This paper introduces a new nonlinear multidisciplinary design approach (NMDA) for axial-flux (AF) eddy current brakes (ECBs). The proposed NMDA is developed by nonlinear magnetic-thermal-structural coupled modeling. The nonlinear behaviors of the AF-ECB covering the BH curve, resistivity, heat capacity, thermal conductivity, and the temperature are jointly analyzed in time domain to investigate the actual brake properties and to determine brake operating range. In this paper, the nonlinear magnetic modeling based on two-dimensional (2-D) reluctance network is studied by a modified Newton-Raphson method. Furthermore, the nonlinear thermal modeling is carried out by lumped-parameters considering the change of heat capacity, thermal conductivity, and the temperature and updating the data in the evaluation process. Finally, the nonlinear structural modeling is performed to obtain the deflection and the mechanical safety factor of the brake. The nonlinear modeling methods in the proposed NMDA are validated by independent 3-D electromagnetic, thermal, and structural finite element analyses (FEAs), and the proposed NMDA is tested with two different AF-ECB prototypes. The experimental results confirm that the proposed NMDA has high accuracy, and compared to 3-D-FEA approaches, it provides a fast solution to predict the AF-ECB performance.