A comparative study of different element formulations in simulating superplastic forming with the MARC finite element code is performed in the paper. Simulations were accomplished with solid, shell, membrane elements to predict forming characteristics and pressure-time curves. Finite element analysis (FEA) predictions of SPF pressure-time curves were found to be greatly affected by the element type and the strain rate control algorithms. Two strain rate control algorithms were applied in the present study: an algorithm based on limiting the rate of deformation with the average strain rate of all the elements, i.e. the build-in method in MARC, and a second algorithm which limits the rate of deformation based on the average strain rate of the elements with the 20 highest strain rates. The resulting pressure-time curves for each of these formulations were compared with respect to each type of element. Under the guide of the analysis, the die was fabricated and the AA5083 bracket was successfully manufactured. Good agreement was obtained between predicted and measured thickness in the part.