The increased usage of fiber reinforced polymer composites in load bearing applications requires a detailed understanding of the process induced residual stresses and their effect on the shape distortions. This is utmost necessary in order to have more reliable composite manufacturing since the residual stresses alter the internal stress level of the composite part during the service life and the residual shape distortions may lead to not meeting the desired geometrical tolerances. The occurrence of residual stresses during the manufacturing process inherently contains diverse interactions between the involved physical phenomena mainly related to material flow, heat transfer and polymerization or crystallization. Development of numerical process models is required for virtual design and optimization of the composite manufacturing process which avoids the expensive trial-and-error based approaches. The process models as well as applications focusing on the prediction of residual stresses and shape distortions taking place in composite manufacturing are discussed in this study. The applications on both thermoset and thermoplastic based composites are reviewed in detail.