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Bailey Abney Mr. Acre GAT 9C 5 March 2013

The Geometry of a Cuboctahedron Children begin learning about shapes at a very young age, often during preschool, or even before. They learn about circles, squares, triangles, etc. Then as they get older they begin learning about three-dimensional shapes such as cubes, pyramids, and cylinders. But it isn’t very often that a person will recognize the polyhedron called the cuboctahedron. A cuboctahedron is made up of eight equilateral triangular faces and six square faces in other words basic shapes and is formed by joining the midpoints of adjacent edges of a cube. The cuboctahedron is often referred to as a “cubo”. There is no common formula for the volume of a cubo but it can be broken into parts, each of which have a volume that can be solved for, and then added together to calculate the total volume of the cubo. There is also no common formula for the surface area of the cubo but the area of each face can be found and then added together to find the total surface area. The following paragraphs will discuss how to find the volume of the cuboctahedron using three different methods as well as how to find the surface area when the edge of the cube forming the cubo is 6 centimeters in length. Before any calculations can be made, it is important to figure out some basic measurements that will become important when calculating the volume and surface area of the cubo. These measurements include the length of the cubo, the side length of a square face of the cubo, the side length of a triangular face of the cubo, and the

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height of a triangular face of the cubo. As stated in the introduction, for this project the edge length of the cube that forms the cubo is 6 centimeters, as indicated in purple by figure 1, below. To find the length of the cubo, an understanding of 45-45-90 triangles is required. When the cubo is visualized within the cube that forms it, the edge of the cubo and the two adjoining segments of the cube form a 45-45-90 triangle. These adjoinging segments will be reffered to as legs of the triangle. This triangle is shown in figure 2. Each of the legs has a vertex as one endpoint and a midpoint as the other endpoint. These points have also been labeled in figure 2. Once again the side length of the cubo is six centimeters, making the legs three centimeters each since they are half the length of the cube. In a 45-45-90 triangle the hypotenuse is the length of one of the legs multiplied by √2. This means that since the edge of the cubo forms the hypotenuse of the 45-45-90 triangle, the edge of the cubo measures 3√2 centimeters. These measurements and are labeled in figure 3. Figure 1. Side Length of the Cube Figure 1 shows that the side length of the cube is six centimeters in length. The color purple has been used to highlight one edge of the cube.

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Vertex
Midpoint

Figure 2. 45-45-90 Triangle with the Edge of the Cubo as the Hypotenuse Figure 2 uses red to show the 45-45-90 triangle used to calculate the length of one edge of the edge of the cubo. The two legs, the hypotenuse, and the right angle are labeled. It can be seen from the figure that the edge of the cubo forms the hypotenuse of the triangle. Two of the cubes midpoints have also been labeled in orange and a vertex have been labeled in green to show that each leg of the triangle consists of one vertex as an endpoint and one midpoint as an endpoint.

Abney - 4 Figure 3. Cubo Edge, Cube Edge, and Midpoint Figure 3 above shows the length of the cube, labels a single mid-point, two of the segments formed by the midpoints, and the edge of the cubo. In this figure, purple is used to indicate measurements associated with the edge of the cube, pink indicates measurements associated with the cubo, and orange is used to indicate one of the midpoints of the cube. It can be seen from the figure that the entire length of the cube is six centimeters (also stated in figure 1), the segments that are formed by a vertex and a midpoint are three centimeters each, and the edge of the cubo is 3√2 centimeters. The next piece of information that needs to be found is the side length of one square face of the cubo. The edges of the square face are made up of edges of the cubo, the length of which was discussed in the previous paragraph. Because of this, it can be concluded that the edges of each square face are also 3√2 centimeters. The square face and the edges of the cubo that form it have been highlighted in figure 4. Edges of the cubo also make up the edges of the triangular faces; therefore the edges of each triangular face are also 3√2 centimeters. One triangular face and its edges have been highlighted in figure 5. The measurements of these edges for the square and triangular face have been labeled in the two-dimensional representations of the faces in figures 6 and 7.

Abney - 5 Figure 4. Square Face of the Cubo Figure 4 above highlights one square face of the cubo in blue. The pink lines indicate the edges of the square face/cubo. Figure 5. Triangular Face of the Cubo Figure 5 above highlights one triangular face of the cubo in blue. The pink lines indicate the edges of the triangular face/cubo.

