Basics – Part 1 – Choosing The Right Card Printer

Compact and easy to use, the affordable ZXP Series 3 direct-to-card printer is the best choice for applications where small space, minimal operator training and print quality are important.


Before investing in a card printer system, 

You should make sure you have identified your specific security and identification needs. Based on these factors, you will be able to choose the right card printer and the right ID card technology for your application:

• The type of card you plan to use

• How many cards you plan to print

• How often you need to print cards

• What printing elements you need to incorporate into your card

• The quality of card images

• Type of encoding required on the card

1. Card size

Most plastic cards found in wallets and purses have the same physical dimensions. This is the standard CR-80 card, measuring about 3.375” x 2.125” (85.5 mm x 54 mm). The standard thickness is 30 mil (0.75 mm), but can range from 10 to 60 mil.

2. Printing speeds

Card printers come with a variety of card printing speeds depending on whether you need to print both sides or just one side of the card. In general, the faster the cards are printed, the more expensive the printer. The needs of the printer speed will be determined by the application (e.g., on-premise/ on-demand printing, mass duplication printing (same card design printed multiple times) or one-offs).

3. The physical properties of the printer

If you are limited on work space, you will want a printer with a small footprint. If other work must be accomplished while the printer is printing, you will also want to make sure you purchase a printer that is relatively quiet. While the size and loudness of a printer may not be a concern in a factory, it might be important in an application such as a small office, retail store or cruise ship.

4. Ease of use

A card printer should be easy to use right out of the box, especially if the user is not familiar with card printers.

5. The type of printing you want

Thermal, dye sublimation, mass transfer printing, or direct-to-card (DTC) or retransfer printing.


Source: Zebra Card Printer

Links to our Guide

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