Retransfer ID Card Printers

A retransfer ID card printer offers many additional benefits when compared to the direct-to-card alternative; improved print quality, over-the-edge printing and suitable for printing on a wider range of materials. cards-x have been supplying retransfer ID printer products now for almost 10 years, and we are here to guide you through all the retransfer ID card printer options available.

What is a retransfer ID card printer?

A retransfer ID card printer is renowned for its photo-quality print and edge-to-edge printing, even on uneven surfaces such as smart cards.

A retransfer ID card printer uses a two-step process, and unlike Direct-to-card printers (DTC) it prints the design onto an overlay retransfer film first (not onto the card), and then thermally bonds the design onto the card using heat and pressure (see the image below). Due to the print process, retransfer ID card printers are able to cover 100% of the ID cards surface. Furthermore, the print process involved with a retransfer ID card printer means the ID cards are more durable and abrasion-resistant, as well as reducing potential fraud due to the films tamper proof design.

Why choose a retransfer id card printer?

Unlike a direct to card ID card printer a retransfer ID card printer doesn’t require a porous card surface and therefore is a suitable print process for a wider range of ID cards; This includes PET, Polycarbonate etc.

In addition the process of printing onto a film means a retransfer ID card printer can offer true edge to edge printing, unlike DTC. The DTC print process uses a printhead which prints direct onto the card, and printing over the edge in this way would damage the printhead. Therefore its often easy to see what ID card printer has been used by a white border!

Finally, if you are looking to produce a smart card or one with a contactless chip we would recommend a retransfer printer due to the guaranteed quality of print and smart print finish (over-the-edge). Printing is possible on a DTC printer, however the print can sometimes not be as good due to the uneven surface and the printhead catching.

What are retransfer ID card printers often used for?

Retransfer ID card printers are commonly used for applications with high security requirements. Due to the 600dpi resolution print, wider range of card materials available, ability to print microtext, and option for increased visual security elements (VSE) you often find retransfer ID card printers within government, corporate and education settings, for printing National IDs, Driving Licences and Access Control applications.

Why are retransfer ID card printers more expensive than direct-to-card printers?

Retransfer ID card printers are designed for demanding and enhanced print jobs and as such are designed with heightened features and additional components to ensure a photo quality print finish and simplified security and access features, while producing quality cards consistently at volume.

Why do I need a retransfer printer to print on access control cards?

Due to the print process the print head never comes into contact with the access card and as such is capable of printing direct onto the cards uneven surface and even printing over its edges to ensure a quality print finish. This isn’t possible on a direct-to-card printer as the card comes into direct contact with the card and would break if it were to come into contact with its uneven surfaces.

Which consumables do I need for my retransfer ID card printer?

A retransfer ID card printer requires more consumables than a DTC card printer. This is because you not only need a printer ribbon, you require a retransfer film which is what the card design is printed onto initially, before being transferred onto the ID card.

Furthermore, we would recommend a printer cleaning kit to ensure the longevity of your retransfer ID card printer and guarantee consistent print quality.

 Why choose cards-x?

  • Low prices across our range of ID card printers. 
  • A wide range of options to suit every card printer requirement.  
  • Outstanding after purchase support to get your ID card printer up and running. 

Our friendly and knowledgeable team would be delighted to talk you through how we can help you get the best id card printer for you. Contact us today so that we can provide some no-obligation advice on your requirements.