Abstract:This paper is the result of a close collaboration of mechanical engineers and visualization researchers. It showcases how interdisciplinary work can lead to new insight and progress in both fields. Our case is concerned with one step in the product development process. Its goal is the design of mechanical parts that are functional, meet required quality measures and can be manufactured with standard production methods. The collaboration started with unspecific goals and first experiments with the available data and visualization methods. During the course of the collaboration many concrete questions arose and in the end a hypothesis was developed which will be discussed and evaluated in this paper. We facilitate a case study to validate our hypothesis. For the case study we consider the design of a reinforcement structure of a brake lever, a plastic ribbing. Three new lever geometries are developed on basis of our hypothesis and are compared against each other and against a reference model. The validation comprises standard numerical and experimental tests. In our case, all new structures outperform the reference geometry. The results are very promising and suggest potential to impact the product development process also for more complex scenarios.