The Value of High-Quality Printer Consumables

It is always important to buy high-quality consumables for your ID Card Printers from authorized dealers in order to get the best life and results from your machine. At Safe-Card ID Services, we are one such dealer, but there are lots out there; find a dealer you trust!

Less reputable dealers may offer cards and ribbons that are “compatible” with your printer, but are not certified. While you may find that they can offer these at a discount, it’s a cost-cutting measure you may pay for down the road. In the last couple of months we have seen a local company ruin multiple print-heads by using sub-standard cards. Not only was this an inconvenience that interrupted their card production, it was costly, as printer manufacturers’ printer warranties do not cover the print-head if it is damaged due to the use of poor-quality or non-genuine consumable items.

Flaws common to poor-quality cards include the presence of foreign objects (dirt, dust, hair, and plastic particles) irregular sizing and thickness, and jagged cut edges. In the best-case scenario, use of such cards will require more frequent printer cleaning–to remove those foreign objects from your printer. The worst-case scenario results in physical damage to the printer, and specifically the expensive print-head.

Problems you may see with poor-quality ribbons: they may not be compatible with RFID sensors, or printer firmware updates, leading to “no ribbon” or “unknown ribbon” errors, and preventing its use. Also, non-genuine ribbons often are made with sub-standard materials, leading to low-quality images, rendering of colors inconsistently, ribbons tearing and sticking to card surfaces, all of which can also cause damage to the print-head.

All printer manufacturers stipulate that the use of non-branded or low-quality materials can void printer and print-head warranties. While great online deals can be tempting, it is important to make sure that the materials are of high quality – both to preserve your device warranty, and to ensure the best possible output.

The bottom line: be sure to inspect materials before using them. A broken printer costs more to replace or repair than you could ever save with aftermarket or “gray-market” supplies. So find a trustworthy, authorized dealer for your printer consumables, and rest assured that your printer investment will be protected.

Tech Alert: Apple Users of cardPresso ID Badge Design & Print Software

The Problem

elcapitanWe have recently become aware of a technical issue that occurs when users of the cardPresso ID Badge Design & Print software upgrade their Apple computers to the latest edition of OS X (10.11 “El Capitan”). In this latest operating system release, Apple has updated and enhanced system security, particularly as it applies to the use of USB-attached peripherals and mass-storage devices.

Users of cardPresso will know that use of and access to that software is secured through the use of a USB “dongle”, which is required to authenticate and authorize use of the product. The new release of OS X prevents cardPresso from “seeing” the USB dongle, and therefore prevents use of the software in anything other than demonstration mode.

The Fix

cardpressoWhile the El Capitan release also affected scores of other software developers, cardPresso’s software engineers worked quickly to develop, test, and release an update that will address this issue for affected users. The updated version is available for free download on the cardPresso website (, and can be directly installed onto your Mac device with no loss of data of functionality.

As always, we encourage our clients to call on our in-house experts at +1 888.485.4696, should they need further information or support with this issue and resolution.

How to Clear a Card Jam in a Zebra ZXP Series 7 Printer

Card jams are an occasional problem with any PVC card printer. Zebra has made it easy to clear a jam from their ZXP Series 7 printers. Watch the short video below for a quick guide on the process.

As always, if you have trouble clearing a jam or any other concerns with your ZXP Series 7 or any other card printer, call our experts at +1 888.485.4696.

The 4 Items Your Business Needs to Get Started with Printed Cards

Plastic PVC cards are a great business asset in many industries. Identification cards add security or a professional touch to your business. These cards can be as simple as a name tag or include complex features such as holograms or smart chips. Gift or loyalty cards help to create and maintain brand recognition for customers. No matter what your goal is for your cards, you need to start with 4 basic supplies:


Zebra ZXP Series 3 QuikCard Bundle

  1. A printer. Available from multiple manufacturers, card printers meet any need, from a few cards a month to hundreds of cards a day.
  2. Ribbon. Ribbons layer colors over a blank card to create the image and text you have designed. They come in a variety of individual or full color options.
  3. Cards. PVC cards are available in myriad colors and security options including smart chip, magnetic stripe, or thin adhesive-backed stickers that can stick to thicker proximity cards.
  4. Design software. There are multiple levels of software from many developers to meet every need. The most advanced software allows administrators to link to databases and encode smart cards.

There are combinations of these four items to meet every budget and need and it is an investment that can pay off dividends for one’s business.

At Safe-Card ID Services we strive to help our customers find the perfect combination of supplies. We have pre-configured bundles that include all of the above items in popular combinations. Our experts also specialize in creating custom bundles to meet the specific needs of our clients. For those with smaller scale needs or who do not want to invest in a printer system, our service bureau also offers custom cards printed to order.

Let us answer your questions about getting started in card printing. Our experts are always available for a free consultation at +1 888.485.4696. We look forward to hearing from you!

