Frequently Asked Questions
How do i print ID cards?
First a badge or an ID card is designed using an ID card designing software. There are few good professional and easy to use software in the market like ExcelID and Asure ID. Once the card is designed, an ID card printer is used to print these cards. A ribbon and blank cards are used as the media to print the card. Some of the reliable major brand of printers are Polaroid, Fargo and Zebra.
How do i choose the right ID card printer?
Answer the following questions to your ID printer supplier. They will provide you the right combination of the card printer software and supplies. Or send us the answers by email.
What is the print volume?; What is the printed cards being used for?; Do you need One side or both side printing?; Do you need encoding options like magnetic, smart card etc?; Do you need to have a durable card lasting 3-5 years?; Do you need security features on the ID cards?
What is Dye Sublimation Thermal Transfer Technology?
In dye sublimation thermal transfer technology, the plastic card and the media ribbon move together to pass the thermal printhead. The colour is transfered from the ribbon to the card by the heat impulses from the printhead depending on the design to be printed. The standard resolution for card printing is 300 dpi (300 dots per inch or 12 dots per mm).
What is Retransfer Technology?
The retransfer method uses the thermal transfer technology. Unlike dye sublimation thermal transfer, the retransfer technology transfers the ink onto the underside of a plain flim. This printed film is later fused onto the card. Thus retransfer technology allows a possibility of high resolution, real edge to edge printing, and printing on irregular surfaces like smart cards.
Are there different size and thickness of PVC cards?
Yes, the cards used in an ID card printer can vary depending on application of the card. As for thickness, the normal standard credit card size is CR80. Whereas larger sizes like CR79, CR90, CR100 are available which are used in different applications like event cards, security cards etc. The standard credit card thickness is 30mil, whereas 10 mil, 20mil thickness cards are used in various applications like calling cards, business cards etc. Check the specification of the card printer you buy so that it suits your card size and thickness.
What kind of card materials can be used to print in ID card printer?
In Dye Sublimation thermal transfer printers only high gloss laminated PVC cards and certain composite material based cards can be used. In retransfer card printers additional materials like ABS plastic, PET, PET-G and Polycarbonate cards could be used.
I have a Single side printer and want to print one side colour and the other side black, what is the best possible way?
First use a colour ribbon (YMCKO or YMCKT) ribbon to print one side. Then change the ribbon to Black monochrome, flip the card and insert in the input hopper to print again black on the other side. If you have a batch of cards to be printed with static black information on the back side, it is advisable to batch print the back side first and later customise the front side with colour printing. This will avoid frequent changing of ribbons.
What does YMCKO mean?
YMCKO refers to a 5-panel ribbon. Each letter matches up to a panel color:
Y Yellow; M Magenta; C Cyan; K blacK; O Overlay film
What is a half panel ribbon?
In an half panel ribbon Yellow, Magenta and Cyan panels will have a maximum length of 35 mm only (half the size of original planel). This ribbon is useful and cost effective if the color printing area of your design is no bigger than a logo or a photo or an ID picture.
Can i reprint on a printed card printed with YMCKO?
It is not possible to print on a printed card already since the Overlay of the YMCKO is already applied onto the card. Eitherways its not advisable to reprint on a YCMKO printed card. Reprinting is possible in the case of factory offset printed cards.
Why do i have to clean my printer?
ID card printer head attract dust from the atmosphere and the surroundings. Since the printer head uses high heat to transfer the ink from the ribbon to the card, any dust present on the head may burn that area. If there is a burnt spot on the printer head that area would not print hence showing white lines on the printed card.
How do i maintain and clean my printer heads?
ID printers need to have dirt and ink build up removed often from the interior of the printer to maintain the quality of the printed card. Each printer model has its own method of self cleaning and preventive maintenance. Cleaning Cards, Adhesive cleaning rolls, cleaning swabs etc are few of the supplies which can be used to clean the printer head. Having an Annual Maintenance contract from your supplier will ensure the printer is maintained at the appropriate period. Review the contract to confirm this.
Can I use a cleaning card more than once?
Typically, a cleaning card should not be used more than once. Dirt and debris that is removed from a piece of equipment should not be re-introduced to that piece of equipment. Never re-use a card that is significantly dirty from removing contaminants through the first cleaning process.