Abney - 6 Figure 6. Square Face of the Cubo: Edge Measurements Figure 6 above shows a two-dimensional representation of one square face of the cubo. The pink lines indicate the edges of the square face and have been labeled with their measures. It can be seen from the figure that the edges of the square faces of the cubo measure 3√2 centimeters each. Figure 7. Triangular Face of the Cubo- Edge Measurements Figure 7 above shows a two-dimensional representation of one triangular face of the cubo. The pink lines indicate the edges of the triangular face and have been labeled with their measures. It can be seen from the figure that the edges of the triangular faces of the cubo measure 3√2 centimeters each.

At this point the height of the triangular face can also be calculated. Because the triangular faces are equilateral triangles, with each side measuring 3√2 centimeters, two 30-60-90 triangles can be formed by dropping an altitude from a vertex to the midpoint

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of the opposite side. Equilateral triangles have three 60 degree angles. By drawing in this altitude one of the angles is cut in half making it 30 degrees and since the altitude is perpendicular to the opposite side, a 90 degree angle is also formed. The altitude, the two 30-60-90 triangles created, and the angles formed are labeled on triangle ABC in figure 8. The side of this 30-60-90 triangle that is opposite the 30 degree angle is the shorter leg of the triangle and is half the length of the original triangle edge because of the fact that the altitude acts as a perpendicular bisector. This makes the length of the shorter side 1.5√2 centimeters since the full edge was measures 3√2 centimeters. The hypotenuse of a 30-60-90 is twice the length of the shorter leg, making the hypotenuse of triangle ABC 3√2 centimeters. Lastly, the side opposite the 60 degree angle is the longer leg and measures the length of the shorter side multiplied by √3. The length of the shorter side (3√2 centimeters) multiplied by √3 comes out to be 1.5√6

centimeters. These measurements and the formulas used to calculate them are labeled below in figure 9.

Abney - 8 Figure 8. Triangular Face Split into Two 30-60-90 Triangles Figure 8 above shows how one of the triangular faces of a cubo can be split into two 30-60-90 triangles by dropping an altitude from a vertex to the midpoint of the opposite side. The two triangles that have been created are indicated using different shades of blue and the altitude has been drawn in yellow. In this figure an altitude has been draw from vertex A to the midpoint of side BC. The midpoint has been labeled by an orange point. The edges of the triangular face have been outlined in pink as well and the angles have also all been labeled. It can be seen from the figure that each triangle has one 30° angle, one 60° angle, and one 90° angle.

Abney - 9 Figure 9. 30-60-90 Triangle Edge Measurements Figure 9 shows how the edge measurements of the 30-60-90 triangle were found. The shorter leg of the triangle is the leg opposite the 30° angle. This leg is half the length of the entire edge of the triangular face since the altitude (highlighted in yellow) acts as a perpendicular bisector. It can be seen from the figure that the length of the leg opposite the 30 degree angle is 1.5√2 centimeters. The leg opposite the 60°angle is found by multiplying the shorter leg by √3. It can be seen from the figure that the length of the leg opposite the 60 degree angle comes out to be 1.5√6 centimeters. Finally, the hypotenuse of the triangle, or the edge opposite the right angle, is found by doubling the length of the shorter leg. It can be seen from the figure that the length of the hypotenuse of the 30-60-90 triangle in this case is 3√2 centimeters. Now that some basic measurements have been found, how the volume of the cubo can be found will be discussed. The first method of finding the volume of the cubo requires finding the volume of one of the corner pyramids of the cube that is not a part of the cubo. One corner pyramid had been highlighted below in figure 10. Figure 10 also shows the edges of the corner pyramid that belong to the cubo and the edges that are

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made up of a vertex and a midpoint of an edge of the cube. It has already been found that an edge of the cubo measures 3√2 centimeters and the segments consisting of one vertex and one midpoint of the cube edge measure 3 centimeters. Because these measurements are known, a net of the corner pyramid with the labeled edge measurements can be drawn. This can be found below in figure 11. To find the volume of the corner pyramid the formula 1 /3*(Abase*Hpyramid) is used, where A is area and H is height. If one of the 45-45-90 triangles is used as the base then 3 centimeters must be used as the measurement for the base and height. The area of the base is found using the formula 1 /2*Base*Height. Once three centimeters has been plugged in for the base and height in the formula and the equation has been solves, the area of the base comes out to be 4.5cm 2 . This formula and the substitutions that have been used are shown below in figure 12. The height of the corner pyramid is also three centimeters so when 4.5cm 2 is plugged into the formula 1 /3*Abase*Hpyramid for the area of the base and three centimeters is used for the height the overall volume of the corner pyramid is found to be 4.5cm 3 . This has been shown in figure 13. This volume can now be used to calculate the volume of the cubo. To find the volume of the cubo the volume of the corner pyramid must be multiplied by the number of corner pyramids within the cube, and then that volume must be subtracted from the total volume of the cube. There are eight corner pyramids within the cube so 4.5cm 3 must be multiplied by eight. After these numbers have been multiplied it is found that the volume of all of the corner pyramids combined is 36cm 3 . Next, the volume of the cube must be found. Since one edge of the cube is six centimeters, this number can be used for the length, width, and height of the cube. When the length, width, and height are multiplied

