All ID card printers need PVC cards on which to print. There are a variety of specifications, such as type, size, and thickness of the card needed for different applications. Depending upon your requirements, the card printer needed for the project may change because of the specific card type needed. These are the available types of cards:
Image Grade CR-80 30 mil PVC Card
This PVC card is the most common card used in standard ID card printers. All printer manufacturers, Fargo, Evolis, Zebra, Datacard, Magicard, Nisca and CIM, make printers that will use this card type. Known as the credit card size badge, this card is about the same size and thickness of a standard VISA or MasterCard.
This is a specialized card that allows for a larger format than the image grade PVC card. Sometimes known as a military size card, the card is used in a smaller number of specialized applications.
There are many variations from various manufacturers in this category of PVC cards. These cards contain the necessary components to operate systems such as access or security systems. They can be printed on just like other types of PVC cards to serve as visual identification, but they also have embedded electronics that can store data.
Clam Shell Card
This card usually cannot maintain a print from an ID card printer due to its surface texture. In order to serve as an ID card, a pressure sensitive card that has been printed on can be affixed to the clam shell card.