Research on thermal field and thermal errors of NC machine tools were carried on using infrared imaging and laser distance measurement technologies. It mainly focused on the analysis of thermal field distribution of a three-axis horizontal machining center and the relationships between thermal behaviors and their temperatures. It was found experimentally that spindle thermal errors is one of the main errors sources of NC machine tools, and spindle thermal errors has been observed to be closely linked to the temperature distribution of machine tools. There was a significant increase in the axis positioning error related to the spindle temperature increasing. The elongations on Z direction are much larger than the extensions of X and Y directions. Finally, a method by adjusting spindle temperature to control spindle thermal errors was taken.