Gradient material is a new composite material,its composition,microstructure and performance has gradient changes in space. The additive manufacturing（AM） method provides a new way to make the gradient materials. Compared with traditional gradient material manufacture processes,AM can make one or more dimensions of gradient materials theoretically,and manufacture complex structures. AM processes of gradient material including laser AM,electron beam AM and arc AM,while laser AM process has the largest application field and the deepest study among these methods. Path planning has an important influence on the manufacture of gradient,quality,and formation accuracy of gradient materials,it has become an important research field in the AM of gradient material. This review introduces the domestic and foreign research status of gradient materials prepared by AM methods,gradient microstructure,and path planning in the manufacturing process,which can provide the reference for gradient material AM process.