This paper describes an algorithm that predicts the shape of material removed by a flat-end milling tool, and this may be used to compute machining strip width and scallop height at different positions of the tool path track. The algorithm computes swept sections, profiles which are swept by a moving tool bottom by passing through given planes. The technique is applicable for finish and semi-finish multi-axis milling strategies that use flat-end tools. For these strategies, the algorithm complexity can be reduced from computation of the 3D envelope of swept volumes to computation of plane-circle intersections. A new adaptive derivative-free method to sample tool motion provides robust means to generate intermediate tool positions. The step length is constrained by and dependent on different geometrical measures. At each point of a tool path, in the plane perpendicular to the cutting direction, the bottom profile of the swept section is an estimate of the profile of material left. By calculating the distance between part geometry and the computed profile of removed material, machining strip width and a scallop profile can be derived. These results can be used by tool path generation and validation routines to accurately determine the step-over between tool path tracks and surface quality.