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Thermal Media & Ribbon

How does the thermal media and ribbon system work?

In laymen's terms, thermal transfer printing is where ink is transferred onto a substrate via a print head.  The three elements create a sandwich, with the print ribbon containing the ink, in the middle.

The process is relatively fast and clean with virtually no warm-up or cooling time required.  With a smooth single pass of the ribbon, the results are consistent and high quality.

The transfer ribbon is a roll of clear film coated on one side with coloured inks creating images from a CMYK base.  As you can see in the diagram above, the ribbon passes between the thermal print head and the substrate.  The heat generated enables the ink to pass from the ribbon onto the receiving substrate to create the finished print.

The thermal print system is used in Kodak Printers including the APEX and gives high quality prints with superb colour representation and lifespan.