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In Geometry, a 3D solid shape is defined as an object that has width, height and depth. Nets are associated with solid shapes.

Here is the shapes nets definition:

A net is a two dimensional pattern that when folded forms a 3D solid shape.

A solid figure can have different nets. When you cut out the net, fold it along the marked lines and glue it, you can create a 3D solid object from this 2 dimensional pattern.

For example: a cube has 6 square faces, it can have different types of nets as shown below:

                                                

All the above nets shown above will form a cube.

Try this out!

You can take a print out and cut the nets to try it for yourself. If you like you can colour each face with a different colour to get a really colourful cube.

Edges, vertices and faces

Once you have built a cube, now count the number of edges and vertices in the cube. (Remember, an edge is the line segment joining 2 faces of the cube and a vertex is the point where two or more edges meet)
You should have counted 6 faces, 12 edges and 8 vertices for the cube.

Similarly, nets can be made for other 3 dimensional object such as cuboid, prism etc.

Building solids from nets

In order to determine if a net when folded will form a solid use the following tips:

1. Make sure that the number of faces on the net match the number of faces of the solid.
2. Make sure that the shapes of the faces of the solid match those of the net.
3. Determine how the net should be folded to form the solid and glue the sides firmly together.

If you follow the above rules you can make various solids from nets.

Fun activity:

You can use nets to make different solids, decorate them and then use them as christmas tree decorations.
Consider making the following nets:

  • 3 D Cube
  • 3 D rectangular prism
  • 3 D Triangular prism
  • 3 D Hexagonal prism
  • 3 D triangular based pyramid
  • 3 D Square based Pyramid
  • 3 D Hexagonal based Pyramid
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