Direct-to-Card Printing

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Glossary

Direct-to-Card Printing

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Direct-to-Card (DTC) printing is the most common printing method used by ID card printers today. DTC ID card printers transfer images directly from a thermal printhead onto plastic ID cards by heating the printer ribbon beneath the printhead. The color from the ribbon is then transferred and printed directly to the card.


Direct-to-Card printing is a combination of two printing methods: dye sublimation printing and resin thermal transfer printing. Dye sublimation printing produces vivid, sharp color images using ribbons that are divided into multiple color panels that repeat across the length of the ribbon. The thermal printhead heats the ribbon and then applies the color dye to the surface of the card. The colors from the ribbon can be used in any number of combinations to produce millions of different colors. Resin thermal transfer printing uses monochrome ribbons to print crisp and clear text and barcodes. The dye is applied in a similar method to dye sublimation, but in solid color dots rather than combining a variety of colors.


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  • Fargo DTC1000 Single Sided

    Fargo DTC1000 Single Sided

    #47xxx
    AlphaCard Price: $1,450
    Retail Price: $2,299

    You Save: $849 (37%)

  • Magicard Enduro3E Duo ID Card Printer

    Magicard Enduro3E Duo ID Card Printer

    #3633-302X
    AlphaCard Price: $1,698
    Retail Price: $2,695

    You Save: $997 (37%)

  • Magicard Enduro3D ID Card Printer

    Magicard Enduro3E ID Card Printer

    #3633-30XX
    Retail Price: $2,295
  • Magicard 600 ID Card Printer

    Magicard 600 ID Card Printer

    #3652-50XX
    AlphaCard Price: $2,194
    Retail Price: $3,295.50

    You Save: $1,101.50 (33%)

  • Magicard Rio Pro Duo 2-Sided ID Card Printer

    Magicard Rio Pro Duo 2-Sided ID Card Printer

    #3652-002X-PLA
    AlphaCard Price: $2,195
    Retail Price: $3,695

    You Save: $1,500 (41%)

  • Magicard Enduro3E Duo ID Card Printer

    Magicard Enduro3E Duo ID Card Printer

    #3633-302X-PLA
    AlphaCard Price: $1,695
    Retail Price: $2,695

    You Save: $1,000 (37%)

  • Magicard Enduro3D ID Card Printer

    Magicard Enduro3E ID Card Printer

    #3633-30XX-PLA
    AlphaCard Price: $1,395
    Retail Price: $2,295

    You Save: $900 (39%)

  • Magicard Enduro+ ID Card Printer

    Magicard Enduro+ ID Card Printer

    #XXX3633-900X
    AlphaCard Price: Add to Cart or Login for Price
    Retail Price: $2,295
  • Magicard Helix Duo ID Card Printer

    Magicard Helix Duo ID Card Printer

    #3633-302X-PLA
    AlphaCard Price: $3,746
    Retail Price: $4,995

    You Save: $1,249 (25%)

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