Thermal growth of spindle and other components is common in CNC machines, especially with MQL machining, and directly impacts positioning accuracy and thereby quality. A common method to address this is by measuring the thermal growth using gage bore probing and then compensating for it. Application of this method in 5-axis CNC machines is relatively new and effectiveness is often not tested. Error sources due to various orientations of the part could arise. A new artifact based method is presented for assessment of thermal compensation used by the CNC OEM. The method involves an artifact, test cycle and automated data logging. A precision granite artifact with gage bores on different faces is fabricated and can be presented for probing in different orientations. The machine is warmed up using repeated dry-cycling, thereby creating thermal growth. Compensation error is evaluated as the difference of actual thermal growth and compensation offset. Various metrics for overall compensation accuracy of the machine can then be evaluated. The artifact test is carried out on a 5-axis CNC machining center and compensation accuracy metrics evaluated.