Meters cubed, used interchangeably with cubic meters, measures volume in the metric system. Volume refers to the space encompassed by a three-dimensional object, such as a rectangular prism, sphere or cylinder. The formula for calculating the volume depends on the type of shape you use. If possible, take the dimensional measurements in meters. If you cannot, you can convert centimeters to meters by dividing by 100; inches to meters by dividing by 39.370079; or feet to meters by dividing by 3.280840.
Measure the length, width and height of the rectangular prism in meters.
Multiple the length times the width to find the surface area of that side of the rectangular prism. For example, if one side measures 1.4 meters by 1.2 meters, multiply 1.4 by 1.2 to get 1.68 meters squared.
Multiply the area by the height to calculate the volume of the rectangular prism in meters cubed. In this example, if the prism is 0.65 meters high, multiply 1.68 by 0.65 to get 1.092 meters cubed.
Measures the distance around the ball in meters. This is the circumference.
Divide the circumference by 6.28 to find the radius. For example, if the circumference is 5.652 meters, the radius equals 0.9 meters.
Multiply the radius by the radius by the radius, also known as cubing the radius. In this example, cube 0.9 to get 0.729 cubic meters.
Multiply the result by 4.1867 to figure the volume of the sphere in cubic meters. In this example, multiply 0.729 cubic meters by 4.1867 to find the volume equals 3.05 meters cubed.
Measure the distance across the circular end of the cylinder and the height of the cylinder.
Divide the distance across the circular end by 2 to find the radius. For example, if the diameter equals 2.2 meters, divide 2.2 by 2 to get 1.1.
Square the radius and multiply the result by 3.14. In this example, square 1.1 to get 1.21 and multiply 1.21 by 3.14 to get 3.7994 square meters.
Multiply the area of the circular base of the cylinder by the height to find the volume of the cylinder. In this example, if the cylinder is 0.35 m high, multiply 3.7994 by 0.35 to find the volume equals about 1.33 meters cubed.
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Mark Kennan is a writer based in the Kansas City area, specializing in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."
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