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Plastic Card Printers and Card Printer Accessories for Schools

For schools, permanent ID cards are often used for students and staff. A plastic card printer and card printer accessories help easily and quickly create custom school IDs and badges. This article will explain what plastic card printers do, list the most popular card printer accessories, review some of the pros and cons of plastic card printers, and provide some of the best practices for using them.

What are Plastic Card Printers?

Card printers are machines used to create individualized plastic cards for schools, organizations, and businesses. They utilize specialized thermoplastics, software applications and thermal printing technology to produce high-quality, custom-designed cards. Card printers can also be used to apply a glossy finish to the cards.

Features of Plastic Card Printers

A plastic card printer typically includes the features listed below:

  • High-resolution printhead for sharper images and text.
  • Perforated plastic forms for printing individual cards.
  • Software for customizing card designs.
  • Integrated contactless card encoding for secure data.
  • Movable transport for precise printing and placement of cards.

Benefits of Using Plastic Card Printers

Plastic card printers offer several beneficial features, including:

  • Printed cards are easy to take care of and last longer than paper cards.
  • Printed cards are harder to forge or duplicate, providing a more secure form of identification.
  • Easy-to-use software simplifies the creation and the customization of cards.
  • Printing is fast cards can be printed in a matter of minutes.

Card Printer Accessories

Card printer accessories offer schools the ability to produce high-quality, professional ID cards. Card printer accessories can include protective card laminates, safety breaks, holograms, encoders, and adhesive backings. Here are some of the most popular card printer accessories:

1. Protective Plastic Laminates

Protective plastic laminates protect cards from damage and enhance their durability. They are available in a variety of colors and patterns, including matte, gloss, and satin laminates. They also provide a layer of security for the cards by obscuring personal information.

2. Safety Breaks

Safety breaks prevent IDs from being over-printed or damaged. They are available in custom sizes and colors, as well as with an array of adhesives. They are designed to be durable and will not leave marks on the cards.

3. Holograms

Holograms are used to enhance the appearance of cards and add a layer of security. They come in a variety of styles, including custom holograms that feature the school's logo or other design. Holograms also provide an extra layer of protection against counterfeiting.

4. Encoders

Encoding adds another level of security to cards. Encoders store personal information, such as contact information or financial data, on the card. Encoders can also be used to store other information, such as library or cafeteria cards.

5. Adhesive Backings

Adhesive backings allow cards to be easily attached to clothing, backpacks, or any other surface. They come in a variety of sizes and are designed to be durable and water-resistant.

Pros Cons of Plastic Card Printers

Plastic card printers offer a convenient and secure way to produce professional-looking ID cards, but they come with some drawbacks as well. Here are some of the pros and cons of using plastic card printers:


  • Easy-to design and print custom school ID cards.
  • Multiple layers of security, including encoded cards and holograms.
  • Long life span printed cards are more durable than paper cards.
  • Card printers can print quickly and in bulk.


  • Expensive card printers and accessories can be pricey.
  • May require the purchase of additional materials, such as laminates or adhesive backings.
  • Cards are prone to forgery and counterfeiting.
  • Printers require regular maintenance.

Case Studies

Here are a few case studies that illustrate how schools are using plastic card printers and card printer accessories:

Case 1: A Private School

A private school purchased two card printers and a variety of card printer accessories, such as protective laminates, safety breaks, and holograms. The school used the printers to create high-quality school ID cards that included contact information and encoded financial data. The school also printed student and staff cards with safety breaks, ensuring that the cards would not be over-printed or damaged. Finally, the school used holograms to add a layer of security and to give the cards a professional, finished look.

Case 2: A Public School District

A public school district purchased several card printers and card printer accessories to create student and staff ID cards. The district used the card printers to print bulk orders of ID cards with their school logo, contact information, and encoded financial data. The district also used protective laminates to enhance the durability of the cards. Finally, adhesive backings were used to attach the cards to backpacks and clothing.


Are Card Printers Hard to Setup and Use?

No, card printers are designed to be user-friendly and easy to use. Most include easy-to-use software with step-by-step instructions, making it easy for anyone to create custom school IDs.

Does a Plastic Card Printer Require Maintenance?

Yes, plastic card printers require regular maintenance, such as cleaning the printhead and replacing worn-out parts. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for maintaining your printer.

Common Mistakes People Make When Using Plastic Card Printers

When using plastic card printers, it is important to avoid making the following mistakes:

  • Not following the manufacturer's instructions for use it is important to read the instructions before using the printer.
  • Not cleaning the printhead regularly dirt and debris can cause the printer to malfunction.
  • Printing low-quality cards make sure you use good quality materials and follow the printer's instructions.
  • Using the wrong type of materials make sure you use the correct type of plastic or paper to print your cards.

Best Practices for Using Plastic Card Printers

To ensure the best results, follow these best practices when using a plastic card printer:

  • Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Clean the printer regularly.
  • Use quality materials to ensure the best results.
  • Use card printer accessories, such as laminates and safety breaks, to enhance the look and durability of the cards.
  • Store printed cards in a secure location.


Plastic card printers and card printer accessories provide schools with a convenient and secure way to create high-quality, professional-looking ID cards. Card printers have features such as high-resolution printheads, software applications, and encoders for added security. Card printer accessories, such as protective laminates, safety breaks, and holograms, can also improve the look and durability of the cards. Schools must consider the cost, the level of security, and the convenience when choosing plastic card printers and accessories.