A computer simulation technique has been developed to investigate the performance of established and novel laser multilateration schemes. The models focus on analysing the impact of variations in system configuration, optimizing the system self-calibration process and evaluating the volumetric measurement error propagation. Careful optimization of the system configuration and self-calibration planning significantly reduces the uncertainty of system self-calibration and measurement. Comparing the simulated performances of multilateration systems with different number of measurement stations, e.g. four, five and six stations, quantifies the performance improvement obtained by increasing the number of stations. Specific recommendations for optimization of multilateration set-ups and measurement plans and for minimizing measurement uncertainty are set out in the paper. A novel, sequential multilateration set-up for high-precision calibration of small artefacts has been defined, and measurements have been made to support the analysis presented here.