How to Use ID Card Printer: Easy Guide
The new printer just came in. You unbox it with some excitement.
You place the printer on the place you have set aside for it – perhaps a table.
After that, you plug it into the power supply and connect the printer to your computer via the USB cable or the Ethernet port.
If you aren’t sure what to do when working with an ID card printer, worry not, because that’s exactly what we will break down here.
Connect to the Computer
Taking up where we left off: after connecting the printer to your computer, the first thing you must do is driver installation.
The computer needs to recognize the printer, but it can’t do that without the appropriate driver.
The driver is contained in the CD which came with the printer. You can install the driver directly from the CD, or you can go online and visit the manufacturer’s website and download the driver.
The best option is to download the driver from the manufacturer’s website, because that ensures you to get the most updated version. This ensures you have access to new or updated features and security patches. The version in the CD could already be outdated by the time of purchase.
To your computer, the ID card printer is no different from any other printer. The only difference would be the output dimensions, otherwise it might as well be an inkjet or laser jet.
The dimensions of most plastic cards are 3.375 x 2.215 inches (85.6 x 44 mm). This is the CR80 card size, which is the standard for ID cards.
CR100 cards are larger than CR80 at 3.88 x 2.63.
The computer sees the output in terms of dimensions and sends images to the printer reduced to fit those dimensions.
Be Careful When Handling the Print Head
Though easy to replace, the print head is the most expensive part in an ID card printer. You must therefore be careful when handling. You could damage the print head in two ways:
1. By using a pre-punched card
It sounds like a bright idea to use a pre-punched card for the sake of saving time, but doing so can damage the print head.
As the print head passes over the card’s punch hole during printing, the hole may scratch and damage the print head.
If you have to punch the card, do it after printing not before.
Using pre-punched cards can result in the following problems:
- Ribbon tearing or sticking to the card.
- It's possible that the sensors in the printer won't work properly, causing transportation or other issues while printing.
- A rough or jagged edge around the punched hole on pre-punched cards can damage the print head during printing.
It is recommended that Hole punching should be the last step in the card preparation process.
2. By opening the cover
You should never open the printer’s cover. Doing so exposes the print head.
You can also damage the print head by hitting it with plastic parts, your watch, or ring when you are changing the printer ribbon.
Using an ID card printer isn’t complicated as you can see. Once you purchase one, all you have to do is plug it into the power supply, connect it to the computer, download the driver, and you are good to go.
When it comes to the specifics, each printer comes with a user manual. Since not all printers have the same features, when it comes to specifics, you are better of following the instructions in the user manual.