It’s been a hot week at the Maplesoft office, but we’re back with another fun example! In school, you probably learned how to calculate volume of simple shapes: Cubes, prisms, things like that. However, something I never understood was complex shapes. I struggled to separate it into smaller shapes, plus I had trouble understanding ratios!


Thankfully, Maple Learn has documents on almost anything. I love looking through them when making these posts, just to see what more I can learn. In this case, I found a really interesting example on Changing Dimensions and Effects on Volume, which taught me a lot. Let’s take a look at it, and hopefully it will help you too!


The document begins with a statement, saying “For a 3D object, if one or more dimensions (length, width, height) are changed, then the volume of the object is scaled by a factor equal to the product of all scale factors of changed dimensions”. If you’re not a math person, like me, this statement can be quite confusing at first glance. Let’s break it down.


The first part of the statement is easy to understand. We know what a 3D object is, and we know what dimensions changing means. We also know what the volume of an object is, as a concept. However, what is all this about scale factors?


Looking at the example, it starts to make a lot more sense. The solid has dimensions of 4x10x6. To find the scale factor, we first need to decide on an “original” solid. In this case, a 2x2x2 cube. The number of those cubes is found by dividing each dimension of the full shape by the dimensions of the original shape. This gives us 30. That means the new solid is 30 times larger than the cubes.


From there, the document has a fun, interactive example that lets you play around with sliders.


When you change a, b, and c you are changing the scale factors. This lets you see the final volume, and how it changes with those factors.


We hope this example helped you understand a concept you may have never been directly taught, as I know it helped me! Let us know if you’d like to see any more example walkthroughs.

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