Face recognition based on machine vision has achieved great advances and been widely used in the various fields. However, there are some challenges on the face recognition, such as facial pose, variations in illumination, and facial expression. So, this paper gives the recent advances in 3D face recognition. 3D face recognition approaches are categorized into four groups: minutiae approach, space transform approach, geometric features approach, model approach. Several typical approaches are compared in detail, including feature extraction, recognition algorithm, and the performance of the algorithm. Finally, this paper summarized the challenge existing in 3D face recognition and the future trend. This paper aims to help the researches majoring on face recognition.