Frequently Asked Questions

May 2016

Q – Do you need a single sided or dual sided ID card printer?

A – Depending on the amount of information that needs to be printed on the PVC card, it may be wise to consider a Plastic Card Printer that prints on both sides of the card. Dual sided printers include a flipper module inside the printer to turn the card over without you handling the card. Some single sided printers have the option of adding a flipper module.

Q – Which ID card printer has the best print quality?

A – Reverse Transfer Card printing better known as a Retransfer Printer. The printer method uses a two-step process to transfer information onto the card with edge-to-edge printing. The printer is more expensive than DCP printers, but the images are clearer, the colours are brighter and the print tends to last longer than DCP printers.

Q – What is the difference between an Entry Level Printer and a High Professional Printer?

A – Entry Level Printers or better known as Dye-Sublimation card printers are generally less expensive than the High Security printers or Retransfer printers.

Advantages of Dye-Sublimation printing:

  • Generally faster (pending which product you select), as you are only transferring the colour ribbon directly onto the card.
  • The Dye-Sublimation card printers are typically a better fit for front desk receptionist areas or other places where space are limited, as they are smaller and presentation is important.

Printer Range includes: Espresso, Javelin J230i, Datacard SD260/360

Advantages of Retransfer printing:

  • These printers have a higher quality of print than a dye sublimation printer. The image is also over the edge, whereby dye sublimation has a faint white border around the card.
  • Prints up to 600 dpi (dots per inch)
  • Retransfer printers have the ability to print on non PVC Cards, Dye sublimations requires a porous surface available only through PVC cards. Retransfer printing also offers a more consistent printing experience, with fewer errors like ribbon wrinkle, and ribbon tearing.

Printer Range includes: Matica XID Range, Datacard SD460 / SR200

Q – Which printer supplies do I need when buying a printer?

A – Most plastic card printers come with a “starter pack” that will include the necessities to get you up and running. But this is what you will need to start printing: Printer ribbon, Plastic Cards, Printer Cleaning Kit, ID Card Software

Q – Why do the printed colours look different from the colours on my screen?

A – In short, printers and monitors produce colours in different ways.

Monitors use the RGB (red, green, blue) colour model, which usually supports a wider spectrum of colours. Printers use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) colour model, which can reproduce most—but not all—of the colours in the RGB colour model. Depending on the equipment used, CMYK generally matches 85–90% of the colours in the RGB model.

Q – Can you print both sides of the card with a single sided printer?

A – Yes. The cards will have to be manually flipped over, replaced in the input hopper or fed through the manual input feeder to print on the reverse side of the card.

Q – Can they print a holographic overlay with a desk top printer?

A – No. Holographic overlays are only capable through a laminator unit. Either mounted to a retransfer printer or even some direct-to-card printers

Q- Does the printer come with a MAC Driver / or MAC Software?

A – Mac Drivers for Mac Software is very limited with certain Card printer brands. If you require this application please consult with our sales team to work out the solution for you to accommodate MAC.

Q – Can the desk top printers handle bigger runs and if so how many?

A – Yes. The printers are capable of handling bigger runs. If the cards only need to be personalized, premium software, allowing database importation would be required and a solution for pre-printed cards perhaps, to save on costs and turn-around times. Otherwise, full colour printing of big runs will take time and is costly. It is still possible though.

Q – Can the J200 only print black and the J230 only colour?

A – NO. Both printers are capable of printing both monochrome and colour. The ribbons are interchangeable and need to be changed for this capability. The j200i only comes free with a monochrome ribbon and the j230i free with the colour ribbon.

Q – Can they print colour on a black card with the desk top printers?

A – Yes. Using specific colours from a colour ribbon and the artwork will show. Also, a monochrome white ribbon is available for purchase which will most definitely show