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the volume of the cube is found to be 216cm 3 . The total volume of the corner pyramids, 36cm 3 , must now be subtracted from the volume of the cube, 216cm 3 . This supplies the final answer that the volume of the cubo is 180cm 3 . The equation used to find this answer along with the substitutions is shown below in figure 14. Figure 10. Corner Pyramid Figure 10 above shows the corner pyramid of the cube that is not a part of the cubo. The purple lines indicate edges that are a part of the cubo and pink lines indicate edges that are a part of the cubo. These different colors have been used to show how the corner pyramid fills the space within the cube that the cubo does not.

Abney - 12 Figure 11. Net of Corner Pyramid Figure 11 uses purple lines to indicate the edges of the corner pyramid that are part of the cube. These segments measure three centimeters each. Pink lines are used to indicate which edges of the corner pyramid are a part of the cubo. These segments measure 3√2 centimeters each. Figure 12. Area of the Base: Corner Pyramid Figure 12 shows how to find the area of the base for the right corner pyramid. The figure shows that 3 centimeters has been plugged in for both the base and the height and that the overall area of the base came out to be 4.5cm 2 .

Abney - 13 Figure 13. Volume of the Corner Pyramid Figure 13 above shows how to find the volume of the corner pyramid. It is shown by the figure that 4.5 was used as the area of the base value and 3 was used as the height. It can be seen from the figure that the volume of the corner pyramid came out to be 4.5cm 3 . Figure 14. Volume of the Cubo: Method One Figure 14 shows how to find the volume of the cubo using method one. It can be seen from the figure that the volume of the cubo was found by subtracting the volume of the corner pyramid multiplied by the number of corner pyramids from the total volume of the cube. This became the equation: (Length*Width*Height) ( 1 /3*Abase*Hpyramid)*(8). The figure shows that 6 was used for the value of the length, width, and height of the cube. It also shows that the area of the base of the corner pyramid is 4.5 and the height is three and that there are a total of eight corner pyramids. The figure then shows how each part of the equation was solved using the substitutions as well as the final answer. By looking at the figure, it is visible that the volume of the cubo is 180cm 3 .

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The next method for calculating the volume of the cubo will split the cubo into a square prism and four rectangular pyramids. One of the rectangular pyramids has been highlighted in figure 15. Since the shorter edge of the rectangular base is the same length as the edge of a square face of the cubo (also shown by figure 15) the shorter edge of the base measures 3√2 centimeters. And because the longer edge of the rectangular base runs the entire height of the cube (also shown by figure 15) the length of the edge is six centimeters. Two of the triangular faces of the rectangular pyramid are made up of two equilateral triangular faces of the cubo. These faces have been highlighted by figure 16. It was previously stated that the triangular faces were equilateral triangles with each edge measuring 3√2 centimeters. This means that the two equilateral triangular faces of the rectangular pyramid also have edge lengths of 3√2 centimeters. The two other triangular faces of the rectangular pyramid have been highlighted in figure 17. Since one edge lines up with the longer edge of the rectangular base it is six centimeters. The other two edges line up with edges of the equilateral triangular faces, so the other two edges are 3√2 centimeters. Figure 18 shows a net of the triangular pyramid and is labeled with the measurements of each edge. Now the square prism can be discussed. One of the square faces of the cubo along with the square face directly opposite of it makes up the bases of the square prism. This means that the height of the square prism is the same as that of the cube. Each square face has edges measuring 3√2 centimeters and the height is six centimeters. A net of the square prism and the measurements of each edge are shown in figure 19.

