High speed 3D profiling is a key issue for many quality control systems in the manufacturing industry. Three- dimensional profiling in speeds that match the production demands of today's industries is very hard to achieve using conventional sensor technology. The solution presented in the paper is a sheet-of-light range imager based on a smart vision system. The 3D profiling system is based on a programmable smart vision sensor. The sensor consists of an image sensor, AD-converter, and RISC-processor integrated on the same silicon chip. The processor, being a line parallel bit-serial SIMD machine, handles both binary and gray scale information efficiently and has proven to be very suitable for sheet-of- light range imaging.