Abstract In Parts 1 and 2 of this three-part paper, a mechanistic cutting force model was developed and machined surface errors for steady cuts under fixed cutting conditions were predicted. The virtual machining system aims to simulate and analyze the machining and the machined states in a general flat end-milling process. This frequently involves transient as well as steady cuts. Therefore, a method for simulating the cutting process of transient cuts needs to be developed to realize the virtual machining system concept. For this purpose, this paper presents a moving edge-node (ME) Z-map model for the cutting configuration calculation. The simulation results of four representative transient cuts in two-dimensional pocket milling and an application of off-line feed-rate scheduling are also given. In transient cuts, the cutting configurations that are used to predict the cutting force vary during the machining operation. The cutting force model (Part 1) and surface error prediction method (Part 2) were developed for steady cuts; these are extended to transient situations using the ME Z-map model to calculate the varying cutting configurations efficiently. The cutting force and surface errors are then predicted. To validate the feasibility of the proposed scheme, the measured and predicted cutting forces for transient test cuts were compared. The predicted surface error maps for transient cuts were constructed using a computer simulation. Also, off-line feed-rate scheduling is shown to be more accurately performed by applying the instantaneous cutting coefficients that were defined in Part I.