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This paper presents the first real-time 3D imaging system based on the light-section method with VGA pixel resolution. A 3D measurement system has a wide variety of applications fields, however it is difficult for the conventional imaging systems to realize a real-time and high-resolution 3D measurement based on the light-section method since it requires a lot of frames per range map to acquire the positions of a scanning laser beam. Our developed image sensor achieves 41.7k fps position detection of a projected sheet beam in 640 × 480 pixel resolution. An integrated system controller implemented on an FPGA performs sensor control, light projection control, range data pre-processing and suppression of redundant data transmission for the fatal problems of the real-time system. Our developed 3D imaging system achieves 23.3 range maps/s with 0.87 mm range accuracy at a distance of 1200 mm.