This tech-tip is intended to help resolve card feed problems with Evolis Tattoo2, Evolis Pebble4 and Evolis Dualys3 plastic card printers. Some of the remedies may also apply to other Evolis printers, and those from other manufacturers.
Plastic card printers may have instances when they will not feed cards consistently from their card input hoppers. This can occur when there are just a few cards in the hopper. But it is more common when their card hoppers are full.
Usually, the cause is not with the printer itself. Rather, the problem most often is the result of the cards being difficult to separate.
Card Feed Problems – Remedies:
Before attempting remedies, remember to handle blank plastic cards carefully, and only by their edges. This will prevent the transfer of lint, dust, and residual body-oils from your fingertips. The presence of any of these contaminants can result in poor print-quality.
Remove the cards from the input hopper and fan out or shuffle them to break any static-bond, and to dissipate natural static charge
Check the card thickness gauge and set just slightly more than your blank cards’ thickness. For example, if the cards are 30 mils thick, adjust approximately 32 or 33 mils.
Ensure the cards are stacked properly in the card hopper, and that there are no obstructions that might prevent the printer from extracting them.
Need further assistance or more info?
Safe-Card ID Services offers our clients free telephone-based tech support for the life of all printers sold. For additional assistance, or other information about all Evolis printers, please contact our ID-card experts toll-free at +1 888.485.4696 (US & Canada), or +1 704.535.5200 (elsewhere).
Based in Angers, France, Evolis is a leading global manufacturer of quality plastic card printers.
Here’s a problem that occasionally is presented to our technical staff: An Evolis Pebble or Evolis Dualys printer won’t feed a card.
Most Likely Causes when a Printer Won’t Feed a Card:
Printer needs a cleaning
Cards sticking together
Thickness gauge set too narrow
Hopper not completely inserted
Cards not loaded properly in hopper
Worn card input roller
More details and suggested steps for resolution:
Needs cleaning: As you use the printer, with each new card inserted, minuscule amounts of dust, lint, and card-manufacturing remnants go into the printer with the card. The printer transport rollers are sticky or tacky to the touch specifically so they can move the card forwards and back during printing. Over time, these contaminants adhere to the rollers which can make them slip on glossy card surfaces. Each cleaning of the printer should consist of using an IPA alcohol impregnated cleaning card, followed by an IPA soaked cleaning wipe, and then finally a pass on the print-head with an IPA alcohol foam-tipped swab. These items are included with a standard Evolis UltraClean Cleaning kit #A5021.
Card sticking together: This can occur for a variety of reasons, but the most common is static cling. Yes, the force of nature that makes your socks stick to your dress in a dryer, can make PVC cards stick to one-another. If the static bond is stronger that the force imparted on the card by the transport roller, then the printer won’t feed a card. Fortunately, you need only to break the static bond to get things going again. Handling the cards only by their edges, manually separate and shuffle the cards, then reinsert them in the card hopper. The mere act of separating them will dissipate the charge and the cards should feed normally.
The card-thickness gauge is manually set, and is located just behind the top cover of the printer – between it and the card-hopper. There are a series of graduation marks on the gauge. Slide it right or left to set a thickness appropriate for your cards. We recommend setting the gauge to a thickness just a bit larger than your cards. So, if you’re using standard 30-mil cards, set the gauge to about 32-33. Setting this properly ensures cards will be pulled more consistently, should they have slight warping or are slightly thicker than normal.
If the card input hopper is not fully seated, it can also cause mis-feeds or no feed at all. Remove the card hopper, check for and clear any obstructions, then re-seat the card hopper. Press down firmly to ensure it is seated fully.
If the card hopper is not loaded properly, cards will not feed into the printer. Remove the card hopper, then remove and re-insert the cards to ensure they are placed properly. This is also a good time to check for any card static-cling issues, as in #2, above.
Last, but not least, you could have a worn card intake roller. With age and use, the input and transport rollers of all card printers are subject to wear and degradation. The rollers will become hard and slick over time, making it difficult for them to do their jobs. They CAN be replaced, but the labor-portion of such a repair can be very high. This is because it requires the full disassembly and reassembly of the afflicted printer. Contact our service department for more information, should this be the case.
If you have an Evolis Dualys printer, you are most likely using it to produce custom printed cards designed for dual-side printing. We have seen instances where the Dualys3 will print the first side on one PVC card, then use a second card to print the back side of the card. Obviously this is incorrect, as the intent is to have both images printed on opposite sides of a single card. Fortunately, there is a simple fix.
