The calibration of a laser stripe profiler consisting of a laser stripe projector, camera, and linear motion table is considered. A nonlinear system model is used, which accommodates radial distortion in the camera lens. The way in which stripe data is extracted from the camera images leads to a natural formulation of the calibration problem as a nonlinear least squares problem. This can then be solved using standard techniques. The use of this nonlinear model reduces the error in the generated 3-D data by over an order of magnitude. © 2002 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.