Handling PVC Cards for Best Results

To get the best results from your PVC cards, be careful in handling unused stock. If handled improperly, the surface of the card picks up oils from the fingers of the user. The ribbon used by card printers does not adhere to an oily surface, resulting in poor quality photo IDs.

For best results, we recommend careful handling of only the edges of the cards or wearing gloves. Our service bureau team has found that it is relatively simple to place a small stack of cards into an input hopper while keeping their fingers off the cards’ surfaces, as demonstrated below.

CardHandling1However, when we handle a number of individual cards, we often use medical style gloves to protect the surface of the card.


For more tips visit our TechTips Blog or call one of our experts at +1 888.485.4696.

Evolis Primacy – How to Do a Routine Printer Cleaning

The following video provided by Evolis provides manufacturer instructions illustrating how to complete a routine printer cleaning with a cleaning card.

1. Open the printer lid on the top of the printer.
2. Remove the print ribbon.
3. Close the lid.
4. Open the card input hopper.
5. Remove all blank cards.
6. Shift the card thickness gauge to “MAX”.
7. Remove the adhesive strip from the cleaning card.
8. Place the cleaning card in the input hopper and leave the hopper door open.
9. Press the power button twice.
10. The card will be automatically cycled through the printer and ejected into the output hopper.
11. Remove the card from the output hopper and close the card output hopper.
12. Open the printer lid.
13. Replace the print ribbon and close the lid.
14. Return unused cards to the input hopper.
15. Return the thickness gauge to its correct setting and close the hopper door.

For information about the Evolis Primacy printer, please contact our ID card experts at +1 888.485.4696.

Updated Drivers Available from UltraMagicard

Magicard Rio ProUltraMagicard has updated their printer drivers. They are the first we’ve heard from to include updates for Windows 10. If you have a Magicard printer, we strongly recommend that you update your drivers and firmware to get peak performance out of your machine. As a reminder, we always encourage you to update your firmware at the same time that you update your driver–that way all of your printer’s support systems are up-to-date. If you have upgraded to Windows 10 or are considering doing so, this update is absolutely essential to ensure that your printer remains compatible with your computer’s operating system.

To update visit the UltraID printer support page here. Simply choose your printer, then choose “Drivers and Downloads” and download the most recent driver and firmware updates.

If you have any concerns, questions, or need assistance, please contact one of our experts at +1 704-535-5200–we would love help!

New Evolis Drivers for Mac and Windows

Evolis has announced that Evolis Premium Suite (for Zenius, Primacy, and Elypso) and Badgy Premium Suite (for Badgy 100 and Badgy 200) are available for both Mac OSX (version and Windows (version

Updating your driver allows you to take advantage of the latest improvements and get the most out of your Evolis printer. Additional information about Evolis firmware, drivers, and driver history can be found here.

As a reminder, you should always update your firmware with your drivers. You can do that at the link provided above.

As always, our experts are ready to help with any problems or questions and can be reached at +1 704-535-5200 or +1 888-485-4696.

Uh-Oh! Ribbon Not Recognized on Your Trusty Fargo Printer?


Ribbon insert provided by HID, indicated the need for a firmware update.

Hopefully, many of you are staying on top of your firmware updates. If you aren’t and have a Fargo printer, today is the day to catch up. HID Fargo has updated the RFID chip in their 442xx print ribbons. As you may know, the RFID chip ensures that you have genuine HID/Fargo ribbons, which assures warranty coverage and proper functioning, plus enables automatic ribbon sensing and settings for those who may switch ribbons periodically. As a result of this change, if you have a Persona C30 or PersonaC30e, you may find that your printer does not immediately recognize your new 442xx ribbon, making the printer unusable until the proper device firmware is loaded.

If this is the case, you simply need to update your printer’s firmware. (If you like to get ahead of potential pitfalls, this is also a great process to undergo–it will help you stay on top of important updates in the future!) This can be done by using the Fargo Workbench Utility to download and install any new firmware, as well as any driver updates. These steps will help you make this update smoothly:

  • If it is not already loaded on your PC, download and install the Fargo Workbench Utility from the HID/Fargo website here:;
  • Ensure your Fargo printer is connected and powered on, and that you have a “live” internet connection, then start/run Fargo Workbench
  • In the upper-right of the application screen is a drop-down box where you can select the Fargo printer you wish to work with (if you have only one, it should be pre-selected);
  • Click on the “Update Manager” icon in the upper-left of your screen;
  • Click the link to “Check for Updates” just under the Update Manager icon. Workbench will automatically connect to the HID/Fargo servers, and report any needed updates to either the printer drivers or the firmware.
  • If any updates are found, click the appropriate button to first “Download”, then to “Apply” the discovered updates. If both driver and firmware updates are available, we recommend applying the driver update(s) first, and then the firmware update.
  • If no updates are available, then congratulate yourself for avoiding trouble before it found you!

If you have already installed the most recent firmware and your printer still does not recognize your ribbon, or if you have trouble with any of the above, please call one of our experts at +1 704.535.5200 or +1 888.485.4696 (US & Canada). We’re happy to help!