Do I Need Ink for a Zebra Printer?


Zebra printers are industry leaders in barcode production and RFID, so it’s safe to say that they are a great investment if you’re looking for the ideal printer for your business. Their products are created to make printing barcodes, badges and identity cards seamless and cost-effective, and they sell in over 100 countries, so you know they’re going to work well! Zebra is all about quality and efficiency, so their printers have a few features that make them extra useful in the workplace. For one, Zebra printers do not need ink to print. They are a range of direct thermal and thermal printers that are able to print professionally on a varied number of surfaces.

What is a thermal printer?

Thermal printing sounds a little complicated, but it’s pretty easy once you understand how it works! Your thermal printer uses heat to create characters, this is then printed onto special heat sensitised paper. This kind of printing can be done as either direct thermal or thermal.

What is the difference between direct thermal and thermal printing?

Direct thermal printers use heat disposited from a print head to print black characters onto white specialised paper. Keep in mind that due to the lack of ink used during this process, wristbands, receipts and labels can begin to fade over time.

Thermal printers are a little different, they still use heat technology, however, this is transferred onto a printer ribbon that then produces a singularly tonal image that is then printed onto a fed through paper supply. The main benefit of thermal printing is that it can print onto materials other than paper, meaning you’ll need thermal printing if you want to produce your own high-quality identity cards. Depending on the type of ribbon you select, your prints can be resistant to harsh exposure such as water, chemicals or heavy weather conditions.

What types of printer ribbons are available?

Variances in printer ribbon are very important, they make a huge difference to your final product and how it sustains over time.

Thermal transfer: This ribbon will print images in one colour, it doesn’t necessarily have to be black but there will only be one.

Single-layer wax: These ribbons will print very quickly, making them great for high production jobs. They are also very savvy with energy usage, making them environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Enhanced wax: Use an enhanced wax ribbon if you want to print cards that are highly resistant to ongoing friction, keep in mind that this will not create products that are resistant to chemicals.

Layered wax or resin: This is the perfect option if you want to print on a range of different surfaces. You’ll have the ability to print on matte synthetic surfaces, coated paper and glossy finish materials. Your products will be resistant to environmental factors, chemicals, scratches and everyday friction.

Can Zebra printers provide further protection?

You can use a range of laminations or overlays with your Zebra printer. These provide a layer of protection to cards that are used often, and chances are your business will involve the use of an access or identity card each and every day. You can even take the security one step further with features such as a holographic or unique embedment to make every card incredibly unique.

By now, you should feel fully informed on the benefits and options you enjoy when you make the wise choice to invest in a Zebra printer. Zebra printers come in a range of different prices, sizes and abilities, so shop around and do your homework to find one that works for you and your environment!