(note – you must have elevated privileges on your associated Windows user-id to be able to make this change to the print-driver)
To access the screen where you can make the required changes, follow these steps:
Access Windows’ “Devices and Printers” view (“Printers and Faxes” if still operating under Windows XP). This is accessible through Windows Control Panel, or you can type the string within the quotes in the Windows search box.
Find the instance of the Evolis Dualys print-driver within the “Printers” section; right-click on the icon, then select “Printing Preferences”.
In the resultant pop-up window, ensure that the “Graphics” tab is selected.
Now that you are in the right place, follow the 5 steps as outlined, and in the image below:
Setting the Evolis Dualys Printing Preferences:
Ensure your have the proper ribbon selected (“R3314 – 6-panel colour ribbon – YMCKOK”, if printing color front-side images, and black-only back-side images; otherwise, select the ribbon appropriate for your card configuration).
To the right of the ribbon selection box, make sure the box is checked for “Dual-side Printing”.
In the drop-down box to the right of the check-box, set your card-print configuration (“Front YMCKO / back K” if using the R3314 ribbon).
Click on the “Apply” button at the lower-right of the window.
Click on the “OK” button at the lower-middle of the windows.
Finally, reset the printer by disconnecting the power for 5 seconds, then re-applying the power. When the printer comes back to a ready state, you may resume printing.
Need More Info?
The Evolis Pebble and Dualys printers were mainstay printers for Evolis through 2012, and are now replaced by the Evolis Primacy Simplex and Primacy Duplex series printers. For more information and support for all Evolis printers, contact our ID-card experts at +1 888.485.4696.
Like all Evolis plastic card printers, the manufacturer recommends a cleaning cycle be performed once every 1,000 card prints. For printers still under warranty coverage, these cleanings must be performed on time to maintain coverage on the print-head. For any Evolis Dualys series printer, follow these steps to manually clean the printer:
Open the printer lid, remove the print-ribbon, and set it aside;
Remove the card hopper, and then remove all cards from the card-hopper. Set the cards aside where they’ll stay clean and neatly stacked. Be careful to handle the cards only by the edges, and not on the printable surfaces.
Move the card thickness gauge to its maximum open setting (past the “40” marking).
Remove an Evolis Hi-Trust IPA-alcohol cleaning card from its protective package and insert the cleaning card into the card hopper.
Place the card hopper, with cleaning card inserted, back onto the printer.
Push the power button for about 1 second, and then release it. (Note – if you don’t hold it down long enough, nothing will happen; if you hold it down too long, the printer will power off. If either occurs, try again.)
The cleaning card will be pulled into the printer, and it will be cycled through the print area repeatedly. You will know that the cleaning is proceeding properly when you hear the card being cycled forward and back in the printer. If the card is transported straight through and into the output hopper, replace the cleaning card into the card hopper, and start at step 5.
Once the card cleaning has completed successfully, open the printer lid and remove the cleaning roller from the inside-back of the printer.
Open an Evolis Hi-trust IPA alcohol cleaning wipe, and use it to thoroughly clean the cleaning roller.
Replace the cleaning roller into the printer, ensuring that the “axle” on each end is fitted into the appropriate slots on either side of its mounting location.
Continue to use the IPA alcohol wipe to clean any other visible rollers within the printer. Note that you may want to rotate these rollers by hand to be able to clean them completely.
Replace your print ribbon and close the printer lid.
Remove the card-hopper, reset the thickness gauge to the number equivalent to your card thickness (standard cards are 30 mil, so you would set the gauge to “30”.
Replace your card stock into the card hopper and place the hopper back into the printer.
Ensure that the output hopper is fully open.
Once the steps above are completed, your Evolis Dualys series printer will be clean and you will be ready to print again.
Safe-Card ID Services is an authorized dealer for all Evolis card printing products. For additional information about ID card printing, or if you need further technical support or assistance, feel free to contact us toll-free from the US & Canada at +1 888.485.4696, or +1 704.535.5200 elsewhere.
If your Evolis Dualys caution light is staying on and the printer will not print, here is what you should do.