Abney - 15 Figure 15. Rectangular Pyramid Figure 15 shows one of four rectangular pyramids that make up part of the cubo in method 2. The dark pink line is used to show that the shorter edge of the rectangular base is the same as the edge of a square face of the cubo. The light pink line is used to show that the longer edge of the rectangular base runs the entire height of the cube. Figure 16. Equilateral Triangular Faces of the Rectangular Pyramid Figure 16 highlights the two equilateral triangular faces of the rectangular pyramid and shows that they are also triangular faces of the cubo.

Abney - 16 Figure 17. Non-Equilateral Faces of the Rectangular Pyramid Figure 17 highlights the non-equilateral faces of the rectangular pyramid. It can be seen from the figure that two of the edges of each triangle line up with the edges of the equilateral triangular faces of the pyramid and that the other edge runs the entire height of the cube. Figure 18. Net of the Rectangular Pyramid Figure 18 shows the net of the rectangular pyramid. The measurements of each edge have been labeled.

Abney - 17 Figure 19. Net of the Square Prism Figure 19 above shows the net of the square prism. Tick marks are used to show which sides are congruent. The edges with one tick mark measure six centimeters and the edges with two tick marks measure 3√2 centimeters each. To find the volume of the square prism, the formula Abase*Hpyramid is used, where A is area and H is height. The squares of the net shown in figure 19 are the bases of the prism so the area of the base is found by multiplying the base of the square times the height of the square. The base and height are both 3√2 centimeters and after they are multiplied together the area of the base comes out to be 18cm 2 . This is then multiplied by the height of the prism which is six centimeters. Since 18 times six is 108, the volume of the the square prism is 108cm 3 . This equation and the substitutions used are shown by figure 20.

Abney - 18 Figure 20. Volume of the Square Prism Figure 20 above shows the equation and the substitutions used to find the volume of the square prism. It can be seen from the figure that the volume of the square prism came out to be 108cm 3 . To find the volume of the rectangular pyramid the formula 1 /3*Abase*Hpyramid is used, where again A is area and H is height. To find the height of the pyramid a right triangle must be visualized within the pyramid. For this right triangle, the slant height of the equilateral triangular face will be used as the length of the hypotenuse, half the length of the longer edge of the base will be used as the shorter leg length, and the height of the pyramid will be used as the longer leg length. This forms a right triangle because the height of a pyramid is always perpendicular to the base. This triangle has been highlighted in figure 21. The height of a triangular face was discussed previously and was found to be 1.5√6 centimeters. The shorter leg measures three centimeters because it is half the length of the longer edge of the base which is six centimeters. The formula C 2 A 2 = B 2 can now be used to find the height. The length of the hypotenuse is used for the variable C and once it has been square it comes out to be 13.5. The length of the shorter leg is then used for A and once it has been squared is found to be nine. Next A 2 must be subtracted from C 2 . 13.5 minus nine is 4.5, so 4.5 equals B 2 . The square root of 4.5 must now be found, which simplifies to 1.5√2. Therefore the height of

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the rectangular pyramid is 1.5√2 centimeters. This equation and the substitutions are shown below in figure 22. Figure 21. Finding the Height of the Pyramid Figure 21 uses the color green to show the triangle visualized within the pyramid that is used to find that height of the rectangular pyramid. Figure 22. Finding the Height of the Rectangular Pyramid Figure 22 shows how the Pythagorean Theorem was used to calculate the height of the rectangular pyramid. It can be seen from the figure that the height of the rectangular pyramid came out to be 1.5√2 centimeters. The formula 1 /3*Abase*Hpyramid where A is area and H is height is then used to find the volume of one of the rectangular pyramids. The area of the base is found by multiplying the base of the rectangular base (six centimeters) by the height of the rectangular base (3√2 centimeters). By doing this the base of the pyramid is found to be 18√2cm 2 . This is then multiplied by the height of the pyramid which was previously found to be 1.5√2 centimeters. This comes out to be 27√4 and simplifies to 54. This is

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then multiplied by 1 /3 to find the final answer that the volume of one of the rectangular pyramids is 18cm 3 . This equation and the substitutions are shown below in 23. Figure 23. Volume of the Rectangular Pyramid Figure 23 shows the equation used to solve for the volume of the rectangular pyramid and the substitutions used. It can be seen from the figure that the overall volume of the rectangular prism was found to be 18cm 3 . The necessary information needed to calculate the volume using the second method has now been found. When using the second method to find the volume of the cubo, the volume of the rectangular pyramid must be multiplied by the number of rectangular pyramids and then added to the volume of the square prism. The volume of the rectangular pyramid was found to be 18cm 3 . This must be multiplied by four because for the second method of finding the volume, the cubo is split into one square prism and four rectangular pyramids. 18 times four comes out to be 72, which must be added to 108, the volume of the square prism. This equation along with the substitutions used can be found in figure 24. The volume of the cubo was found to be 180cm 3 once again.

