Using 3D Shapes in GeoGebra

Post in News by TerryVannoy on 17th April 2019


What is GeoGebra

GeoGebra is a fantastic application/program/tool that math teachers can use to create and demonstrate math concepts in an interactive 2D or 3D environment. As many of you know, SMART Notebook has an embedded widget so that teachers can put a GeoGebra window into their lesson pages. Students can then come up to the teacher’s board and drag, move, measure, and create things to demonstrate their learning.

using 3d shapes in geogebra

3D tools in GeoGebra

There’s so much you can do in GeoGebra, but in this post we focus on using 3D shapes. With 3D shapes in GeoGebra, we can show students models related to volume and surface area, nets, xyz vectors, and so on. In order to get started, we need to get into a GeoGebra work space. The easiest way is to go to their homepage and register a free account. Make sure to log in if you want to save your projects.

Let’s get started!

3D graphing

Tap on “Start Graphing” and notice the 3×3 grid in the upper right corner of your browser. Tap on it and choose “3D Graphing.”

using 3d shapes in geogebra





You’ll get a nice XYZ graphing plane that looks like this:

using 3d shapes in geogebra





Making a cube

There are a number of things you can show and create in this 3D space, but for now, let’s make a cube. On the left half of your page, tap on the Tools icon to the right of the calculator (Algebra) tool. Look down the list of 3D Tools and choose “Cube.”

using 3d shapes in geogebra using 3d shapes in geogebra




Don’t forget to put away your tool

using 3d shapes in geogebra
In the XYZ space, click in 2 locations to place some points on the floor plane. That’s all you need to build your cube. In GeoGebra, it is important to remember that once you are done with a tool, you need to put it back. That means that you need to tap on the Move (mouse) tool in the upper left part of this tool collection.

Moving your cube

Remember which 2 points you created on the XYZ floor because these are the only ones you can move. If you tap once on one of these, you’ll see four arrows come out so you can click and drag the point to change the shape of your cube.

using 3d shapes in geogebra using 3d shapes in geogebra




When you tap once more on this point, you will see vertical up and down arrows. Use these to drag your point up or down and rotate your cube in space.

Be careful! When you lift your cube, you might have a little trouble putting it back into place.

using 3d shapes in geogebra




Creating a net

Going one step further, we can create the net of this geometric solid by choosing the net tool. It is found here:

using 3d shapes in geogebra





After tapping on the net tool, immediately click on any part of your cube, and you’ll see the resulting net of this solid underneath. It should look something like this:





Stay tuned for more posts about GeoGebra coming soon on the Teq Talk blog! If you want to learn about other types of instructional technology for your classroom, try signing up for a free trial of Online Professional Development

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