Category Archives: Magicard Printer

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.

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!

TrustID Software, New from UltraID

UltraID (parent company of Magicard) has released new badging software, TrustID.

The software features drag-and-drop design, is compatible with any plastic card printer, and allows you to capture images from any camera right in the program. It comes in 3 tiers, each of which is available for a 30-day trial. If you’re in the market for a new badging software, give it a whirl. And let us know what you think!

TrustID Classic TrustID Professional TrustID Pro Smart
Drag-and-Drop card builder Conditional elements & layers Smart card encoding
Pre-defined template Multi-card layout + Everything in the Professional Edition
Single card design Integrated reporting
1D and 2D barcodes with 60+ integrated barcode formats User account management
Integrated database editor Password protection
Add custom & composite database fields Unlimited Record Internal Database
Integrated image capture + Everything in the Classic Edition
Import CSV and text database files
Print to any plastic card printer
Label templates and printer support
Live preview
Double-sided printing
Batch printing
Maximum 200 Record Internal Database
Magnetic stripe encoding

As always, call our experts at +1-704-535-5200 with any questions about pricing information (or anything else!) or concerns!

Retransfer vs. Direct-to-Card Printers

The announcement of Evolis’s Avansia retransfer printer raises a key question: What is the difference between a retransfer printer and a direct-to-card printer?

Short answer? It’s all about how your design is applied to the printable ID card. One transfers an image that has first been printed onto a thin film; the other prints directly onto the surface of the card (I know! I was surprised too! 🙂 ).

I’ve broken this down into the 4 sub-questions I had when I was first investigating the difference. I really like to know how things work, but if you’re more interested in the differences than the inner-workings, feel free to skip the next section.

What are the methods and how do they work?

retransfer

Image via Ultra Magicard, maker of the Prima 4 retransfer printer.

With retransfer printers, your design (images and text) are printed onto clear film which is then thermally fused to a card, thus transferring your design to the card. This allows the entire image to be applied to the card at once.

On the other hand, direct-to-card printers place the images and text directly onto the card. This is done through a series of passes over the card, sequentially applying yellow, magenta, cyan and black ink (YMCK) to create virtually any color, followed by the application of a clear varnish overlay to protect the printed image.

What are the differences in results?

By laying the film over the card, a retransfer printer is capable of “over-the-edge” printing that maximizes the card’s surface area–if you want a background image that covers the entire card, this is how you get it. This film also acts as a protective barrier that renders the image slightly more durable.  A direct-to-card printer leaves a very thin border around edge, only 2mm or so wide. This is called “near-to-edge” printing, and if you are printing an ID for which the card color itself serves as the background color, this is more than sufficient for those needs.

HID Global, maker of the Fargo HDP5000, says that the retransfer printer creates a sharper, glossier image (a result of the gloss finish of the retransfer film; the clear varnish overlay applied by direct-to-card printers is a slightly matte finish). Plus, the retransfer process is more forgiving of slight imperfections in the card surface, which is important if you print proximity access cards, as there is often a slight “dimple” in the surface areas above and around the internal electronic components. This also is forgiving in situations where an inadvertent fingerprint might be on a card–laying the entire image down with the overlay will completely cover these slight imperfections.

A direct-to-card printer might not correctly render an image over a spot on the card in the desired color(s), or at all, should such imperfections exist. You can protect against some of the causes by ensuring that unused cards are handled carefully by the edges to prevent fingerprints on printable surfaces, and that they are stored in a clean and dry location to avoid dust and surface damage.

What are the similarities?

Both involve application of a full-card image via thermal print-ribbons to the card surface, the retransfer printer just includes an additional step.

Both create durable cards, but are still subject to wear—to get the maximum life out of your card, employ lamination options or protective badge sleeves or holders.

What materials are required?

Retransfer printers need clear retransfer film (on which the card design is printed then fused to the card) in addition to color or monochrome ribbons. Typical designations are: K, YMCK, YMCKK.

