Front, Side & Top View of 3-Dimensional Figures

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  • 0:00 3-Dimensional Figures
  • 0:31 Spheres & Cubes
  • 1:45 Cylinder, Cone, & Pyramid
  • 3:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson goes over the front, side, and top views of numerous 3-dimensional figures. You'll learn that while some look exactly the same from most angles, others do not.

3-Dimensional Figures

Have you ever looked at Google maps? Probably. Did you notice how buildings look quite a bit differently when viewed from way up high compared to when you drag that little orange man to street level? Sometimes those buildings are radically different. That's because a 3-D figure shape might not always look the same from every angle. In this lesson, we're going to go over some examples of how this is the case with different views of 3-D, or 3-dimensional, figures.

Spheres & Cubes

Let's start with a couple of easy ones. Let's pretend we're using a Google map-like feature where, from the top of space, we see this circular object on the ground. Now let's drag our little orange man to street level. What do we see? This object still looks like a circle from the side. Okay, let's click around the object. What do we see now? Again, it always looks like a circle whether we're looking at it from the front, side, or top. This is a sphere, a geometric object with a round shape. Any point on a sphere's surface is the same distance away from the center of the sphere. Our own planet, Earth, is a good approximation of what a sphere looks like.

Okay, let's zoom out again and search around our earth until we see a square shape from the top. What does this object look like at street level? Once again, we drag the orange man to the side of the square-like shape and, low and behold, it looks like a square from the side as well. We circle around it and, no matter if we look at it from the front, side, or top, it looks like a square. What is this shape? It's a cube, a geometric object whose sides are composed of six equal squares. A good example of a cube is a sugar cube.

Cylinder, Cone, & Pyramid

Okay, let's zoom back out. Next to that sphere we saw before we see another circle from the top. Is this another sphere? Hmmm, let's find out. As we enter street level we see it's clearly anything but. While the sphere looks like a circle from any angle, this object is clearly nothing of the sort. From the front or side it looks pretty much like a rectangle, but from the top or bottom it looks like a circle. What is this shape? It's a cylinder, a 3-D object with an elliptical cross-section but straight with parallel sides. A great real-world example of this is a can of soda.

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