Plain-woven carbon fiber-reinforced plastic ( PW-CFRP ) shows high damage tolerance characteristics and is widely used in the aerospace field. However, PW-CFRP is a multi-scale composite material, and the traditional micro and macro scales cannot study its cutting mechanism well. Therefore, this paper uses mesoscopic cutting simulation methods to study its chip formation mechanism. In this paper, a mesoscopic three-dimensional orthogonal cutting simulation model was established according to the geometric structure characteristics of PW-CFRP, and the orthogonal cutting experiment was carried out to verify the simulation model. The material removal mechanism of PW-CFRP with different fiber braiding directions in cutting process was studied. The results show that the maximum relative error between the simulation and experimental results of cutting force and surface damage is less than 15 % under the same process parameters, and the reliability of the simulation model is verified. The maximum damage depth of fiber bundles in each fiber orientation is 0° < 45° < 90° < 135°. The plain-woven structure of warp and fill weaving has inhibitory effect on the machining damage. The support constraint between adjacent fiber bundles hinders the damage expansion, and its maximum processing damage depth will not exceed the maximum width of the fiber bundle section. The thickness of the matrix layer near the fiber is an important factor in the formation of processing damage. The resin-rich area has a good supporting effect on the fiber and can effectively suppress the damage. The resin-starved area has weak support for the fiber, and the damage is easy to expand here, making the surface damage of the material arc-shaped distribution.