As an unique, unchangeable and easily acquired biometrics, fingerprint has been widely studied in academics and applied in many fields over the years. The traditional fingerprint recognition methods are based on the obtained 2D feature of fingerprint. However, fingerprint is a 3D biological characteristic. The mapping from 3D to 2D loses 1D information and causes nonlinear distortion of the captured fingerprint. Therefore, it is becoming more and more important to obtain 3D fingerprint information for recognition. In this paper, a novel 3D fingerprint imaging system is presented based on fringe projection technique to obtain 3D features and the corresponding color texture information. A series of color sinusoidal fringe patterns with optimum three-fringe numbers are projected onto a finger surface. From another viewpoint, the fringe patterns are deformed by the finger surface and captured by a CCD camera. 3D shape data of the finger can be obtained from the captured fringe pattern images. This paper studies the prototype of the 3D fingerprint imaging system, including principle of 3D fingerprint acquisition, hardware design of the 3D imaging system, 3D calibration of the system, and software development. Some experiments are carried out by acquiring several 3D fingerprint data. The experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed 3D fingerprint imaging system.