Tag Archives: id badge printer

What Comes with An ID Card Printer?

When a customer purchaes an ID card printer from us, they often ask what comes with the printer.

When purchasing a standard printer from our shopping cart, the printer does not normally include a printer ribbon or PVC cards. This printer purchase typically includes the printer, necessary cables and driver disks to set up the machine. Printer only purchases are often made by organizations that have already set up their ID card printing processes and are in need of expanding or upgrading their current printer.

If you are purchasing an id card printer system from our systems online store or if you work with our ID card experts and have a custom quote built to meet your specifications, you may have printer ribbons, PVC cards, ID card software and more included in your package. Bundled systems built by the manufacturer or by Safe-Card ID technical teams include a discounted package of a printer, ribbon(s), blank PVC cards, software and possibly a camera. These systems are often perfect for getting started with your identification card printing.

If you are purchasing a printer or printer system for the first time, we encourage you to contact our friendly ID card experts by live chat or phone. They have assisted many customers with the products right for their application and can provide expert advice free with your system. If you are not ready to contact them, but prefer to learn on your own, browse our online store for specific details, videos, and brochures about our systems and printers.

The Safe-Card team is happy to help you when you are ready. Dont’ wait long. Contact us toll free at 888-485-4696.

Direct to Card Printers vs. Retransfer Printers

Card printers have the ability to print crisp, life-like images but it is important to understand the two most common printing technologies and the results they produce before purchasing your printer.

Direct-to-Card (DTC) Printing

Direct-to-card technology is currently the most common form of card printing. The direct-to-card printing process transfers images directly onto PVC cards. Direct-to-card printers are available in a wide price range, with varying features and capabilities. Direct-to-card printers, like those from Evolis, Magicard and Zebra are an economical choice for those where print quality is not as much of a priority as the printer leaves an unprinted, white edge on cards.

Retransfer Printing

Retransfer technology is the latest printing technology, and is growing in popularity. Retransfer printing applies images onto a special clear film that is then fused onto the surface of a blank card. Retransfer printers like the Fargo HDP5000 allows greater flexibility to print on a wider variety of cards, including proximity cards, smart cards, pre-punched cards, key tag cards, or any type of card with an uneven surface. The fact that retransfer printers print images to a clear film, its print quality is vibrant and crisp. Retransfer is an ideal choice for those requiring high quality, vibrant images and those with a need for advanced technology. It’s ideal for high security and large applications, especially when smart cards or other technology is being used.

To better understand the difference in these two printer technologies and which best suits the need of your organization, give a call to an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.

Tips for Troubleshooting ID Card Printer Errors

Overall, ID card printer systems are easy to use. Installation involves installing a plug and play printer driver on your computer system. The ID badge software can be downloaded and after typing in the license key, the majority of the printing system is installed and ready to begin.

One of the more difficult preprinting activities may be the badge design. Getting managers and other authorized people to agree on the final look is often the most time consuming process.

Once printing has started, the printer system is fairly to use. Occasionally they need a bit of human assistance to continue providing quality cards. Printer ribbon and PVC cards need to be monitored and added regularly during printing jobs.

Printers do malfunction and many of the issues can be easily fixed. Issues with printer ribbons and card feeding are the most common problems with ID card printers. Following are some common errors and basic troubleshooting.

Unable to Feed Card Message

This error message will display on the LED or LCD screen when a printer cannot detect card stock in the input hopper. Either the cards are not loaded, have run out or are loaded incorrectly.

To fix this error, check the card hopper to ensure that the cards are indeed located in the hopper and are not stuck together. You may need to carefully fan the cards, without touching the card surface, to ensure that the cards are not stuck together. Straighten them back into a single stack of cards and place the cards back into the hopper. Close the hopper cover and continue attempting to print by pressing the resume button.

If the printer will still not receive the cards from the hopper, cancel the print job by pressing the cancel print button. You may need to power off the printer, wait for a small bit of time and turn the printer back on. The original errors will be cleared and you can attempt to print the card again.

Ribbon Sensor Error Message
This error occurs when the printer is unable to locate the next panel on the print ribbon. This may man that the printer ribbon has broken or has been damaged in some way. A ribbon that does not advance correctly will cause a printer error. To fix this error, you will need to open the printer and remove the printer ribbon. You need to look at the ribbon for tears, wrinkles or breaks and repair them.

To fix a tear or break in the ribbon, connect the two ends of the ribbon with a piece of scotch tape. Wind the ribbon forward past the taped section and place the print ribbon back into the printer. If the ribbon is wrinkled, straighten out the ribbon, and advance the ribbon past the damaged section of the ribbon so that the printer does not access that section of the ribbon. When the ribbon is placed back into the printer after being repaired, you can press the resume button to direct the printer to continue printing.

Card Jam Error
Most all ID card printers will input 30 ml cards. Some printer models will accept various card thicknesses ranging from 10 ml to 40 ml. The printers are sensitive to the specific card thickness that is being placed in the card hopper.

To resolve a card jam error, open the printer cover and remove the print ribbon. Press the cancel, pause, forward or backward buttons to move the rollers back and forth. This should free the jammed card. Remove the card, replace the print ribbon and close the cover. You should be able to resume printing with a new card from the hopper.

By following manufacturer instructions found in your operations manual, the correct adjustments can be made to continue printing. If your printer displays something not defined in your manual, it is always best to contact the manufacturer or your ID card printer distributor for additional assistance.