Retransfer Or Direct to Card

Printing technologies use a card printer is an electronic desktop printer with single card feeders which print and personalize plastic cards. The standard performance for card printing is 300 dpi (300 dots per inch, equivalent to 11.8 dots per mm). The sublimation name is applied because the dye transitions between the solid and gas states without going through a liquid stage.

Direct to Card Printing Technologiesdirect-to-card-card-printer

Is the most common technology used by desktop card printer/encoders to transfer images directly onto a plastic ID card. DTC technology prints images by heating a print ribbon beneath a thermal printhead, resulting in the transfer of color from the ribbon to a blank card. With DTC printing, images have sharp edges, deep blacks and a full spectrum of colors. This printing method does not provide full card coverage as a small white border will be at the edges of the card.


Is a two-step process that transfers your image to a retransfer film before applying it to the card. First, the image is printed in reverse directly onto a clear layer of film. Next, the printhead heats up and bonds the imaged film to the card’s surface by applying heat and pressure. The two step retransfer process creates a true edge to edge (100% card coverage) high quality image on PVC cards and other card types.

One of the biggest differences between Direct-to-Card and Retransfer printers is quality. With Reverse Transfer printing you get better color quality and “over-the-edge” printing. Cards printed with Retransfer card printers are more durable and withstand normal wear longer than Direct-to-Card.

Four Reasons Retransfer Is Better Than Direct-To-Card Printing

1. Superior image quality
If you need a crisp, clear image with vibrant colors, retransfer technology offers the best image quality in the card printer industry.

2. Over the edge printing
If you try to print too close to the edge of the card with a traditional direct-to-card printer, it will cause the ribbon to break. This is a limitation of the direct-
to-card printing technology where the result is a small white border around the entire edge of the card. Retransfer technology prints the image to a clear
film and then transfers the film to the card. Retransfer printers allows the image to be applied to the entire surface of the card making it look very

3. Lifetime warranty coverage on the printhead
If you have replaced a printhead on your current direct-to-card printer, you know that they are not cheap. Spending a little extra cash upfront on a retransfer
is well worth the investment knowing that your printhead has a lifetime warranty.

4. Flexibility on cards
Retransfer printers allow more flexibility to print on a wider variety of cards. This includes pre-punched cards, key tag cards, contact smart cards, or any type
of technology card that has an antenna or circuit embedded in the card.

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