When you look at an ID card printer descriptions, often one of the first details often listed is the printing technology. But do you know the difference is between dye sublimation and reverse transfer printers, and why it matters?
Dye Sublimation Printing
Dye sublimation printing works by using a heated print head to print the design directly on the card’s surface using the colored or monochrome panes from your printer ribbon – this type of printing may also be called Direct to Card printing.
Dye sublimation printers, like the Datacard SD260, are the most common types of ID card printers on the market, giving you the widest range of price points and feature options.
Reverse Transfer Printing
Reverse transfer printers, like the Fargo HDP5600, use a different printing style – in these printers, the card design is first printed onto a clear film and that film is then applied to the surface of the ID card.
The benefit of the reverse transfer process is in the added quality and durability it gives cards; these printers are capable of printing high definition images and use true over-the-edge printing because the film is larger than the actual ID card. Additionally, these cards are more resistant to scratches and wear than a card from a dye sublimation printer.
The trade-off with a reverse transfer printer is a slower print speed and higher cost due to the additional materials used for printing.
DiscountID carries a wide range of card printers, including dye sublimation and reverse transfer printers. Shop all ID card printers on DiscountID.