White Line across printed card | Damaged Printhead Element

Return to printer solutions | Problems with print quality
Written By john.fieldsend

I have a white line across the length of my printed cards

White Line across printed card


👉 It is the same on every card.

👉 It is the same on the printers internal test card.  (Please check this via:  Menu > Test Card)

What causes it?

If printer cleaning is not carried out as advised the chance of printing problems and printhead damage is greatly increased.

Dust or contamination from the cards, a dirty dye film or from inside an unclean printer can be dragged and forced between the printhead and the card:

print head cleaning

It could also be caused by other things like:

  • Contaminated Cards (e.g. left lying out on surfaces)
  • Dirty Rollers
  • Dusty Environment
  • Dirty Dye Film (ribbons left lying on desk).
  • Blue Sticky Roller has not been changed (ref here for Pronto,  here for other printers)
  • Hole punched cards prior to printing – jagged edge – (punch the hole AFTER printing, not before)
  • Contact via jewellery while changing dye film

…Permanently damaging the printhead surface so the head can no longer apply heat where the thermal element has been damaged, resulting the a white line across the length of the card.

It will be the same on each card including the printers internal test card -(Menu > Test Card)- which is the best way to confirm as printing the internal test card eliminates any possible software or image related cause.

How do I get my printer working again?

If your printed cards match the example and description above then it is highly likely you will need to replace the printhead.

Some head damage can be seen by the eye – look carefully at your printheads thermal surface in line with the line on the printed cards, the damaged element/s should line up with the white line – but you may need to use a microscope for smaller scratches even though they will still leave the white line.

⚠️ A damaged Printhead cannot be repaired, it will have to be replaced.

Check the Warranty Terms for printhead cover for your specific printer model and region.

  • If your printer is In Warranty and includes printhead replacement (not all do) then please raise a support case from your Support Account.
  • If your printers warranty has Expired or does not have printhead cover please contact your original printer supplier to purchase a replacement. (Magicard do not sell directly)

* If you are fitting a replacement printhead we advise to first perform a thorough clean of your printer:

Please see our YouTube channel for cleaning your specific printer model.  It will not fix a damaged printhead element but it will protect against fitting an expensive new head into a dirty printer which risks the same damage to your new printhead!

Examples under the microscope showing the damaged thermal elements:

Some damage can be seen by the eye but you may need to use a microscope for smaller scratches and warranty claims.

⚠️ A printhead with damage like this cannot be repaired

How can I prevent it?

Cleaning recommendations are:

  1. Carry out full cleaning at every dye film change.
  2. Including sticky roller replacement (blue sticky roller is supplied with every official Magicard Dye Film).
  3. Orange tacky roller must be present (lives below the blue roller).
  4. It is imperative that your cards are perfectly clean and free from any residues or dust particles before inserting into the printer.

Cleaning Videos

Find your specific printer model cleaning video on our YouTube Channel.

Additional precautions as thermal printheads are very fragile:

– Handle unprinted cards with clean hands only.
– Do not try to clean a card if it was dropped by accident, just discard it.
– Do not leave dye film out in the open.
– Remove jewellery before replacing the dye film or while handling a printhead.
– Pre punched cards can damage a printhead, hole-punch After printing.

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Customer service were very patient and helpful when communicating with me to figure out the problem with the machine! Thank you for the repair, printer works again! It did take a little longer than expected to get it back, about three weeks instead of two.

Printer model: Enduro3e

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Fixed and working well, would have been easier if could have paid by credit card

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Printer model: Rio Pro

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