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What is the Difference between Thermal Transfer Printing (TT) and Direct Thermal Printing (DT)?

In simplest terms, thermal transfer printing utilizes a thermal ribbon and direct thermal printing does not. Thermal transfer involves the thermal print head elements (dots) heating the backside of a thermal transfer ribbon to melt and transfer the compounds on the front side of the ribbon to the label material, thus creating the printed image. Direct thermal printing requires a heat sensitive label material. The print head elements come into direct contact with the heat sensitive material where the heat from the elements causes a color change in the material to create the printed image.

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