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Smart-81 Printers

Shop IDP Smart-81 ID Card Printers

The new generation retransfer IDP Smart-81 printer features a power-on and rapid ready-to-print technology. It's equipped with an internal flipper that allows for dual-sided printing with only a software key. The printer provides 300/600 DPI high-definition automation for glossy, superior card printing. The industry-leading Smart-81 retransfer printer comes standard with USB and Ethernet system communication for network printing with available configurations for Wi-Fi, encoding, and lamination. Print now and print more with the new IDP Smart-81 high-volume id card printer.

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Have Questions about IDP Smart-81 Card Printers? We Have Answers!

What are the Main Features and Benefits of the IDP Smart-81?

IDP Smart-81 "RRP" Rapid Retransfer ID card printers offer fast print speeds, superior high-resolution prints, robust and innovative product design, all at an affordable price. Designed for high-volume card printing applications, IDP Smart-81 printers are an ideal solution for access control, government ID, banking cards, universities, healthcare, and more!

Smart-81 printers offer a number of user-friendly features including:

  • Single-sided or dual-sided printing capabilities
  • Issuance security standards
  • An industry-leading 3-year warranty
  • Dye-sublimation retransfer printing for crystal-clear images and thermal resin printing for sharp black text and barcodes
  • Intelligent Anti-dust circulation
  • A standard USB connection with an Ethernet option for printing over a network with an optional SmartWi-Fi Kit
  • Magnetic and Smart Card Encoding options for writing electronic data to your cards
Should I Choose the Single-Sided Smart-81 or the Dual-Sided Smart-81?

This solely depends on the needs of your organization. For example, if you will only be placing the cardholder's photo and name on your cards, the single-sided Smart-81 may be perfect for you. However, if you need to place more information on your cards, perhaps on both sides of your id cards, we recommend the dual-sided Smart-81. This will allow you to print to both sides of the card in one, simple process.

A common question many customers ask is if it is possible to print on both sides of an id card with a single-sided printer by simply flipping the cards and sending them back through the printer after one side has been printed. While technically it is possible, it's not recommended. Printing on both sides of the card with a single-sided Smart-81 printer will expose the printhead to dust, debris, and oil from your fingertips, which can cause expensive printhead damage. Damage to a printhead from non-standard use will void warranty coverage, costing you more in the long run.

If you will be creating cards with limited cardholder information, choose the single-sided IDP Smart-81.

If you will be printing more information on your cards and want the ability to print on both sides of the card, choose the dual-sided IDP Smart-81.

Why Would I Need to Laminate My Cards?

In plastic card printing, lamination is a clear protective layer that is applied over the top of your printed cards by a printer with lamination capability. Lamination offers three benefits to a plastic ID card:

- Lamination extends the life of your card by protecting it from wear and tear.

- Lamination protects your cards from fading and dye migration when exposed to the sun.

- Holographic lamination increases the security of your cards by making them difficult to copy.

Choose a laminating IDP Smart-81 if your cards will be swiped in a mag stripe reader or barcode reader, will be worn in extreme conditions, such as in the sun, or if your cards need high-security features. Single- or dual-sided lamination options are available.

I Need to be Able to Store or Access Data on My Cards. What are My Card Encoding Options?

Barcode Printing

There are three primary ways to access or store data on a card: a barcode, magnetic stripe, or smart card. If you do not have an encoding single-sided ID card printer or software with encoding capabilities, you can still use a barcode to access data on a card. The data is stored electronically in a computer, not within the barcode.

Requirements: All single-sided card printers are capable of adding a 1-D or 2-D barcode to a plastic card. You will simply need a barcode scanner connected to a computer that contains the barcode's data to read the barcode.


Magnetic Stripe Encoding

While a barcode's information is kept in a computer, information within a magnetic stripe is stored within the stripe of the card. When used for access control, for example, each card holds data that will unlock preprogrammed doors. Simply swipe the card and, if you are a validated user of that door, it will unlock.

There are two types of magnetic stripe cards:

High Coercivity (HiCo) magnetic stripe cards are harder to erase, and are used in applications where cards are frequently used or need to have a long life. HiCo stripes are resistant to damage from most magnets or magnetic fields and therefore are most often used for access control, timed attendance, and gift cards.

Low Coercivity (LoCo) magnetic stripe cards require a lower amount of energy to record and are easier to erase. LoCo stripes can be damaged by even a brief contact with a magnetic field. With this, LoCo cards are typically used for applications where the card is only used for a short time, such as hotel room keys.

Requirements: In order to use magnetic stripe cards, you will need an encoding single-sided ID card printer and mid-level or fully-featured ID software.

Smart Card and Proximity Card Encoding

Data is stored within the smart card components, similar to a magnetic stripe card. A smart card can hold up to 100 times more data than a magnetic stripe and offers added functionality. It can be reconfigured to add, erase, or edit hosted data. They can be categorized into two categories:

A contact smart card has an integrated chip. As the name implies, a contact smart card must come into direct contact with the reader in order to be read.

A contactless smart card has a chip and an antenna. In order to be read, it needs to come within a specified distance to the reader (varies by reader), but doesn't need to make direct contact.

Note: Proximity cards are similar to contactless smart cards, but there are important differences. Proximity cards come pre-programmed, so do not need to be encoded. Some single-sided card printers can read/verify data that has been written to a proximity card, but data on most* proximity cards cannot be added, erased, or edited.

Requirements: In order to use a contact or contactless smart card, you'll need a smart card encoding single-sided printer and fully-featured ID software. When ordering the printer, you'll need to specify whether you require contact or contactless encoding.

*Some cards, such as iClass cards, include non-editable, pre-programmed proximity data and a smart chip for encoding your own data.