To reduce the computational time of finite element analyses for sheet forming, a 3D hybrid membrane/shell method has been developed and applied to study the springback of anisotropic sheet metals. In the hybrid method, the bending strains and stresses were calculated as post-processing, considering the incremental change of the sheet geometry obtained from the membrane finite element analysis beforehand. To calculate the springback, a shell finite element model was used to unload the sheet. For verification purposes, the hybrid method was applied for a 2036-T4 aluminum alloy square blank formed into a cylindrical cup, in which stretching is dominant. Also, as a bending-dominant problem, unconstraint cylindrical bending of a 6111-T4 aluminum alloy sheet was considered. The predicted springback showed good agreement with experiments for both cases. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.