We report the basic concepts and experimental arrangements of self-calibrating 3-D measurement systems using structured-light illumination (fringe projection), which ensure a high number of object points, rapid data acquisition, and a simultaneous determination of coordinates and system parameters (self-calibration), making the system completely insensitive to environmental changes. Furthermore, it is unnecessary to have any marker on the object surface and a subsequent matching of the single views is not required to obtain a full-body measurement. For this purpose, the test object is successively illuminated with two grating sequences perpendicular to each other from at least two different directions, resulting in surplus phase values for each measurement point. Based on these phase values one can calculate the orientation parameters as well as the 3-D coordinates simultaneously. Different measurement setups that have the ability to measure the entire surface (full-body measurement) are reported. Results are presented showing the power of this concept, for example, by measuring of the complete 3-D shape of specular technical surfaces, whereas the object volumes can differ strongly. Theoretical estimations proven by first measurements show a coordinate measurement accuracy of up to 10−5 of the measurement field size. © 2000 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.