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Top Considerations Before Buying a Card Printing Machine

We know shopping for a printer can be confusing, complex and downright frustrating. But it doesnt have to be – we’ve outlined the key factors to take into account which should focus your search for the perfect machine

1) Single or Dual-Sided Printer
The majority of plastic card printers will have option of single or dual-sided printing.Single-sided printers are cheaper but require you to manually flip the card if you want to print on both sides. So, if you’re print dual-sided cards in large batches – go dual-sided.

2) DTC or Reverse Transfer
DTC (Direct to card) printers are the most common type of printer for in-house card printing – they are also the cheapest.A thermal print head utilises a colour ribbon to fuse colour to the card. The drawback with this method is the printhead leaves a tiny white border around the card edge.
Retransfer printers are much higher quality -more expensive- and do not leave a white border around the card-edge.

3) Volume Requirements
If you intend on printing large volumes of cards with miniumum hassle, you will need a card printer with large input & output hoppers (used for card feeding & output).

4) Security & Lamination

Lamination greatly increases the lifespan of a plastic card. In addition, it can be used to add security holograms to your card.

How do plastic card printers work?

We sell two types of card printer – both very different in how they operate and the results they provide.
DTC or Direct to card printing is the industry standard. With this method, a thermal print head heats a colored ribbon fusing the ink onto the card.


Retransfer printing differs from DTC in that the design is first printed onto a thin transparent layer which is this then transferred to the card.

Which card printer is right for me?

This can be tricky but the general rule of thumb is:
DTC printing for speed
Retransfer for quality

Of course, there is a lot more to take into account such as encoding, laminating and over-sized cards.

A DTC printer will be significantly cheaper than a retransfer printer but the print quality is considerably lower.

What kind of cards can I print with my pvc card printer?

Plastic card printing machines are very versatile and can be used for a variety of cards.Most machines are easily upgraded post-sale, so if your printing needs change, your printer can easily meet demand.
If you have a question about a card machine or any other queries, contact us on 056- 7712056 or email info@cardlogic.ie for support.

University & College ID cards – card printers can produce Student ID cards which can include student photo, name of the card holder, course they are attending. The ID card can also incorporate a smart chip or a mag-stripe and the card printer can be sued to encode information on to the student card so that the student can use the card for cashless payment for photocopying.

Membership Cards – These types of card can be used in both colour card printers and monochrome printers. Using colour card printers you print out the organisations details i.e. for associations you can print out the crest etc and name. You can also include the name of the card holder and when their membership expires. When printing large amounts of membership cards it is better to get the cards pre-printed with the main print and then use a monochrome plastic printer and personalise the cards with monochrome printer, not only will this save money but it will also speed up the printing time.

Access Control and Swipe cards – Smart cards access control cards and mag-stripe cards can easily be printed and encoded in the same printing cycle.

Staff ID cards – Print high quality ID cards with card holders details such as name, department photo etc.

Loyalty and Gift Cards – print promotion details on a high quality plastic card while also incorporating a barcode to scan the card and record transaction in your loyalty or POS solution.

We also offer all supplies required for printers including colour ribbons for producing high quality ID Cards, monochrome ribbons for personalisation of blank and pre-printed plastic cards and also cleaning supplies for the card printers including cleaning cards, swabs and rollers.