In our paper we describe a 3-D vision system designed and constructed at the Technical Research Centre of Finland in co-operation with the University of Oulu. The main application fields our 3-D vision system was developed for are geometric measurements of large objects and manipulator and robot control tasks. It seems to be potential in automatic vehicle guidance applications, too. The system has now been operative for about one year and its performance has been extensively tested. Recently we have started a field test phase to evaluate its performance in real industrial tasks and environments. The system consists of three main units: the range finder, the scanner and the computer. The range finder is based on the direct measurement of the time-of-flight of a laser pulse. The time-interval between the transmitted and the received light pulses is converted into a continuous analog voltage, which is amplified, filtered and offset-corrected to produce the range information. The scanner consists of two mirrors driven by moving iron galvanometers. This system is controlled by servo amplifiers. The computer unit controls the scanner, transforms the measured coordinates into a cartesian coordinate system and serves as a user interface and postprocessing environment. Methods for segmenting the range image into a higher level description have been developed. The description consists of planar and curved surfaces and their features and relations. Parametric surface representations based on the Ferguson surface patch are studied, too.