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ID Card Printers

ID cards have become more versatile than ever, with some having access control stripes and smartcard technologies on the ID card for enhanced traceability, badge access control, and security in diverse uses. Whether your business requirements are full-scale enterprise, educational use, or low-volume office reproduction, there is an ID card printer that will suit your needs thanks to the array of ID card printers available.

How many cards can these ID card printers produce?

There are different ID card printer classes based on print volume, and your selection comes down to how many ID cards you need to print per day.

  • Economical Class: Printers in this class are designed for low-volume needs. They typically have monochrome printing and require manual ID card feeding.
  • Value Class: This category has scaled-down capabilities and a minimal footprint. They are made for low print volume.
  • Standard Class: This is a step up in reproduction capabilities and design. It offers reliable print output of badges with a moderate footprint.
  • Premium Class: These are the most robust. They occupy a large footprint and have more possibilities for encryption and badge lamination technologies.
What is the difference between single- and dual-sided printers?
  • Single-sided: These ID card printers are for simple badge card applications containing limited information. If you need simple photo IDs that make use of pre-printed cards and that include a magnetic stripe and numerical ID, then this category is a good choice.
  • Dual-sided: Printers under this category simultaneously print both sides of the card. They are normally used when the back requires black printing and the front is in full color. If you want a lot of data printed on the card, then this is a good alternative.
What are the different printing methods used for ID cards?

ID card printers make use of a thermal transfer process in which a fixed printer head heats and slightly melts a ribbon on a black PVC card, thus creating an image. The two different reproduction methods used to transfer the ribbon include:

  • Direct-to-Card: This is the most common ID card creation technology. These machines provide photo-quality printing, full-color logos, and pictures. They do this by controlling the print head heat settings to produce various densities and sizes of colors.
  • Reverse Transfer: This also produces high-quality prints. With this equipment, the process is completed in two steps. The image for the badge is first put on retransfer film. Initially, the image is reverse printed on a transparent layer of film, after which the printer head bonds the film image to the surface of the card by applying pressure and heat.
What are the different encoding options used on ID cards?

Most ID cards use multiple ways to identify the user beyond just a basic photo. Card printers, therefore, offer multiple ways of securely encrypting information on the cards.

  • Barcodes: This is the simplest encrypting alternative thanks to the fact that the ability to put them on cards is contained in the designing software.
  • Magnetic Stripe: Most blank cards come with this stripe ready for encoding. The card is able to store data on a band of magnetic material.
  • Contact/Contactless Smart Card: Similar to barcodes and magnetic line cards, this kind is able to store multiple strings of data, including encrypted certificates.
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