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About Thermal transfer printer (barcode printer)

Printing by Thermal Transfer consists of applying thermofusible ink onto a receptor using a heat source emitted by the printer.

The flexibility of TT is its capacity to meet very high demands of print quality and to provide a technical solution in keeping with user expectations. There are many variables whether from the point of view of the type of ink chosen, the nature of the printing media and finally the choice of printer technology. Each of these elements will have a big influence on the print result.

This is why to properly understand how printing by Thermal Transfer works, it is important to separate each of the elements involved in the process.

         Drive shafts
The thermal transfer ribbon is fitted onto a rotating shaft from which it gradually unwinds. Once the inked ribbon passes under the printhead, the used TT film is automatically rewound onto a motor-driven shaft. This makes it easier to handle and to remove the TT ribbon

         Platen roller
This rotating shaft is positioned at the place where inked film and the label meet under the printhead. Its role is to exert sufficient pressure for the TT film, which is in contact with the label and the thermal head, to receive the heat needed to transfer its ink.

The printhead is a key part of thermal transfer printers: it ensures the transfer of the ink. The part in contact with the TT ribbon is made up of a line of electrically resistant micro-heating elements, the quantity of which (between 8 and 24 points per mm) determines the resolution of the printer (between 200 and 600 dpi).

The individually-activated heating elements generate a source of heat which melts the ink onto the TT ribbon, transferring it to the receiving material with which it is in contact.


There are several different printhead technologies: the most widespread being flathead or corner-edge/near-edge heads.  
Flathead printers are mainly used for printing labels. Corner-edge technology is particularly well-suited for printing on packaging with speeds of up to 1,000mm per second.
Each type of TT ribbon is suitable for one or the other of these technologies.

About thermal transfer:

         Thermal transfer ribbon (TTR)

         Thermal transfer printer (barcode printer)

Popular barcode printer makers are listed below. Information regarding the printer maker and model information is crucial in determining the correct ribbon specification and ensure continuous printing in your business

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