Abstract Nitinol׳s superelastic properties permit self-expanding stents to be crimped without plastic deformation, but its nonlinear properties can contribute towards stent buckling. This study investigates the axial buckling of a prototype tracheobronchial nitinol stent design during crimping, with the objective of eliminating buckling from the design. To capture the stent buckling mechanism a computational model of a radial force test is simulated, where small geometric defects are introduced to remove symmetry and allow buckling to occur. With the buckling mechanism ascertained, a sensitivity study is carried out to examine the effect that the transitional plateau region of the nitinol loading curve has on stent stability. Results of this analysis are then used to redesign the stent and remove buckling. It is found that the transitional plateau region can have a significant effect on the stability of a stent during crimping, and by reducing the amount of transitional material within the stent hinges during loading the stability of a nitinol stent can be increased.