We present a novel method for real-time 3-D body-shape measurement during breathing based on the laser multiple-line triangulation principle. The laser projector illuminates the measured surface with a pattern of 33 equally inclined light planes. Simultaneously, the camera records the distorted light pattern from a different viewpoint. The acquired images are transferred to a personal computer, where the 3-D surface reconstruction, shape analysis, and display are performed in real time. The measured surface displacements are displayed with a color palette, which enables visual feedback to the patient while breathing is being taught. The measuring range is approximately in width, height, and depth, respectively, and the accuracy of the calibrated apparatus is . The system was evaluated by means of its capability to distinguish between different breathing patterns. The accuracy of the measured volumes of chest-wall deformation during breathing was verified using standard methods of volume measurements. The results show that the presented 3-D measuring system with visual feedback has great potential as a diagnostic and training assistance tool when monitoring and evaluating the breathing pattern, because it offers a simple and effective method of graphical communication with the patient.