One of the important tools for speeding up the prototyping of an new industrial or consumer product is the rapid generation of CAD data from hand-made styling models and moulds. We present a new optical 3D digitizing system which produces in a fully automatic way non- ambiguous, absolute and complete surface coordinate data of very complex objects in a short time. The system named `OptoShape' is based on a projection of sinusoidal fringes with a true grey-level matrix projector. The system measures both non-ambiguous and absolute XYZ surface data with a pronounced robustness towards optical surface properties. By moving the 3D sensor head around the object to be digitized with a 3/5 axes manipulator, multiple range images are obtained and automatically merged into a unified cloud of point coordinates. This set of surface coordinates are transferred to a software package where interactive manipulation, sectioning and semi-automatic generation of CAD surface descriptions are performed. CNC data can also be directly generated from the point surface coordinate data set.