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Card Handling Tips

Did you know that PVC cards are shrink wrapped in packs of 100 quantity for a reason?  It is to maintain the best printing surface quality when customizing the cards in a direct-to-card printer.  Care should be taken not to scratch the cards when opening the wrapping, especially when using a sharp object.  Once a card package is open place the entire stack in the card hopper.  If all cards do not fit, place the remaining cards in a zip top bag to keep the cards clean.

To provide optimum printing results utilizing any card stock whether it is plain PVC or cards with embedded technology follow these tips:

Prevent your cards from looking like this.

Missing printhead pixel

  1. Cards should be handled by the edges, not by the flat finished surface. Use lint free gloves or finger cots, since hand oils will transfer to the cards causing smudging, fingerprints or other distortions when printing.
  1. Always check cards for noticeable debris. In some instances there may be small pieces of vinyl on the card.  Clean cards using 99% pure Isopropyl alcohol and a soft, lint free cloth.
  1. The environment where you print the cards should be neat, clean and free of airborne particles.
  1. Check the printer’s roller frequently.  Clean the printer roller, at a minimum, after every ribbon replacement or more frequently if necessary.
  1. Occasionally, fine scuff marks appear on the surface of cards. These marks will not affect the printer, or the outcome of the printed images.
  1. Do not print cards which are pre-punched.  The slot edge may tear the printer ribbon, interfere with card position sensors or cause you to break pixels in your printhead which can cause white lines through the card.
  1. Print your cards first, then slot punch them. For cards that are already punched, do not print in the area near the slot.  If the card has an embedded contact chip, keep the printing at least .0625 in [1.5875 mm] away from its edge.

Straight line through card in the same place every print indicates one or more missing printhead pixels.


Debris effect on printed card 

Here you can see how debris such as lint, etc. shows when the card is personalized.

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