The Visualization Toolkit ( VTK ) is an open source C class library, which is particularly suitable for 3D computer graphics with a focus for scientific visualization.

The result VTK is in a research department of the General Electric Company. Initially VTK was used for visualization of image data of imaging techniques ( patent of the marching cubes algorithm ), but was soon expanded its field of application. Founded by Will Schroeder, Ken Martin and Bill Lorensen company Kitware now heads the development of VTK.

VTK consists of over 700 classes. It has become very large and includes more than one million lines of C code. Access to VTK is possible (in addition to C ) by means of Tcl / Tk, Java, Python and. Net.


The patent for the marching cubes algorithm ended on June 5, 2005.