Abrasive-waterjet (AWJ) technology possesses inherent characteristics unmatched by most machine tools. The initial commercialization of AWJ in the mid1980s was to take advantage of its superior cutting power for raw cutting of thick and difficult-to-machine materials. Subsequenlty, considerable R&D was devoted to take full advantage of the above characteristics while refining machining processes toward precision machining and automation. This two-part paper presents the accomplishments that advance AWJ technology in terms of improving the cutting accuracy and efficiency, broadening applications for machining delicate materials from macro to micro scales, and enabling 3D capability for multimode machining. In Part 1 of the paper, six topical areas are presented to demonstrate some of the important achievements in advancing AWJ technology. The areas include: - control software, meso-micro and stack machining, macro to micro machining, cold cutting, hole drilling, and gear making. Additional topical areas will be presented in Part 2 of the paper to fully explore the technological and manufacturing merits of AWJ technology. Such merits had elevated AWJ technology as one of the most versatile machine tools competing on equal footing, and with advantage in some cases, among subtractive and additive manufacturing tools. The accomplishments presented in this paper had clearly demonstrated that AWJ technology was capable of multi-mode machining for most materials from macro to micro scales, the “7M” advantage. The versatility of AWJ technology has clearly demonstrated its “7M” advantage.