How do Plastic ID Card Printers Work

If you’re thinking of getting a plastic ID card printer, you may be curious as to how they work. In this ultimate guide, we’ll discuss in detail how plastic ID card printers work along with the different types of plastic ID card printers available. 

How do they work?

A plastic card printer is designed and developed to not just print photos but also images and text directly onto blank or proximity cards. This is done by: 

  1. The card that would like to print on will be fed through the thermal print head concurrently with either a colour or monochrome (with just one colour), ribbon.  
  2. The colour from the ribbon is then transferred onto the card through the print head.
  3. As a result, your card will then have its images and text on it and is ready to go. 

What are the different types of plastic ID card printers? 

  1. Direct-to-Card Printer

The most common ID card printer on the market, it’s a great printer if you’re looking to print a large number of cards. This particular technology is the most well-known where the ribbon automatically deposits ink directly onto the card through dye sublimation.

Direct-to-Card printers also can produce multiple colours and have great print quality. Their also versatile, and convenient, and is one of the most used technology when it comes to printing ID cards.

They’re great for printing cards such as membership cards and student ID cards and also come in either dual or single-sided versions.

2. Retransfer ID Card Printer

Similar to the other printer, this one also uses a printer ribbon but has a laminate overlay method instead to ensure that it’s both long-lasting and durable. With this particular printer, there’s no direct contact with the card so it’s able to print on access control cards.

This particular printer can print ID cards with exceptional quality and they can also last longer than the ID cards you’d print on a direct-to-card printer. When it comes to cost, however, this particular printer type is pricier.

3. Inkjet ID card printer 

While Inkjet ID card printers aren’t common, there are some new ones that have recently launched on the market. These printers also don’t use printer ribbons at all and completely rely on ink cartridge technology instead. What this means is that this particular printer comes with a cartridge that you snap in rather than a ribbon.

Not only is this method more eco-friendly, but it can also print a good number of cards in relatively high resolution. In addition, you can also print a wide array of cards, whether that be loyalty cards, membership cards and more. 

How do Plastic ID Card Printers Work

Getting your plastic ID card printer

Plastic ID card printers are great to have – especially if you’re looking to print your own ID cards. Perhaps the most important thing to consider, however, is the fact that they’re a few different types of plastic ID card printers to choose from in the market, one in particular who specializes is PPC ID Card Solutions.

Whichever printer you choose to go for, it’s important that you’ve done sufficient research and are choosing a printer that best suits your needs.


Sumit is a Tech and Gadget freak and loves writing about Android and iOS, his favourite past time is playing video games.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.