Machine File Structure (version of 06.01.2021)

If you own any Scientific Visual equipment, you will face to the data structure generated and produced by the machine.

└── machine_info.txt
└── structure.txt
└── licence.txt
└── Year [YYYY]
  └── Group [g_*]
    └── Sample [s_*]
      └── sample_info.ini
      └── Scan [scanNN_YYYY_MM_DD__HH_mm_ss_any_suffix]
        └── scan_settings.ini
        └── Layers [Layers]
          └── *.svci
        └── Processed [processedNN]
          └── Average/
            └── *.svci
          └── Dimension/
            └── *.txt
          └── Movie/
            └── *.mp4
          └── SVCM/
            └── *.svcm


Sub-folders may have sense only inside the overall file structure context. Nothing prevent delete or delocalize any sub-folder but it should be done carefully and at your own risk.


The root of the structure is the machine id.


A unique identifier assimilated to serial number composed as following (number and capital letters):

  • position 0-3: the machine type

  • position 4: hyphen char ‘-‘ (ASCII 45)

  • position 5-10: the version of the machine - one letter for the manufacturer, - four digits for the year of build - and one letter for minor change in the year

  • position 11: hyphen char ‘-‘ (ASCII 45)

  • position 12-14: the machine number (001-999)

Example: SCAN-Z2013A-001


The root contains some basic and important files. We can name:

  • machine_info.txt: some details

  • structure.txt: explanation about the full structure (basically this file or any previous version of it)

  • licence.txt: the licence information

  • the year folders, see below

Year [YYYY]

The year subfolder. It will have one folder per year starting the 01.01 and ending the 31.12


The year is expressed by four digits

Example: 2019


Each year contains the groups folder defined below.

Groups [g_*]

Each year contains the groups where the complete signification could be defined differently on each machine. A group is a set of samples. The way they are grouped can differ. It can be based on batchs for the SapphiroScan or Operator for the SapphiroScope.


The name starts with a prefix g_ and is not restricted after (expect from the allowed characters). It can be more defined for each machine internally. I.e. the SapphiroScan names its groups from the RFID code of each batch.

Example: g_z7653


A group is a set of samples, hence it contains sample folders as defined bellow.

Samples [s_*]

Each group contains the samples. Each piece of sapphire or any other crystal piece is considered as a sample


The name starts with a s_ prefix and is not restricted after (expect from the allowed characters). It can be more defined for each machine internally.

Example: s_0001


A sample contains: * the scans folders defined below * an optional sample_info.ini file

Scans [scanNN_YYYY_MM_DD__HH_mm_ss_anysuffix]

Each sample contains the scan sub-folder. Each time a sample is immersed into the machine a new scan is processed and corresponding scan folder is created


The name is defined as follow over at least 27 positions, with scan iteration, timestamp and optional suffix:

  • position 0-3: the “scan” reserved word

  • position 4-5: the scan iteration counter (00-99) which is automatically incremented

  • position 6: the “underscore” char (ASCII 95)

  • position 7-10: the year over four digits (e.g. 2019)

  • position 11: the “underscore” char (ASCII 95)

  • position 12-13: the month over two digits (01-12)

  • position 14: the “underscore” char (ASCII 95)

  • position 15-16: the day over two digits (01-31)

  • position 17-18: two “underscore” chars (ASCII 95)

  • position 19-20: the hour over two digits (00-23)

  • position 21: the “underscore” char (ASCII 95)

  • position 22-23: the minutes over two digits (00-59)

  • position 24: the “underscore” char (ASCII 95)

  • position 25-26: the second over two digits (00-59)

  • position 27-…: the optional suffix starting and replacing space with _ ‘underscore’

Example: scan00_2019_07_12__08_25_12

Example: scan01_2019_07_12__08_25_12_with_a_suffix


  • The layer folder that contains the raw photographs

  • The processed folders as defined bellow

  • settings_info.ini: that contains all scan settings. This file is the link between the physical world and the numerical one

Layers [Layers]

The folder that contains the raw tomographic images (SVCI or PNG) of a scan iteration


The name of the folder is fixed: “Layers”

Each layer is then named depending of scanning protocol


The layer raw photographs.

Processed [processedNN]

The folder that contains all the post-process data. In most of the case only one post-processed folder is required but it is possible to duplicate it keeping previous iteration unchanged while recomputing some post-processes.


position 0-8: the reserved word “processed” position 9-10: the post-process iteration over two digits (00-99)

Example: processed00


Each post-process has its own folder and define its own internal structure. We can name the following folder:

  • Average

  • Dimension

  • SVCM

  • Movie

  • … (any other process)