The availability of different types of ID card printers that work on different technologies may make it quite confusing to choose one for your needs. That is why you need to learn about how different types of ID card printers function to make the right choice. Printers like the easily affordable IDP Smart 31 use edge-to-edge printing, while the high-end Zebra ZXP Series 9 uses retransfer over-the-edge printing. Below is a quick breakdown of edge-to-edge and over-the-edge ID card printing to help you make an informed decision.
Edge-to-Edge ID Card Printing
Edge-to-edge printing refers to leaving a slim border around the surface of the ID card when it is being printed. This will be apart from the ID card design that you have prepared and even if you had a border included in the design, edge-to-edge printing will still keep a slight blank space around the ID card.
In most cases, white is the color of the border to match it with the color of a blank PVC card. Yet if the color of the blank card is not white, then the ID card printer will determine a suitable matching color for the border. For instance, black cards will have black borders while red cards will have red borders in edge-to-edge printing.
Over-the-Edge ID Card Printing
Over-the-edge printing means that there will be no visible blank border left around the surface of the ID card when it is printed. Instead, the entire card surface will be used to print the design as you have prepared. Generally, direct-to-card ID printers leave a tiny blank border when printing on the cards because their printhead needs to touch the card surface for applying the prints. This is why most direct-to-card ID printers do not offer over-the-edge printing.
In a retransfer ID card printer, the design is printed on a thin layer of transfer film in reverse first, and it is then applied to the card surface using heat application. This allows the design to cover the entire surface of the ID card and leaves no blank gaps around the edges.
Which One is Right for You?
The choice to go with either edge-to-edge printing or over-the-edge printing should be based upon your needs and preferences. If you are going with retransfer card printers, then you can always benefit from over-the-edge printing features for low-volume needs. It is usually more expensive and time-consuming than edge-to-edge printing, but delivers better quality prints. On the contrary, edge-to-edge printing may be a better choice for those who need to quickly create ID cards in bulk.
See the edge-to-edge printing IDP Smart 31 here: IDP Smart 31
See the over-the-edge retransfer printing Zebra ZXP Series 9 here: Zebra ZXP Series 9
Browse Bodno’s selection of blank ID cards: Blank ID Cards
Visit Bodno to see our full list of retransfer card printers: Retransfer Card Printers