Issue / Question
How can I communicate with this printer?
How can I print from an app or program?
How can I setup the printer driver?
How can I improve the print quality?
How can I setup this printer to use the labels and ribbon I have?
Resolution / Answer
NOTE Zebra Support Community Site has been updated to replace obsolete industry terms with modern terminology. This article uses the term Central instead of Master, and Peripheral instead of Slave.
ZD410 Series Printer Setup Overview
This in-depth information is provided should you have any questions or problems initially setting up and using your printer. Most applications do not require in-depth knowledge of thermal transfer printing to be properly set up for acceptable printer function.
You can use the Zebra Printer in a wide variety of applications, and it must be properly configured to function with your media (Labels, Tags, etc.) and ribbon (if used). In addition, you have to set the label size, print darkness, and print speed to optimize printing if using a Zebra driver. The printer is typically configured from your host device using a driver, utility, software, or sending the printer's command language (ZPL Only).
Test Print without Data. To test the printer without connecting to a data source (stand-alone mode), you can perform the following actions.
- Load the ZD410D printer with Direct Thermal Media. Refer to Testing Labels for Direct Thermal Printing Applications for more information on how to test Direct Thermal Media.
- Power On the Printer.
- Run Smart Calibration. Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Smart Calibration for more information.
- Print a configuration test label. Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Printer Diagnostics for more information.
Button Press Setup
The ZD410 printers are different from older Zebra Desktop Model Printers in that they do not utilize the feed button flash sequences to modify settings due to them running the new Link-OS firmware. Rather, they have a three-button front panel that supports configuration in standard and an Advanced Mode. In the Advanced Mode, you can perform several setup functions including calibration, print width adjustments, and darkness.
The Front Panel is described here. Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Operator Controls for more information.
||NOTE Any setup configurations performed using the printer buttons can be overwritten by a driver or application that sends configuration commands.
||IMPORTANT! If you are using a USB connection to the printer, install the Zebra Driver or Zebra Setup Utility before connecting the USB cable to the printer to ensure Windows properly detects and installs the printer.
Do you need the ZebraDesigner Driver?
The ZebraDesigner Driver is used when a Windows Application requires a driver to print to the printer. The driver converts the Windows Application output to the printer's language. If you are using label design software from a non-Zebra vendor, check with that vendor to see if they provide their own driver before installing and using the Zebra Designer Driver. In addition, if you are using an application that directly outputs the printer's command language (ZPL), then do not use a Zebra Printer Driver. When direct ZPL code is sent through the ZDesigner driver it acts as a pass-through tool and simply prints the code sent on the label. For these applications either send the label files directly to the printer or use a Generic Text Driver.
There are 4 sections in this article:
||IMPORTANT! All printer settings can be impacted by commands from a mismatched or misconfigured driver or software application. A printer that is functioning fine after setup but fails or indicates an error after label requests are received is most likely affected by the host side misconfiguration of the driver or printer software settings. The host device that generates the printer commands for printing typically has printing specifications that are sent as commands to the printer. Make sure all settings match the printer settings to avoid intermittent issues.
Media Related Settings and Calibration
||NOTE Printer Setup and Configuration
The ZD4100 printer can be configured by your driver, host application, or utility. In these examples, we will use the Zebra Designer Driver to configure the printer. The configurations are sent when printing using the driver or printing the driver test page. If you are using a non-Zebra application, driver, or label software you will need to determine the methods used to set these configurations in that application. Be aware that the terminology for each setting in your environment may be different.
1. Understanding your media
The Zebra Printer supports the use of many types and shapes of labels and tags and knowing your media detail is important for proper configuration. Refer to Media and Ribbon Identification for more information.
Here are the details you should know for printer media setup and configuration. The ZebraDesigner Driver or Zebra Setup Utility can be used to generate the configuration commands in the examples below. The configurations are sent when printing to the printer using the driver or using the print test page button when setting up the driver for your printer.
- Media Related Configurations
Media Type (Tracking Mode) >
Selections > Continuous, Web Sensing (Gap), or Mark Sensing (Black Mark). The default setting is Web Sensing.
ZebraDesigner Driver (Printing Preferences > Advanced Setup > Tracking Mode). Refer to ZebraDesigner Driver Printer Configuration Printing Preferences vs Printing for more information.
If you are using media with an inter-label gap or a center hole, set the Tracking Mode for Web Sensing.
If you are using media with a black bar or mark, set the Tracking Mode for Mark Sensing.
If you are using media that has no break similar to receipt paper, set the Tracking Mode for Continuous.
The printer by default will have the sensor centered under the media and being used as a gap or notch sensor while located within the alignment key. The sensor is adjustable and can be moved off center to change the sensor type being used to black mark sensing and allow for you to position the sensor wherever the black mark separator may be located on your label or tag. Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Movable Sensor for more information.
Print Method (Media Type) > Selections > Thermal Transfer (Using Ribbon, ZD420 printer only) or Direct Thermal (No Ribbon).
ZebraDesigner Driver (Printing Preferences > Advanced Setup > Media Type). Refer to ZebraDesigner Driver Printer Configuration Printing Preferences vs Printing for more information.
- Print Mode > Selections > Tear off, Peel (Dispenser Mode), or Cutter.
This is related to the label presentation after printing and is limited to the options you have installed. The ZD400 Series supports all print modes listed above but must be configured with the proper hardware and media. Again, your drivers and software or application must also match these settings to ensure no errors are encountered when printing.
ZebraDesigner Driver (Printing Preferences > Advanced Setup > Operation Mode). Refer to ZebraDesigner Driver Printer Configuration Printing Preferences vs Printing Defaults for more information.
- Media Loading - The media must be properly loaded for the Print Mode you intend to use.
- Loading for Tear-Off. Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Loading Roll Media for more information.
