3-dimensional shapes

3-dimensional (3D) shapes are solid shapes. They have 3 dimensions - length, width and height.

Box of Yummy Flakes showing length, width and height

Vertices, edges and faces

3D shapes have faces, edges and vertices.

Pyramidal chocolate bar with edge, face and vertex labelled
  • A face is a flat surface.
  • An edge is where two faces meet.
  • A vertex is a corner where edges meet. The plural is vertices.

A prism is a 3D shape with a uniform cross-section. This means that you would see the same shape no matter where you cut through the shape (parallel to the ends). The two end faces of a prism are the same shapes, and the other faces are rectangles.

A view of of a triangular prism and its cross-section

A pyramid has a polygon as its base and the rest of its faces are triangles that meet at the same vertex.

Square based pyramid with height, h

Here are the most common 3D shapes.

Cube6 (all squares)128
Square-based pyramid585
Triangular-based pyramid464
Cuboid6 (all rectangles)128
Four 3D shapes that include a cube, a square-based pyramid, a triangular-based pyramid and a cuboid.Three 3D shapes that include a cylinder, a cone and a sphere.