Connect external appareil to 3D Slicer

Operating system:Mac OS 12.4
Slicer version:5.0.3
Expected behavior:
Actual behavior:

3D Slicer can be connected to a wide range of devices. What would you like to achieve?

I would like to transform an image of a part of body into a scanner image. So, I thought of two solutions:

  1. either take the photo with a smartphone then import it into 3D slicer

  2. connect the smartphone to 3D slider and activate the camera to see the scanner images in real time on 3D slicer like this tutorial TUSS-guided Nephrostomy - YouTube (in the tutorial he did not connect a smartphone to 3D slicer)

What is the best solution ?


You can certainly load a photo (jpg, png, tif, …) into Slicer.

If you want to stream images into Slicer then I would not recommend connecting a phone (it costs at hundreds of $ or more, needs to be recharged, needs network connection configuration, etc). It is much easier to connect a good-quality webcam and stream the image via Plus toolkit and SlicerOpenIGTLink extension. You can find lots of detailed tutorials at SlicerIGT website.

Thank you.

I’ll try that.


Please, how can I install Plus Toolkit on Mac OS ?


We only provide pre-built Plus packages for Windows, as almost all medical device manufacturers (imaging, tracking devices, sensors, etc.) only provide drivers for Windows.

You have a couple of options:

  • You can build Plus on macOS or Linux. Note that only a small number of hardware devices support these operating systems.
  • You can run the user interface (3D Slicer) on macOS or linux computer, but you do the data acquisition on a separate Windows box. Depending on the connected hardware, it may be a compute stick or mini-PC.
  • You switch to Windows so that you can have both data acquisition and user interface on one system.

If it can help, there is also the multi-OS possibility to connect Arduino with Slicer.

How can I configure a webcam into Slicer 3D ?

You can connect the webcam via Plus toolkit.

If you don’t want to use Plus then you can acquire an image using some Python package and import the numpy array into a volume node (see example).

Can I do a realtime 3D volume reconstruction using python and an external webcam ?