This paper presents a review of the latest research activities and gives an overview of the state of the art in understanding changes in machine tool performance due to changes in thermal conditions (thermal errors of machine tools). The topics are focused on metal cutting machine tools, especially on turning and milling machines as well as machining centres. The topics of the paper thermal issues in machine tools include measurement of temperatures and displacements, especially displacements at the tool centre point, computations of thermal errors of machine tools, and reduction of thermal errors. Computing the thermal errors of machine tools include both, temperature distribution and displacements. Shortly addressed is also to avoid thermal errors with temperature control, the influence of fluids and a short link to energy efficiency of machine tools. The paper presents the summary of research work in the past and current. Research challenges in order to achieve a thermal stable machine tool are discussed. The paper apprehend itself as an update and not a substitution of two published keynote papers of Bryan et al.  in 1990 and Weck et al.  in 1995.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.