Keep your premises secure with ID card printers that let you quickly see who enters or exits. These desktop printers produce plastic identification cards with the information you need, including names, photos and programming for physical access control systems. Some models print out cards in several different dimensions depending on the printer, but all of them work with the standard CR80 card size. The CR80 measures 3.375" x 2.125", and it's the standard size for all credit cards and most ID cards. When it comes to buying card printers, there are several different types available, each with different features that meet the needs of your business.
The first step in choosing a printer requires an understanding of what information you need. There are simple models that transfer basic information like a picture or a name and title. More complex machines include data encoding features for added security and program cards for use with badge scanners at access points. Others print information on both sides of the cards and use dye sublimation for faster speeds and varied output options. Consider a smart card printer for areas that require enhanced security like cashless payments and access control for warehouse and inventory supplies.
DTC printing uses a dye-sublimation process that utilizes a print head that heats the ribbon panel and converts the ink into a vapor that transfers to the card. The method is fast and easy and produces overlays, full color and other effects. DTC printers usually have a resolution of about 300 DPI, which creates sharp, bold and bright images. Even though it's edge-to-edge printing, there is a tiny white border that remains visible around CR80 cards.
Reverse transfer printing uses similar technology but prints the images onto a clear piece of film that transfers onto the card. This type of printing allows over-the-edge printing for people who don't want the white borders that come with DTC-printed cards. Most smart card printers use reverse-transfer printing. While slower than DTC printing, this method prints up to 600 DPI, providing sharper, high-quality images.
Choosing between a single-sided and a dual-sided card printer depends on the amount of information needed and your budget. Single-sided printers print one side of the card at a time, while dual-sided printers transfer information on both sides at the same time. Dual-sided card printers are popular options with companies that create lots of IDs with photo identification on one side and information like encoded data and security features on the other, but they generally have a higher price point. Single-sided card printers fit most budgets and are suitable for those who don't need the added security features. These models are ideal for printing ID cards with names and titles that include a picture, and some offer access-point control features.