Nets of 3D figures
Nets-of-3d-figures 256
Exercise Name: Nets of 3D figures
Math Missions: 6th grade (U.S.) Math Mission, High school geometry Math Mission
Types of Problems: 2

The Nets of 3D figures exercise appears under the 6th grade (U.S.) Math Mission and High school geometry Math Mission. This exercise uses nets to identify common geometric solids.

Types of Problems

There are two types of problems in this exercise:

  1. Find the net of the pictured solid: This problem provides a picture of a common object. The user is asked to select which net from a provided list can be folded to create that solid.

    Find the net of the pictured solid

  2. Find the solid the net makes: This problem provides a net that can be folded to make a geometric solid. The user is asked which of the objects in a multiple choice list are made from the net.

    Find the solid the net makes


Ability to reason geometrically is needed to perform this problem. It could also be done with paper, scissors and patience to really understand the ideas.

  1. The common shapes that appear are rectangular prisms (6 rectangles), triangular prisms (two triangles and four rectangles), cubes (6 rectangles), tetrahedra (four triangles), octohedra (eight triangles) and right square pyramids (one rectangle and four triangles).
  2. To recognize the triangular prisms, remember the net will always contain exactly two triangles and four rectangles.
  3. All nets can be recognized by composing a list of the number and types of the sides of the common polyhedral.

Real-life Applications

  1. The ancient Egyptians from over 4000 years ago were very good at shapes and geometry. Every time the Nile burst its banks and flooded the planes, they had to use geometry to measure their gardens and fields all over again.
  2. Architects use lots of geometry when building bridges, roofs on houses, and other structures.
  3. 3D shapes are commonly used in graphic design and 3D games.

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