How Does A Plastic Card Printer Work?

PVC cards have become a great trend to increase brand awareness, improve security and add a personal touch to all business events. These cards are used everywhere, so much so that even many businesses are now investing in ID card printers to print their custom plastic cards on-site to save time and funds. However, not all understand the science behind how plastic card printers work. If you are looking to invest in a card printer for your business, here’s a brief guide to help you understand how plastic card printers work.

Types of Plastic ID Card Printers And How They Operate

In layman’s terms, a blank card is inserted in the printer. And the printer, using the thermal print head via a printer ribbon, prints the pre-loaded design onto the blank card. This is how you get your custom cards made. However, not all printers are the same; here are some of the popular kinds of ID card printers and their uses.

1. Direct-To-Card Plastic ID Card Printers

These printers are known for their user-friendly interface and simple technology. They are great for printing event cards, photo ID cards, etc. Most Direct-To-Card printers use dye sublimation for printing.

Once you turn on the printer, the printer ribbon gets into the position under the print head. The printer head heats up and activates the ribbon. Once the ribbon reaches the temperature required, it releases ink through dye sublimation, and the design is printed on the card. The ribbons go over and over the card, using two spools until the design is completed. It’s only then that the card is ejected out of the machine. Direct-to-card printers are fast and known to take a good load of print, making them ideal for small to medium-sized businesses.

2. Retransfer Plastic Card Printers

Retransfer printers are also popular as reverse-transfer printers. These use a completely different technology than direct-to-card printers. These printers use a clear film to retransfer the design and information on the plastic cards. The clear film is thermally bonded to the card; hence, it’s highly durable. This printer works in two steps: first, the design is printed on the clear film, and then it’s rolled on the card. The clear film is larger than the card to give the card an edge-to-edge finish.

3. Inkjet Plastic Card Printers

Inkjet printers use inkjet cartridges filled with liquid ink. The ink is sprayed onto the card’s surface using minute nozzles. These droplets create the pre-loaded design in the form of text and images on the card. The inkjet printers produce the most high-definition cards compared to all other printers, but they are slower compared to direct-to-card printers. The Inkjet printers are ideal for printing on different card materials, getting full-colour printing and unlocking the potential of your business.

And there you are, armed with the knowledge of how different plastic card printers work; you can now invest in one that suits your business flawlessly. Plastic ID card printers add a lot of ease to your business operations and also optimise operational processes. It’s the transformative technology you need to increase the profit and sales of your business.

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