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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Help printing one membership card at a time

    My client needs to print membership cards on demand, with the following requirements:
    a. print one card at a time on standard-sized membership cards, as needed (not a high-frequency demand)
    b. avoid full-sized card sheets because after printing one card, the rest of the sheet eventually becomes useless.
    c. inexpensive. I've looked at several "card printers", but they are priced around $1K and apparently made for larger-scale production work.

    A single card (about 2x3.5") is normally too small to push through an ink jet or laser printer, at least on its own.

    Does anybody have a solution on how I can print just one membership card at a time? Any kind of attachment or device that will let me print one card in a regular laser printer?

    BTW, the software application is MS Access, but I think that is irrelevant. This is more of a printer issue than software issue. Thanks for any ideas!

    George

  2. #2
    4 Star Lounger
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    Consider the cost of labour relative to the cost of a single sheet of card.

    Surely the business itself has a need for business cards, possibly personalized for individual employees, and you can always include small batches of those on the same sheet.

    The business may also have a need for non-personalized advertising cards, or redemption cards for special promotions or discounts, that can be printed on the same sheet.

    You may also allow have at least occasional demand for printing more than one membership card at a time, and even more than one sheet of cards at a time.

    Finally, you can chop most of the unused portion of a card into a standard size of stock cards, such as 4 X 7 (US/Can), and even print standard guide lines on them.

    You will still have to prepare the layouts to cover all possibilities, but not much need go to waste.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    George,
    There are all kinds of vairables here, what about using Avery's addon for MS Word? That would allow you to use sheets and pick the spot on the sheet you want to print, that way the sheets aren't wasted. you could set up a word template for them to use the the Avery wizzard.

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    Dogberry,
    Thanks for the reply! Much of what you say makes sense, esp. labor vs paper costs. And it is not like they have to print 100's of cards all the time. It's a regular, but somewhat low-quantity type of need. However valid your comments are for a regular business, my client is a member of a school district, so some of those benefits are not applicable. Yes, they will need to print more than one card at a time, of course, and have. But that does not invalidate the need to print one card at a time, which is the more common situation. Now, on a typical 8.5x11 sheet we could cut the sheets in half and feed each through, getting at least two cards. I wish there was a printer add-on, like a envelope feeder, for business cards.

  5. #5
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    Bresinri,
    Thank you for the response! Your solution for controlling the location on a sheet is certainly a good one. However, the issue is not "where" on the sheet to print one card. The problem is how to use the sheet to its fullest capacity without waste. That is, over time you might be able to run a card sheet through a printer up to 4 times, printing one card each time. Then what? Ultimately, the sheet becomes too small to push through the printer. It just seems odd that there seems to be no handy solution to printing a single card-sized sheet that does not require purchasing a $1000+ printer! So I'm just wondering if I'm overlooking something.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Doesn't Avery, or someone have peel off type cards that could then be applied to a heavier card stock, or laminated? With a peel off type paper, the basic baper remains full size and only the peel off portion is used. I would probably check at an office supply store (Staples, Office Max, etc.) to see what they have.
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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    George,

    To expand on Ted's idea. How about using a cheap label printer and then just attaching the printed lable to your card stock? I'm sure you can find a label printer that will output the size label you need.
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    1. This is an application where the old dot matrix printer worked well. You could buy a package of cards with perf edges, load it into the printer, print one card, and you were done.

    2. Is it necessary to custom print each card when the only data which will change is the member's name, number, and a date? You could print a sheet of cards and fill this information by hand for the small jobs. If you needed to print a quantity of cards, you could use Mail Merge.

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    I do apologise if I am missing something here, but wouldn't using custom paper size on the printer options be the solution? Cut the card stock into strips the correct width and just set the custom size paper for that width, using "print to edge" or equivalent if available? If not, then you would have to cut the card stock a little wider and just have to cut each individual card out.

    I do not know if they still do it, but Waddington's (yes, the people who make the board games...) used to do membership cards on card carriers, so you just peeled off a single card and ran the rest through again to print another one. They also did self-laminating cards.

    Have you looked through the sites that come up when you do a search for "membership cards on card carriers"? Maybe something there would be suitable?

    There is always the "fudge" of course... Print just the details on to a sticky label using something like Avery's templates and simply stick the label on to a pre-printed card possibly?

  10. #10
    4 Star Lounger
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    If the membership cards are the same size as business cards, you can buy sheets from various makers of separable cards on various stocks. That doesn't solve your problem, but it saves you from having to do any cutting (although a little extra scoring sometimes makes a cleaner edge).

  11. #11
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    If printing to sheets of Mailing Labels from Access you can (with a bit of code) start the printing from any label on the sheet. So one option is to print to a Mailing label, attach to a piece of card and laminate. (Sheets of mailing labels don't get any smaller as you peel off the used ones.)
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    Printing Membership cards

    For our club, I set up 8.5"x11" card stock and made the form 3.66" high (3 to a page.) I also lined up the club logo and member name and address to show through a double window envelope. I added dotted lines around the membership card to assist the receipant to cut out their own card. There was other information included to occupy the rest of the white space.

    Doing it that way, if I only printed one, there were still 2 available on the remaining stock. But if there was one form left, it didn't go through on it's own. I suppose it could have been lined up to print like an envelope.

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    5 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate01pa View Post
    1. This is an application where the old dot matrix printer worked well.
    And still does!

  14. #14
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    Thanks to all of your for your considered replies and suggestions! My client rejects the peel-off label because they want the information printed directly on the card stock (which looks more professional, anyway). As some of you noted, printing each card on a sheet that is recycled as each prior card is removed leads to the very problem we are having with not wasting paper (or not wasting too much). T.K.'s suggestion of some kind of "carrier" is what I've also been searching for, as well; something like an envelope feeder, perhaps. I located some on Amazon, such as the "PVC ID Card Tray for the Epson R280 R290" for about $20. Of course, it is for those plastic cards, which may be okay for my purpose. But it's a good start. I have not given up on being clever about using card sheets, however: Print the top two, one at a time, turn the sheet upside down and print the bottom two, one at a time, for example.
    Well, I have some options to present to the client and we can start experimenting. Thanks again to all of your for your time and thoughts. Have a great day! - george

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    printing one membership card

    MS Word prints labels from Mail Merge. You can print one label anywhere on the sheet of label material. The database can be in Word, or Excel, or Access.

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