High quality wood sanding machines require information about the wood surface shape in order to control actuators pushing the sanding paper onto the wood surface. In order to improve the quality of the sanding process a 3D measurement system is currently under development within an EU FP6 project. Several constraints (especially panel size and available measurement system volume) prohibit using off-the-shelf measurement systems. The measurement system is based on laser line triangulation and consists of two inclined 675 nm lasers equipped with line diffraction optics, a high resolution camera, and a standard PC all mounted into a rigid frame. Two mirrors direct the laser light onto the wood panel moving beneath the measurement system. The surface resolution is 1.1 mm/pixel and the depth resolution is 0.4 mm/pixel. Measurements are performed at a rate of 25 frames/sec. The projected lines are detected with subpixel accuracy and converted into world (<i>x, y, z</i>) coordinates using calibration data. The measurement accuracy is approximately identical over the full width of the measurement system. In <i>x</i> and <i>z</i> direction the surface resolution is nearly constant. In y direction the resolution depends on the panel shape and speed. In case of shadowing (i. e. when only one line is visible) the resolution is 10 mm otherwise it is 5 mm.