Badge Printing Setup & Printer Options

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Basic Badge Printing Set-up

While every event could have a different set-up, there is a general structure that can help you understand how the specific hardware is integrated.

Components

There will be 3 components to your badge-printing set-up:

  • Check-in Device
  • Printer
  • Router

Connections

These are then connected in the following way:

  • Router is plugged into an outlet
  • Printer is hardlined into the router
  • Check-in device(s) are connected wirelessly to the router

How it Works

Then you are able to print out badges following this process:

Types of Printing

There are three main types of printing that you can use or your badges. Here is a little more about them so you can choose the one that will work best for you and your needs. 

  • Direct Thermal -- prints by applying heat to the material. It does not use any ribbon, ink or toner, but it requires a special type of heat-sensitive material that blackens when heat is applied.
  • Inkjet -- prints by spraying microscopic droplets of ink onto paper. This paper needs to have a coating that can absorb these droplets.
  • Dye Sublimation (plastic card) -- prints by using heat transfer to apply an image to the intended substrate via an ink ribbon. Since there are specific proprietary ribbons for each printer, the number of prints is precise and cards need to be very specific to go through the physical printer.

Direct Thermal Printers (Black & White ONLY)

  • Software

    In-app configuration via IP Address for most models.

    Note: It is automatic by default with a manual search backup.)

    Hardware

    The printer is connected to the router via an ethernet cord. Software device (e.g. iPad) is connected to the printer via router’s WiFi.

    Ink

    No ink is needed for black and white printing. Thermal transfer rolls are available for color printing, but are not recommended.

    Badge

    You will need direct thermal coated paper or synthetic badges. With Custom Consumables, there are many forms and formats for you to purchase.

    When to Use

    • Black text/images on blank badges
    • Black text/images on badges with a pre-printed color design
    • Black text/images on labels or inserts for other badge types

    Common Models

  • Software

    In-app configuration via IP Address for most models.

    Note: It is automatic by default with a manual search backup.

    Hardware

    Printer is connected to the software device (e.g. iPad) via Bluetooth.

    Note: this is the only equipment that uses a Bluetooth connection

    Ink 

    None needed for black and white printing (this is a black and white only printer).

    Badge

    Rolls compatible with the label printer. You can purchase continuous rolls that cut at the desired length.

    When to Use

    • Black text/images on adhesive badges or labels
    • Black text/images on labels or inserts for other badge types
    • Black text/images on die-cut blank badge stock

    Common Models

Inkjet Printer (Color, not on Plastic Cards)

Note: All Inkjet printers currently require an Onsite Technician to rent
  • Software

    Hopin Advanced Printer app required via Windows Laptop. This is due to the complexity of the images being transferred to the printer.

    Hardware

    Printer is connected to a Windows Laptop via the printer’s USB cord. The laptop is connected to the router via an ethernet cable. The laptop is connected to the software device (e.g. iPad) via the router’s WiFi.

    Ink

    4 different ink cartridges (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) are needed to cover a range of colors. Each set is approximately 400 prints worth, but it truly depends on the design. Lots of blue will mean that blue runs out more quickly than yellow.

    Badge

    Inkjet coated paper or synthetic badges.

    When to Use 

    • Color text/images on blank badges
    • Color text/images on badges with a pre-printed design
    • Color text/images on labels or inserts for other badge types

    Reference Links

    Manufacturer Support Page | Spec Sheet

Card Printers

Note: All Card printers require an Onsite Technician to rent!
  • Software

    Hopin Advanced Printer app required via Windows Laptop. This is due to the complexity of the images being transferred to the printer.

    Hardware

    Printer is connected to a Windows Laptop via the printer’s USB cord. The laptop is connected to the router via an ethernet cable. The laptop is connected to a software device (e.g. iPad) via the router’s WiFi.

    Ink

    Ribbons that can be color (~200 prints), black-only (~2,000 prints) or white-only (~2,000 prints).

    Badge

    Nearly 4x6 plastic card with some additional specs

    When to Use

    Printing within the center of cards with pre-printed backs and most of the front

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    Reference Links

    Manufacturer Support Page | Spec Sheet

  • Software

    Hopin Advanced Printer app required via a Windows Laptop. This is due to the complexity of the images being transferred to the printer.

    Hardware

    The printer is connected to a Windows Laptop via your printer’s USB cord. The laptop is connected to your router via an ethernet cable. The laptop is then connected to a software device (e.g. iPad) via your router’s WiFi.

    Ink

    Ribbons are all the same as this is a very specialized card/machine designed for events.

    Badge

    Proprietary 4x6 plastic card (this is the only card that works with their printers).

    When to Use

    Printing in up to full color with pre-printed backs

    Reference Links

    Manufacturer Support Page | Spec Sheet

  • Software

    Hopin Advanced Printer app required via Windows Laptop. This is due to the complexity of the images being transferred to the printer.

    Hardware

    The printer is connected to a Windows Laptop via your printer’s USB cord. The laptop is connected to a router via an ethernet cable. The laptop is then connected to a software device (e.g. iPad) via your router’s WiFi.

    Ink

    Ribbons that can be color (~300 prints), black-only (~1,000 prints) or white-only (~1,000 prints).

    Badge

    Small ID/Business Card plastic cards

    When to Use

    Printing in up to full color with pre-printed backs for ID cards, student cards, and employee badges

    Reference Links

    Manufacturer Support Page | Spec Sheet

If you should encounter any problems, check out this great resource on printer set up and troubleshooting.

 

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