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ID Card Machines

ID card machines, also called ID card printers, are used to print, encode, and laminate ID cards for schools, retail programs, businesses, and more. Card machines come in a wide range of styles and prices.

ID Card Machines

ID Card Machines

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ID Card Machines

ID card machines, also called ID card printers, are used to print, encode, and laminate ID cards for schools, retail programs, businesses, and more. Card machines come in a wide range of styles and prices.

Laminating ID Card Machines

There are many ID card machines, also called ID card printers - they could generally be divided into categories depending on whether they produce and encode the ID cards or security badges, or whether they are used to read encoding on the cards.

Before ID card printers became popular, the simplest and least expensive option to create ID cards was the laminating machine also known as the cut-and-paste or film based method. This involved taking a person's photo, cutting it out, then laminating it to a card-sized piece of paper containing the person's data. The process requires several manual steps:

  • take a photograph
  • type or print information about the card holder on a piece of paper or plastic such as teslin
  • paste the photograph on the the card
  • slip the paper card between 2 pieces of plastic
  • roll the plastic and card between the 2 rollers of the laminator to bond the plastic layers to the card and to each other

The process was then simplified by using a digital camera to print a photo directly on the paper with an inkjet printer. That method was also time-consuming but inexpensive, and until recently was appropriate for organization issuing a small number of cards.

Laminating ID Card Printers

The cut-and-paste lamination method has been replaced since the development of small and user-friendly photo ID printers that print directly onto plastic PVC cards with a photo ID system. They typically use a dye sublimation process or thermal resin transfer process to adhere the color and other overlaminates to the card. The resulting ID card is much more attractive and durable. It is easy to encode information on the card with a magnetic stripe or bar code. Many dye-sub printers will print directly onto intelligent cards such as smart cards or proximity cards. This makes it easy to integrate the ID cards into other systems for access control, time-and-attendance, and other tracking.

Machines that read ID cards are bar code scanners, mag stripe readers, proximity card readers, and smart card readers all work the same way in their simplest applications, but they can become very complicated as the intelligence on the card is increased and the entire system becomes more complex. Bar codes and mag stripes are relatively inexpensive and anyone who has checked out of a grocery store is familiar with them.

But proximity cards and (contactless) smart cards offer 3 distinct advantages: 1) They allow storage of much more information 2) The information is more secure 3) They may be read at a greater distance from the reader. These advantages make them and the machines that produce them are more expensive and the complex systems of which they are a part require greater training to administer. The ID card machine is a component of a more complex system, but the appropriate ID card software can make the integration and use of the ID card machine easier.

Top Card Printers

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an ID card printer?

  1. Approximately how many cards
    will you print per year?
  1. Do you need to automatically
    print on both sides of the card?
  1. Do you need a magnetic stripe?

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