PVC Card Printer: Direct-to-Card vs. Retransfer Printing

2022-08-27 16:42

PVC card printers are used to print various cards such as ID cards, data cards, smart cards, and other plastic cards. This type of printer uses thermal sublimation technology to print, which can be further divided into direct-to-card printing and retransfer printing. The extensive application of various types of cards including ID cards, bank cards, bus cards, employee badges, and credit cards have brought a broad market for card printers.

Direct-to-Card Printer

Direct-to-card printers print images on blank cards through direct contact between the print head and the card surface, and the only printing consumables required are ribbons. Therefore, the cost of printing cards with this printing technology is relatively lower, more economical, and more widely used.

However, direct-to-card printers also have disadvantages. These PVC card printers have high requirements for cards. If the card is irregular or dirty, then the print head is quite easy to be damaged and the cost of purchasing a new print head can be equivalent to half the price of a direct-to-card card printer. 

card printer

HPRT CP-D80 is a full-color, dual-sided direct-to-card printer, suitable for printing smart cards (social security cards, bank chip cards), contactless IC cards (name badges, door cards, work permits, employee cards, dining cards). Its all-metal printing mechanism provides the fast and high-quality printing experience.

PVC card printer

Retransfer Card Printer

Retransfer card printers use retransfer technology to print cards. Retransfer is a technology that completes image printing by transferring again on the basis of thermal transfer. 

How does the retransfer ID card printer work?First, the print head element uses thermal energy to transfer the image of the card to be printed onto the transfer film. And then the transfer film with the transferred pattern is fused to the card by reverse pressure. And the card was successfully printed. 

In addition to the ribbon, the printing consumables required by the retransfer card printer also include the transfer film. Since this printing method is more complicated than the direct-to-card printing, the price of the retransfer card printer is also relatively higher. However, since the print head only needs to be in contact with the ribbon and transfer film placed in the machine, and does not need to directly contact the card which is exposed to the air, the print head of the retransfer card printer is less susceptible to get polluted. 

What’s more, the card image printed by retransfer printers is more complete, the color is clearer, and the color difference is relatively small. Therefore, this type of card printer is more suitable for printing cards with high image requirements, such as ID cards, social security cards, and work permits for government agencies.

HPRT is a professional card printer manufacturer. If you are searching for printer to print on PVC card, ID card, datacard, and other plastic card printer, contact us for card printing solution.

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