Difference Between Direct To Card Printers vs. Retransfer Printers



As you are looking for an ID printer, it’s important to know which type of printing technology will best suit your organizations needs. There are two types of printers on the market currently: direct to card, and retransfer.


Direct to card is by far the most popular type of printer currently available. As the name implies, these printers print directly onto the card. Direct to card printers are more cost-effective with both the hardware as well as consumables. Because these printers print directly onto the card, you will never fully be able to get a full edge to edge print that is capable with a retransfer printer. Direct to card printers are recommended for customers who are not printing on any technology cards.


A direct to card printer is the right choice for you when print quality is not the most important to you, but rather a cost effective solution for your credentialing needs.


A retransfer printer is different from a direct to card printer because the printhead never makes contact with the card itself. Instead, the image is applied to a clear film prior to being fused onto the card. This process allows customers to print from edge to edge and with a much higher Quality image compared to a direct to card printer. We recommend retransfer printers for customers that are printing on technology cards, due to their very uneven surfaces.



Re-transfer is the right choice for customers who care about high-quality, color rich ID cards. They are also a great option for organizations who need a higher level of security on their ID cards.


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We have over 35 years experience in the ID badge industry and will definitely be able to help with a solution.

You can reach us at 281-561-5557 or email us at sales@newbart.com