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A thermal panel printer is crucial if you are a professional company looking to print off different applications. Using this type of printing solution, you’ll find that your end product will be high quality. If you are interested in compact printer solutions, it’s essential to understand that these thermal panel printers use two types of transfers. These are direct transfers and wax transfers. Here is what you need to know about them.

What is thermal panel printing?


 Thermal printers for small businesses play a crucial role in printing off everyday labels, receipts and documents.  They are easy to use and give you more control over your design than conventional printing solutions.

Thermal printers have been around since the 1970s, including office fax machines and printers that came with the ZX Spectrum and the Atari home computer. Modern thermal panel printers work a little differently from their older models.

Heat-reactive paper, also known as thermochromic-coated paper, is placed under a thermal element or printhead made up of small heated pins. Each one of these pins represents a pixel, and a microprocessor maintains them. The microprocessor decides which pins are needed to create an image on your blank material. All used pins are heated to transfer the ink or wax onto your intended surface. Materials used can include plastic and paper.


Direct thermal panel printing

Direct thermal panel printing is excellent if you are looking for compact printer solutions. This type of printing is one of the most common types used daily. It is used for self-service technology, mobile applications and medical devices.

 The reason why this printing solution is so popular is due to its simplicity. Other printers for small businesses tend to be complicated. However, a direct transfer format only needs a few moving parts to provide high performance. A direct thermal panel printer does not need to consume ribbons or toner. This means it’s more likely to have a longer life and will not need repairing. Therefore, the amount you spend on maintaining it will be minimal.

Another advantage of a direct panel printer is its printing speed. Direct thermal panel printers are fast and can come as compact printers. Therefore, the mechanisms needed to make it work require very little energy and can even be portable.

Wax transfer panel printing

The main difference between a direct and wax transfer thermal printer is its printing mechanisms. Similar to a dye sublimation printer in its process, this printer melts down several dots of wax-based ink. This can stick to any type of material, including paper, film and synthetics. You may prefer this type of printing solution because of the range of materials it can use and its ability to be used for drafts rather than final outputs. This will give you more chances to get your final print correct compared to an immediate direct thermal panel print.

Wax transfer prints can also produce different colour shades through colour dots. Not only that, but its printing speed is very fast and, though different to direct printing, any consumables used are not expensive. Just keep in mind that wax transfer printing cannot produce photorealistic quality. If you would like this, you may want to look into direct printing.

Are you looking for thermal panel printers?

A thermal panel printer is perfect if you are looking for printers for small businesses. The thermal panel printer will always give you a quality product with every print. However, it is up to you to decide whether you want to use a direct or wax transfer as your leading printing solution.

To find out even more about compact printer solutions, contact Martel Instruments now! Call us today on +44 (0)1207 290266 or use our contact page.