How to Find the Volume of Geometric Figures

By Carmen L. Diaz

Geometric figures are all around. From buildings to bodies--each has volume. Volume is considered to be base, height and length. Architects and computer animators and scientists that work with tri-dimensional figures deal with them on a daily basis. Here are some formulas to find what the volume is for common geometric figures.

Let's start with the cube. A dice is an example of a cube. All of its sides are the same length. To find the volume, just multiply the length of one side to the third (S S S).

Another geometric figure is the rectangular prism, also called a cuboid. It is similar the the cube, but is more rectangular. To find the volume, multiply the length times the width times the height (L * W * H).

A triangular prism has a triangular base and three sides that are joined to one another. To find the volume, multiply 1/2 times the length times the width times the height. You can also multiply the length times width times height and then divide by 2 (1/2 * L * W * H).

Next is the cone, just like the ones filled with ice cream. To find the volume you must multiply 1/3 times the area of the base times the height (1/3 * area of base * H). The cone's base is a circle. To find its area, you must find the radius first and then multiply by itself and then by pi or 3.14.

A can of soup will remind you of the next geometric figure: the cylinder. To find its volume, the formula is 1/3 times the height. Again, to find the area of the base, which is a circle, you must multiply the radius by itself and then by pi or 3.14.

A sphere looks just like a ball. To find the volume we must multiply 4/3 times pi or 3.14 times the radius cubed (4/3 * 3.14 * r r r).

A pyramid can have differently shaped bases. In the case of one with a rectangular base, the formula to find the volume is the length of the base times the width of the base times the height of the pyramid times 1/3 (L base * W base * H * 1/3). For those pyramids with a square, rectangular, triangular or any other shaped base, the formula is the area of the base times the height times 1/3 (area of base * H * 1/3). To find the area of any of these polygons, you only need to multiply its height by its length.