ZXP Series 8 and 9 Initial Printer Setup Details and Information

Article ID: 33973830

Issue / Question

How To:

Media Related Settings
Print Quality
Communications Setup
Printing App, Driver, or Program

Applicable To

ZXP 8 / 9

Resolution / Answer

ZXP Series 8 and 9 Printer Setup Overview

The Card Printer User's Guide is available from the Zebra Website on the Support & Downloads Page

The Zebra ZXP Series ard Printer can be used in a wide variety of applications using many different media types to suit your printing needs. This flexibility is due to the printer's ability to be configured and adjusted for all the variability an application may introduce. Understanding the printer configurations will enhance your ability to optimize your printer to meet your printing needs and also understand the limitations of the printer.

Important: All printer settings can be impacted by commands from a mis-matched or misconfigured driver or software application. A printer that is functioning fine after setup but fails or indicates an error after print jobs are received are 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 have setup configuration that send these as commands to the printer. Make sure all settings match the printer settings to avoid intermittent issues.

Media Related Settings
1. Understanding your media
Zebra ZXP Series 8 Card Printers support PVC, PVC Composite, PET, PET-G, and Teslin composite cards although PET cards are not recommended due to issues that may be encountered with print quality on this material (Read More>> regarding PET cards).  It is recommended that these cards are 30mil in thickness for optimal performance (30mil is required when using laminator), but the printer does support cards that are 30mil-40mil (+/- 3mils) in thickness.  Only Zebra ribbon is supported in the printer for printing.  Zebra laminate is also required if using the laminator option.  The specs within the link below provide more detail on what the printer will support as far as media is related.
Here are the details you should know for printer media setup and configuration.
Media Related Information
>Card Type – ZXP Card Printers support many different card types, but it is required to stay within the specs of what the printer can handle to ensure proper operation.  See below for card specifications:
Types: PVC and PVC Composite recommended
Card Width/Length: ISO CR-80, ISO 7810: 2.125" x 3.375" (54mm x 86mm)
Card Thickness: 0.25mm-1.27mm; for optimum performance, use standard .030" cards
Card Thickness for Laminator:  0.76mm (30mil) only
Magnetic Stripe Encoder:  ISO 7811 (new and re-encoded, tracks 1, 2, and 3 high and low coercivity, stripe down, 30-40 mil card thickness
Technology Cards: Contact and Contactless Smart Cards as well as UHF RFID cards

>Ribbon Information – The ZXP Series Printer  is designed to work only with Zebra True Colours i Series ribbon.  You have the option of full color YMCK, YMCKK, YMCUvK, YMCKI, YMCKKI, YMC, and Monochrome Black ribbon.
For information on how to purchase Zebra Card and Ribbon or verify you have correct media, click the following link.  Read More>>
>Transfer Film Information  – The ZXP Series 8 is designed to work with Zebra True Colours i Series Transfer Film.  This is clear dye receptive retransfer film for applying the image to the card.
For information on how to purchase Zebra laminate or verify you have correct media, click the following link.  Read More>>
>Transfer Film Information  –  The ZXP Series 8 is designed to work with Zebra
>Media Loading – The media must be properly loaded to ensure jams do not occur and media errors do not display on the printer.

For Videos on these procedures, see the printer's support page on Zebra.com.  Read More>>

2.  Setting Windows Print Driver for Double Sided Printing
DoubleSided Printing
When accessing your printer's properties you can enter the "Printing Preferences" to configure specific settings.  When you click on the preferences button from within the printer properties, the driver should automatically detect the ribbon type that is installed.  If you are attempting to set the printer for printing on both sides of the card, you need to ensure that you select the appropriate ribbon combination and specify to print on both sides.  For more information, click the following link.  Read More>>

Print Quality
Print quality is a product of proper printer setup and use of compatible media for the application.  When using Zebra Card Printers, you must use Zebra branded ribbons to ensure the printer properly detects the ribbon and proper color panels to provide you with appropriate printing of the colors.  Also, it is recommended to use Zebra branded cards to ensure the card materials do not cause issues with the printing of the image or adhering of ink to the cards.  If you are experiencing print quality issues, there are a few steps to take in an attempt to correct or optimize output:

1. Ensure that you are running the most current driver and firmware for your product

Zebra Card Printer driver and firmware updates typically contain fixes for ribbon sensing issues and print quality issues.  Before attempting troubleshooting of the printer, settings, or application, it is recommended to check the driver and firmware you are running and if they are not current, update them.  For information on how to do this, click the following link.  Read More>>

2. Adjusting Color Settings (Color Optimization)
Most card design application may have an area where color or darkness settings can be changed.  However, the printer's driver also has a Color Optimization section where some of these changes can be made to optimize print quality.  Read More>>

3. Print Darkness/Black Print Optimization
You can modify the driver settings for the printer to optimize your black printing or barcode quality.  For information, click the following link.  Read More>>
4. Cleaning the Printer
A new printer should not require cleaning.  However, if specks are seen within the printing or just overall quality issues are seen that are not corrected using the steps above, attempt a printer cleaning.  Read More>>
Laminator Cleaning  Read More>>

Communications Setup
The Zebra ZXP Series 8 comes with USB and 10/100 Ethernet connectivity as standard features.  Zebra offers Windows Certified printer drivers with a Toolbox utility that is supported on Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.  The driver can be downloaded from the following link.  Read More>>
A Zebra compatible driver must be installed before connecting the printer.  This will allow Windows plug and play to properly detect the device and install the driver for the printer.
USB Details Read More>>
Network Setup
The following link contains information pertaining to setting your printer up on your network as well as installing the network driver for your printer.  Read More>>
After setting up communication you can use a Test Card to verify 
Printing a sample card on a ZXP 8 Card Printer Read More>>
Printing a sample card on a ZXP 9 Card Printer Read More>>

Printing App or Program
The ZXP Series 1, ZXP Series 3, ZXP Series 7, and ZXP Series 8 do not have a supported native printer language with which a host can communicate with the printer. This differs from the legacy printers such as the Performance and Value Class Card Printers which support EPCL. The newer card printers rely on a set of support utilities to communicate with the printer. In addition, programmers have a robust SDK that can be used for application development for both models.  Read More>>
Zebra offers CardStudio Software for Card Design  Read More>>

Utilities and Drivers

Application or Utility Comment
CardStudio Software Read More>>                                             This is a licensed card design software that Zebra offers.  It can be used to develop card designs for printing. 
Card Software Development Kit  Read More>>                                  This is a software development kit containing information developing applications for printing to Zebra card printers.
ZXP Series 8 Support Page  Read More>>                                The Support page contains How-to videos for the printer as well as manuals, driver downloads, and firmware downloads.

+ Product Codes

  • ZXP Series 8 Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 8 High Security Retransfer Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 8 Secure Issuance Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 9 Card Printer