A system is described that rapidly produces a regular 3-dimensional (3-D) data block suitable for processing by conventional image analysis and volume measurement software. The system uses electromagnetic spatial location of 2-dimensional (2-D) freehand-scanned ultrasound B-mode images, custom-built signal-conditioning hardware, UNIX-based computer processing and an efficient 3-D reconstruction algorithm. Utilisation of images from multiple angles of insonation, "compounding," reduces speckle contrast, improves structure coherence within the reconstructed grey-scale image and enhances the ability to detect structure boundaries and to segment and quantify features. Volume measurements using a series of water-filled latex and cylindrical foam rubber phantoms with volumes down to 0.7 mL show that a high degree of accuracy, precision and reproducibility can be obtained. Extension of the technique to handle in vivo data sets by allowing physiological criteria to be taken into account in selecting the images used for construction is also illustrated.