Increased demands on the performance and efficiency of mechanical components impose challenges on their engineering design and optimization, especially when new and more demanding applications must be developed in relatively short periods of time while satisfying design objectives, as well as cost and manufacturability. in addition, reliability and durability must be taken into consideration. As a consequence, effective quantitative methodologies, computational and experimental, should be applied in the study and optimization of mechanical components. Computational investigations enable parametric studies and the determination of critical engineering design conditions, while experimental investigations, especially those using optical techniques, provide qualitative and quantitative information on the actual response of the structure of interest to the applied load and boundary conditions. We discuss a hybrid experimental and computational approach for investigation and optimization of mechanical components. The approach is based on analytical, computational, and experimental solutions (ACES) methodologies in the form of computational, noninvasive optical techniques, and fringe prediction (FP) analysis tools. Practical application of the hybrid approach is illustrated with representative examples that demonstrate the viability of the approach as an effective engineering tool for analysis and optimization.