Direct-to-card printers use ribbons with an integrated varnish-overlay, applied as the last step in the print process, to protect the image from wear and fading in sunlight. Typically designations are: KO, YMCKO, YMCKO.

The Bottom Line

The retransfer printer helps you maximize your card’s surface, is a little more forgiving of imperfections, and are generally regarded as producing a better, glossier finished card. The direct-to-card printer removes the need for retransfer film and applies your design directly to the card, eliminating a step. Finally, retransfer printers frequently cost somewhat more than direct-to-card printers, so your budget will play a role in deciding which is right for your organization.

At the end of the day, which printer you need is always going to come down to what your own specific requirements are. Hopefully this will help you think through that process.

Questions? Concerns? Not sure what printer is best for you? Call our experts at +1-704-535-5200 or +1-888-485-4696.

Magicard Printer – How to Fit the Holokote Watermark on a Magicard Rio or Tango

Magicard ID card printers provide additional card printing security levels with the HoloKote watermark. This Magicard video illustrates how to fit the HoloKote watermark on Magicard ID card printers.

1. Ensure the printer is switched off.
2. Insert the HoloKote key.
3. Switch the printer back on. A steady green light indicates you can start printing.

For more information about Magicard printer models, contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.

Magicard Printer – Replacing the Printhead

Magicard printers can often be serviced by the user. Magicard has developed a number of videos to illustrate how to keep your printer in top running condition. The following video illustrates how to replace a printhead in a Magicard ID card printer.

1. Switch off the printer and unplug the power lead.
2. Open the printer and gently disconnect the cable connector from the printhead.
3. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the printhead fasterner.
4. Be carefuly not to touch the printing edge.
5. Unhook the printhead.
6. Hook the new printhead into position and secure it.
7. Gently push the connector into position.
8. Make sure a ribbon is in place. Clost the lid and switch the printer on.
9. A steady green light indicated you can start printing.

For more information about Magicard printer models, contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.

Magicard Printer – Replacing the Cleaning Roller

The following video from Magicard demonstrates begins at the process of replacing the cleaning roller in your Magicard ID card printer.

1. The printer comes with a cleaning roller which should be replaced when you change the print ribbon.
2. Remove the cleaning cassette.
3. Remove the used roller from the cassette.
4. Detach the protective cover from the new roller.
5. Place the new roller into the cassette.
6. Fit the cleaning cassette back into the printer.

For more information about Magicard printer models, contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.

Magicard Printer – How to Clean the Printhead

Magicard printers provide printed identification cards for both small organization and large card printing needs, such as a government issued ID card or financial cards from banks. The embedded video provided by Magicard begins at the point of the cleaning process that shows how to clean the printer’s printhead.

This process is important to keep the internal printing mechanisms free from dirt, dust and oils that may reduce the quality of the card output.

Steps for Printhead Cleaning

1. The printhead needs cleaning when traces of ribbon or lines are seen on the printed cards.
2. Take the cleaning pen.
3. Open the printer and pass the cleaning pen across the length of the printhead.

For additional information about Magicard printer models or id badge printers, contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.

Magicard HoloKote Video

This video from Magicard demonstrates the Magicard HoloKote tool available on Magicard ID card printers. The HoloKote tool provides a custom key for your HoloKote enabled card printer model.

The custom key is a memory card device. The key holds your custom HoloKote watermark logo and is also able to lock some models of the id card printers. The logos are in black and white. To create the HoloKote, you can upload your logo in any format and it will be converted into the correct image.

 

Magicard Opera

Note

The Magicard Opera Printer is a good value all-in-one solution for color ID card printing. Easy to set up and use, the cards are hand fed for easy single sided hand fed printing.

HoloKote options provide security against card forgery. The design in the HoloKote is the waves pattern. Magstripe encoding is optional.

The printer has a 12 month warranty. It prints with dye sublimation. The printer prints 30 seconds in color or 6 seconds monochrome.

For additional information about the Magicard Opera or other Magicard printers, visit our website or contact our id card experts toll free at 888-485-4696.