The unique feature of wire electrical discharge machining (EDM) is using thermal energy to machine electrically conductive parts; this distinctive advantage has been utilised in the manufacture of moulds and dies, automotive, aerospace and surgical components. In this paper, the application of wire EDM for machining axisymmetric form and helical profiles on cylindrical workpieces with different diameters is presented. The required rotary and linear motions of the workpiece are obtained by using a special rotary attachment and a motorised linear stage. The rotary motion of the spindle, linear motion of the motorised linear set-up and the wire EDM table movement were controlled to obtain a desired form of the workpiece. The workpieces after machining were measured and evaluated for dimensional accuracies. The dimensional accuracy of the axisymmetric components machined in the present work is found to be about 3.3%. The accuracy of the helical profiles is found to be high, with a maximum error 0.031 mm in average and a standard deviation of 0.028 mm. The present work can be extended to optimise machining parameters for further improving the quality of the machined parts. Copyright © 2012 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.