In free-form surface machining, it is essential to optimize the feedrate in order to improve the machining efficiency. This work is the first of a two part paper on cutting force prediction and feedrate optimization for five-axis milling. Conservative cutting parameters have been mostly used since there was a lack of physical models and optimization tools. Part and tool deflections under high cutting forces may result in poor part quality. The extracted cutter workpiece engagements are used as input to a force prediction model. The predicted cutting forces are shown to be in reasonable agreement with those collection during a roughing operation on a dual blades part.