Anyone know anything about card printing technology?

We\’re looking for a way to print membership cards to an organisation.

We need to go a step up from cardboard printed then laminated. But we don\’t need to go as far as chip and pin, magnetic strips or even raised/indented lettering.

Just a flat card, credit card sized and plastic, which is printed in bulk with a nice colourful design, upon which we can then print minor details like name, date of validity of membership, that sort of thing.

That prinint should be done by us, through a PC and what I assume would be some special type of printer.

So, anyone know lots about this sort of thing? Even anything?

11 thoughts on “Anyone know anything about card printing technology?”

  1. I have a client who prints nice plastic membership cards on a specialised printer, small, PC-driven. Can’t have been expensive. Mail me if you want model, price etc.

  2. you can get a 2nd hand credit card size printer for apx £300 if you will be printing enough cards. Running costs are in the region of 50p per card. For a small run a bureau is a better option. Most printers will come with some software but having loaded the printer drivers any word processor or graphics program will be ok for the card design.
    Checked ebay and example is linked to below. (not mine)

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Magicard-Rio-2e-Card-Printer-/190489131139?pt=UK_CamerasPhoto_Printers_Printers_JN&hash=item2c5a097883

  3. Yeah agree with BarryS the Magicard Rio printer is OK, will do the job fine.

    Everyone is right about the bureau thing, though, these printers are pricey, the consumables are dear, and they’re very temperamental. Let someone else do the worrying.

  4. I’ve joined libraries that produce membership cards on the spot; type your details into the computer, take a photo with a webcam, press a button and out comes the plastic membership card from a special little printer.

    But those have been public sector organisations, so presumably money was no object because it wasn’t theirs.

  5. When I’ve worked for the Lib Dems at conference, all their conference passes are printed on Magicard printers, normally Rio’s, and they work fine.

    You can do fancy stuff, and even get your own overlay to make them more secure (or just for branding) if you want, although I’m not sure how much extra that costs.

    Make sure you get the right driver, and that you know which USB port it’s connected to when installed, PITA to change the settings, but perfectly good printers.

  6. I work at an ID card printing firm. We bought a cheap zebra a year ago, it does the job but color reproduction can be a little inconsistent between printers, you will probably have to do some trial and error tests to get the color you see on the screen to appear on the card. You can also get the odd card that will have the color washed out on one side and similar problems of that nature but they are only occasional. We use it mostly for customers who require very simple printing at very cheap prices. As you move up the list in quality, consumables become hideously expensive if you’re only doing small runs. A roll of both CMYK and retransfer film (both required) will set you back 330 pounds for 1000 prints on something like the prima (which we also use). Quality is much better though, obviously.

  7. Mr Black said “We bought a cheap zebra a year ago”

    That’s the sort of conspicuous consumption that led to the banking crash. Not to mention the complete disregard for animal welfare.

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