In this paper, a fast and accurate range-finding vision system is described. On request, it measures the three-dimensional coordinates (x,y,z) of a single point or of a series of points on the surface of the scene. The scanning order is not fixed, but can be chosen freely. In fact, the scene-scanning process is driven in close interaction with the segmentation algorithms. The sensor is composed of a laser, a two-degrees-of-freedom deflection unit, pointing the laser-beam on the scene, 3 linear high resolution CCD photodiode arrays, observing the laser-spot through special optics. The system has been designed as an intelligent peripheral to a hostcomputer and is implemented in a 16-bit microprocessor environment. The hardware is roughly described. Two implemented segmentation algorithms, reducing 3-D coordinates to a description of the scene with planes are explained and evaluated.