Five-axis machine tools are becoming more cost efficient as the technology evolves. The capability to produce higher quality parts and increased throughput has pushed 5-axis machine tools into the spotlight over the last few years. Inherent limitations are also being ushered out of the way with updates in cutting tools and CAD/CAM software. The combination means operators can generate smooth, accurate 3D surfaces in challenging materials faster while extending tool life. Mold and die makers are already reaping the benefits but these improvements also support a number of 3D applications for aerospace and orthopedic applications.