Decreasing the cycle time significantly for forming the commercially available superplastic aluminium alloy 5083 has been achieved. Forming results and conditions are compared with previous relevant works which are actually scarce. A circular cup having a depth/diameter ratio of 1 : 2 can be formed in 70 s. This ratio requires flat sheet to be stretched in area by up to three times, which should be large enough when dealing with actual industrial sheet forming. On average, the thickness is decreased by two-thirds; in fact, the thickness distribution is not uniform and the gradient is concentrated at the wall of the cup. The location of minimum thickness in rapid forming is different from that in conventional forming. Disregarding the traditional approach, the pressure-time profile employed in this work was not restricted to yield the so called optimum strain rate, which is usually low. Following the same processing profile, but proceeding in stages of partial forming, a series of progressive forming configurations was obtained in order to analyse the strain rate path leading to the successful rapid forming. For a specimen processed at 500°C, the maximum volume fraction of cavities is 4% existing at the location of minimum thickness.