The current trend in the automotive industry is to minimize/eliminate cutting fluid use in most machining operations. Research is required prior to achieving dry or semi-dry machining. Issues such as heat generation and transfer, thermal deformation and fluid lubricity related effects on tool life and surface roughness determine the feasibility of dry machining. This paper discusses recent advances in achieving dry/semi-dry machining. As the first step, research has been conducted to investigate the actual role of fluids (if any) in various machining operations. A predictive heat generation model for orthogonal cutting of visco-plastic material was created. A control volume approach allowed development of a thermal model for convective heat transfer during machining. The heat transfer performance of an air jet in dry machining was explored. The influence of machining process variables and cutting fluid presence on chip morphology was investigated through designed experiments. The transport of chips along drill flutes was studied for both wet and dry drilling of Aluminum alloys. Finally a model for cutting fluid mist formation in wet machining is presented. These research findings are being used to gain a complete understanding of the mechanisms at work in dry and semi-dry machining.