Retransfer printers are ideal for use with plain RFID and contact chip cards. They produce high-quality results (up to 600dpi) on different card materials, such as PVC, PET, ABS and polycarbonate.
These printers use a two-stage process. First, the image is printed on a transparent film using dye sublimation or ink pigmentation; this film is then laminated (or transferred) onto the surface of the card. This method allows cards to be printed completely edge-to-edge. These printers can print single-sided or double-sided by adding an additional module.
Direct transfer printers
Dye-sublimation direct transfer (D2T2 or DTC) printers are the most common card printers. These are ideal for personalisation of plain or pre-printed PVC or PVC/PET cards, without contact chip or RFID. They are also suitable for printing text or barcodes in black resin only.
Direct transfer printers use a ribbon with cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) panels, plus an optional protective overlay (O or T). This method generally leaves an unprinted area around the edges of the card.
Affordable, fast and high quality, inkjet card printers are the newest development in entry-level card personalisation. Desktop models are a perfect option for printing onto PVC cards and even come with optional encoding and laser engraving modules.
Inkjet printers use UV drop-on-demand (DOD) technology, which drop the ink onto the surface of the card which is then cured under UV LED. Special security inks can also be used.