This paper reports a triangulation based measuring system which has applicability to the increasing demand for close range measurement data. This system uses a linear sensor array and diode laser light source and is discussed with respect to theory, calibration and practical results. An analysis of the use of this profiler to acquire spatial information (e.g. wriggle surveys, refurbishment) and local information (e.g. deformation) is given. Consideration is given to: errors from setting up, establishing a datum, profile position, and the inherent errors particular to triangulation systems.