Custom plastic card printers have been coming down in price and it is becoming more and more affordable for small businesses to use them as name badge machine, gift card printer, or even to print transparent business cards.
Some of these machines to print plastic name cards really require a number of mechanical parts when fully upgraded, such as rollers, and arms to switch the card around for double sided printing. You should bear in mind that, after all, the name cards machines are basically printers that know how to print on plastic cards.
To design custom plastic cards to be used for name badges, the following components are needed: digital camera to take pictures of badge holders, custom plastic card software to design the graphics of the name badge and to place the photo on the card, a plastic card printer, and the badge holder.
Digital camera to take photos: These are very common nowadays. What you want to add to it is a simple tripod to make sure that the image is taken accurately, and an adjustable background screen which can be white or light blue. If you custom business card printing want to remove any shadows on the picture, provide two lights, one from the each side of the camera.
Plastic ID card production software: The software usually comes with the plastic card printer and must have means to connect directly with the digital camera, or with the photo scanner if you want to scan images in that way. The software needs to be capable of adjusting the quality of the image, adding the security features to the card such as shadow image and small print, and must be able to communicate with local or company-wide databases to store the complete information. It must be able to take advantage of the name badge machine printing features, such as double sided printing, encoding of magnetic stripes, or in some cases encoding of included RFID or smart chips.
Plastic card printer: These have come down in price significantly. A new single-sided plastic name badge printer can be had for less than a thousand dollars. You will pay extra for the add-ons such as double sided printing, mag stripe encoding, holographic overlays for added security, as well as smart cards and built in RFID chips.
Badge holders: Finally, when the card is printed, it needs to be worn to be able to use it for identification and security purposes such as entrance into secure buildings and rooms. Badge holders are usually in the form of clear plastic pouches with a lanyard, or with a metal clip.