1. Check that the printer is plugged in correctly and the power button is lit up.
2. Check to make sure that the exit hopper tray is pulled all the way out and snapped into the correct place.
3. Unplug the power source and wait 10 seconds.
4. Plug the printer back into the power and check to see if the warning light has gone off.
The steps above should allow your Evolis Dualys to begin printing again.
When printing with an Evolis Dualys3 ID-card printer, and the card prints solid black, you likely have an improper print-driver setting. This problem most often occurs when printing dual-sided cards, where you intend the front-side to be full-color, with the back-side monochrome-black.
The Cause of Card Prints Black Issues:
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive cause, but there is a high correlation with updates and upgrades to Windows, and onset of the problem. We believe that these updates and upgrades result in the Dualys3 printer driver being reset to its defaults. In particular, the “ribbon-type” parameter gets reset to assume use of a R3011 print-ribbon, rather that the R3314 ribbon.
The Fix for Card Prints Black Issues:
Prior to beginning the instructions below, please verify that you are logged into Windows with a user-ID that has administrative privileges. Alternately, ensure your ID has been granted elevated privileges sufficient to allow updating printer drivers. If you do not have the required privileges, contact your IT-support provider for assistance.
If open, close the application you are using to print cards.
Locate the Windows “Start” button (generally, in the lower-left corner of your screen).
Access the device-driver settings screen, as follows:
Windows 8.1 & Windows 10: Right-click the Windows icon, and select “Settings”, then “Control Panel”, then “Devices and Printers”.
Windows 7: Left-click the Windows icon, and select “Devices and Printers” from the right-side menu. If that choice is not available, select “Control Panel”, then “Devices and Printers”. Note that, if accessing via Control Panel, you may need to switch the Control Panel default view from “Categories” to “Small Icons”, in the upper right of the screen.
Windows XP: Left-click the Windows “Start” button, and select “Printers and Faxes” from the right-side menu. If that choice is not available, select “Control Panel”, then “Printers and Faxes”.
In resultant window, locate the Evolis Dualys3 within the list of printers.
Right-click on the printer then with a left-click, select “Printing preferences”. This will open the device-driver settings window.
Ensure that the “Graphics” tab is selected then change the ribbon setting from “R3011 – 5-panel colour ribbon YMCKO” to ribbon type “R3314 – 6-panel colour ribbon – YMCKOK”.
Single-click on the “Apply” button, then the “OK” button to save the setting change.
Close the device view window, and the Control Panel window (if opened).
Cycle the power on the Dualys3 either with the power button, or by unplugging for 5 seconds, and then plugging in again.
Re-open your card-printing application and resume printing.
Following the above procedure should restore normal printing function for your Evolis Dualys3 printer.
Need more info?
Safe-Card ID Services is an authorized dealer and service provider for the full line of Evolis productions. For further information on or assistance with your Evolis printer, give our ID-card experts a call toll-free at +1 888.485.4696 (US & Canada) or +1 704.535.5200 (elsewhere).
Safe-Card ID presents a video illustrating how to install a manual card feeder on the Evolis Dualys 3 ID card printer.
How to install a manual card feeder in your Evolis Dualys.
1. Remove the card hopper.
2. Adjusts the card thickness gauge to 40 ml.
3. Insert the manual card feeder.
4. Go to the print driver.
5. Adjust the source tray and output tray to manual hopper.
7. Insert the card.
8. Print the card.
For further assistance, contact one of our technicians at 704-535-5200; we look forward to hearing from you!
SafeCard ID presents a new video demonstrating how to clean the printhead in the Evolis Dualys 3 ID card printer.
How to clean the printhead in your Evolis Dualys 3 id card printer.
1. Unplug the power supply.
2. Open the top cover.
3. Take a cleaning swab and break the vial allowing the fluid to run down to the swab.
4. Wipe the swab back and forth across the printhead.
5. Close the top cover.
6. Plug back in the power supply. This will reset the printer and ribbon for your next print job.
SafeCard ID presents a new video demonstrating how to clean the card cleaning roller in the Evolis Dualys 3 ID card printer.
How to clean the card cleaning roller
1. Open the top cover.
2. Remove the print ribbon.
3. Remove the cleaning roller located under where the print ribbon was.
4. Wipe the roller with the wipes from your card cleaning kit. If no kit is available, use warm water and soap.
5. Remove dust and lint from the cleaning roller.
6. Replace the cleaning roller in the printer.
7. Replace the print ribbon.
8. Close the top cover.