re also eco-friendly since they don’t come with a printer ribbon, and can print high-quality cards relatively quickly.
Choosing your plastic ID card printer
As seen from the above, there are a few different plastic ID card printers for you to choose from. When it comes to choosing your plastic ID card printer, it really depends on personal preference and what you’d like to achieve.
If you’d like a printer that can print cards quickly, direct-to-card printers would be a great choice. On the other hand, if you’d like to print cards with security features, retransfer ID card printers would be a great option. Take your time when it comes to making the decision, and you’ll be able to find a plastic ID card printer that best suits your needs.