3D Slicer is an open-source CAD application specialized in medical image processing and 3D visualization of image data.
The tool can be run on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X platforms, and offers support for DICOM image reading capabilities, automatic image segmentation, analysis and visualization of diffusion tension imaging data, volume rendering, fiducials and measurement units, and customized colormaps.
The GUI looks clean and delivers a well-structured suite of features. The program integrates support for a wide range of modules that can be activated from a drop-down list. Each module comes with its own set of parameters which can be collapsed if you think the layout looks too crowded.
Furthermore, 3D Slicer integrates a built-in 3D viewer along with three default slice viewers, where Axial, Sagittal, Coronal or Oblique 2D slices of volume images can be rendered.
Several smart buttons are implemented in the GUI for helping you easily access different core modules, such as Data, Volumes, Models, Transforms, Fiducials, Editor, Measurements, and Colors.
You may adjust the volume of image data in the scenes using the Volumes Module that allows you to alter the interface in terms of window, level, threshold and color LUT.
You can modify display options for geometric data like VTK models and FreeSurfer surfaces using the Models module that enables you to change color, transparency and clipping. Snapshots can be taken of the scene configuration and saved to a file.
3D Slicer lets you import MRML (Medical Reality Markup Language) scene files from XML-based text items for helping you load and visualize referenced data. In addition, you may add individual volumes, datasets or entire directories containing specific information, as well as transformation matrix. You may also export the processed MRLM information to XML file format.
Different view modes
You can work with a wide range of view modes, such as four-up, 3D tabbed, dual 3D or conventional wide screen layout, and control the 3D workspace using various parameters (e.g. zoom in or out, enable a orthographic or perspective projection, display a magnified view of the area surrounding the mouse pointer, activate a bird’s eye view).
By default, 3D Slicer loads all modules included in the package. In order to improve its load time and make it as compact as possible, you can make the utility open only the modules that you need.
Support for an impressive number of modules
3D Slicer integrates a comprehensive suite of modules that you can make use of, which are related to different objects of study, such as Data, Volumes, Slices, Volume Rendering, Editor, Models, Fiducials, Measurements (rulers and angles), ROI, Transforms, and Color.
In addition, it lets you use two wizards, namely ChangeTracker for quantification of changes in pathology and IA FE Meshing that allows the creation and editing of volumetric meshes.
You can also work with several registration modules that are optimal for your task, namely fast, robust, brain-only, or non-raster image data registration. Statistical atlases can be generated for several segmented structures by aligning images with segmentation.
Other modules handle data related to segmentation, quantification, diffusion MRI (denoising, diffusion tensor, tractography, pipeline), IGT, time series (4D image viewer), filtering (e.g. resampling tools, arithmetic modules, morphology), surface models, convertors (e.g. crop volume, create DICOM series), and endoscopy. The overall functionality of the utility can be boosted with the aid of plugins.
A powerful and reliable visualization and image analysis app
To make a long story short, 3D Slicer comes with support of a wide-ranging and thorough suite of features that can be applied in clinical and image-guided therapy research, and is suitable especially for skilled users.