- Loading for Peel Mode. Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Using the Labor Dispenser Option for more information. Adding the Dispenser Option and Loading
- Loading for Cutter - Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Loading Roll Media for more information. Adding the Cutter Option and Loading.
2. Understanding the Media Sensors
The printer comes with sensors for label tracking based on the Media Type used. There is both a reflective and transmissive built into the printer, and both are located within the same assembly. The reflective sensor is used for media with a black mark separator, and transmissive is used for media with a gap or hole or notch as the separator. Either positioning of this module or drivers, utilities, or software can be used to set the sensor properly for the media installed. The sensor you will use requires configuration of the Tracking Mode as Mark, Web, or Continuous setting, to be properly set to function with the media you are using. A gap, hole, or black mark must pass over the media sensor's position for the printer to properly detect and calibrate to the installed media. Refer to ZD410 User Guide: Movable Sensor for more information.
3. Calibrate the printer for the media.
The printer does not measure the label length unless the default Power Up or Head Close values are altered to either Length or Calibrate. There are two calibration methods to consider if the labels fail to calibrate properly.
Performing the Smart Calibration Procedure. Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Media Calibration for more information.
If this fails, perform the Manual Calibration Procedure. Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Manual Media Calibration for more information.
If the printer is properly calibrated, it should feed one label properly each time the feed button is pressed.
Print quality is a product of proper printer setup and the use of compatible media for the application. The three impacting factors to consider are:
1. The Media and Ribbon (if used) capabilities.
Not all media is the same when it comes to being compatible with your application or needs. Printing speed, the durability of the image or media, and the environment are just a few factors to consider when determining the printer setup for the application. Trying to compensate for poor media compatibility by using high darkness settings can impact your printer’s printhead life. It is possible to receive poor-quality print due to a mismatch of ribbon and media. The certain ribbon matches certain media better than other media, but adjusting settings and checking all other variables is recommended before that conclusion is reached.
2. Print Speed
The printer is capable of printing at multiple print speeds. The speed selection considers the media compatibility and works in tandem with your darkness setting. The lower print speeds typically require lower darkness settings and vice versa. If your application requires the highest print speeds available, be sure your media supplier has recommended the correct media for your application.
ZebraDesigner Driver (Printing Preferences - Options - Print Speed). Refer to ZebraDesigner Driver Printer Configuration Printing Preferences vs Printing Defaults for more information.
3. Print Darkness
Print Darkness (also may be referred to as Density or Burn Temperature) is a user-adjustable setting. Avoid overheating the ribbon as it can melt if set too high. Vary the darkness to produce the best print quality.
Setting the darkness using the ZebraDesigner Driver (Printing Preferences > Options > Darkness). Refer to ZebraDesigner Driver Printer Configuration Printing Preferences vs Printing Defaults for more information.
Adjusting Print Darkness using Advanced Mode. Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Advanced Mode for more information.
||NOTE The Driver or Software will overwrite the Printer Darkness setting, so assure you match the values set with Advanced Mode to prevent unwanted changes.
There is an additional Darkness Setting that is additive to the printer setting. Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Operator Darkness Control for more information.
USB: A Zebra compatible driver must be installed before connecting the printer.
Refer to USB Communications Setup for more information.
Serial: RS232 Null Modem, all parameters must be matched on the printer and host.
Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Universal Serial Bus (USB) Interface for more information.
Wired/Wireless Network: Printers that include a ZebraNet Print Server option can be connected to an Ethernet Network. If your network supports DHCP, the printer should be assigned an IP Address when the cable is connected.
If you acquire a DHCP address, you can use the ZebraNet Web Interface to configure your network settings. You can type the DHCP assigned IP address into a browser and then click Print Server Settings > Print Server (Username: admin Password: 1234) > TCP, IP Configuration > and then modify your settings. Finally, click submit so you can reset the network card to apply settings. This is the easiest way of configuring the printer network settings. If this is not an option or does not properly apply your settings, you can move to the procedures below for configuring your printer for your network. Refer to Using the ZebraNet Print Server Web Page to Configure the Printer for more information.
Unlike a Wired network connection, you have to do a wireless setup using one of our utilities. The printer can't discover a wireless network on its own. You will have to apply the appropriate settings to the printer for the network that you are attempting to connect to.
You can use one of the following Utilities to set specific parameters or set a permanent IP address for your printer queue. Refer to Setting up and Troubleshooting a Printer for a Wireless Network for more information.
The ZD400 Series Printers have the option of having Bluetooth installed (factory only). You can configure it for use with other Bluetooth devices and it acts as a peripheral device in the connection. Refer to ZD410D User Guide: Bluetooth Option Configuration for more information.
Printing App or Program
Zebra printers are command interpretation engines using printer commands to define the printed images. The printer must receive the commands in the supported printer language (ZPL). The printer will not respond if the label format received does not contain the required programming commands for label printing. Programming commands can be entered into a file and communicated to the printer, received as an output through a driver from an application, or created using one of many Zebra Label Software packages on the market.
For a general overview of this information refer to Label Format Creation for more information.
Utilities and Drivers
If you are not using the ZebraDesigner Driver for your printing application, you can use one of the following utilities for printer configuration. If you are using a non-Zebra application or driver, consult with the vendor for details on printer setup and configuration.
|Application or Utility
|Zebra Setup Utility
||This is a free Windows-based utility that features a printer setup wizard for a simple printer or network setup.
||This is an enterprise application for network printer management but is free to use for configuring a network or locally connected printer
|ZebraNet Print Server Webpage
||The ZebraNet Print Server has a Webpage that is accessed from a browser when you enter the printer's IP Address. Printer configurations can be viewed and altered.
||If you are using the ZebraDesigner Driver there is a Printing Preferences section that allows you to configure your printer.