Abney - 21 Figure 24. Volume of the Cubo: Method Two Figure 24 shows the equation used to find the volume of the cubo using the second method of splitting the cubo into four rectangular pyramids and one square prism. The figure also shows the substitutions used and the final answer of 180cm 3 . The third method that can be used to calculate the volume of the cubo involves splitting the cuboctahedron into eight tetrahedrons and six regular square pyramids. The base of the tetrahedrons are equal to the triangular faces of the cubo that was discussed earlier in this paper. Since all the edges of a tetrahedron are congruent, the edges of the tetrahedron all measure 3√2 centimeters. The bases of the regular square pyramids are the same as the square faces of the cubo that were previously discussed. This means that the edges of the base of the regular square pyramids measure 3√2 centimeters. When the eight tetrahedrons and the six regular square pyramids are put together to form the cubo, the edges of the regular square pyramid must line up with the edges of the tetrahedron. This means that, like the edges of the tetrahedron, the edges of the regular square pyramid also measure 3√2 centimeters. Nets of the tetrahedron and the regular square pyramid can be found in figure 25 and 26. In order to find the volume of the cubo the volume of one tetrahedron must be multiplied by eight and the volume of one regular square pyramid must be multiplied by six. These numbers must then be added together to find the total volume.

Abney - 22 Figure 25. Net of the Tetrahedron Figure 25 shows the net of the tetrahedron. Tick marks are used to show that all of the edges are congruent and it can be seen from the figure that each edge measures

3√2 centimeters. Figure 26. Net of the Regular Square Pyramid Figure 26 shows the net of the regular square pyramid. Tick marks are used to show that all of the edges are congruent to one another and that each edge measures 3√2 centimeters. To find the volume of the tetrahedron the height must be known. The height of a tetrahedron can be found using the formula 1 /3*(x)*√6 where x is the length of the edge of the base. When 3√2 is used for x it can be found that the height of the tetrahedron is √12 centimeters. This is shown below in figure 27. The area of the base must then be

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found using the formula 1 /2*Base*Height. Since the base of the tetrahedron is the same as one triangular face of the cubo the height of the base is 1.5√6 centimeters and the base length is 3√2 centimeters. When these are multiplied together and then multiplied by 1 /2, the area of the base is found to be 2.25√12cm 2 . This equation is shown by figure 28. The height and the area of the base must then be used in the formula for the volume of a pyramid which is 1 /3*Abase*Pyramid. The area of the base, 2.25√12cm 2 , multiplied by the height, √12 centimeters, comes out to be 2.25√144. This simplifies to 27. This is then multiplied by 1 /3. The volume of one tetrahedron is then found to be 9cm 3 . This is shown below in figure 29. Figure 27. Height of the Tetrahedron Figure 27 shows the formula used to find the height of a tetrahedron and the value that was used for x. It is also shown that the height was found to be √12 centimeters. Figure 28. Area of the Base of a Tetrahedron Figure 28 above shows the equation and the substitutions used to find the area of the base for a tetrahedron. The area of the base was found to be 2.25√12cm 2 .

Abney - 24 Figure 29. Volume of the Tetrahedron Figure 29 shows the equation used to find the volume of the tetrahedron along with the substitutions. The figure shows that the volume of the tetrahedron was found to be 9cm 3 . To find the volume of the regular square pyramid, the height must also be known. The height can be found by visualizing a right triangle within the regular square pyramid in the same way that was used to find the height of the rectangular pyramid. Once again, the height of the equilateral triangle is used as the hypotenuse, half the length of the base edge is used as the shorter leg of the right triangle, and the height of the regular square pyramid serves as the longer leg. The formula C 2 A 2 = B 2 will also be used again. The length of the hypotenuse, 1.5√6 centimeters, will substituted for the variable C and once it is square becomes 13.5. Half the length of the base edge is 1.5√2 centimeters and will be used in place of the variable A, and once it has been squared it becomes 4.5. 4.5 must then be subtracted from 13.5 to find that B 2 is equal to 9. Once the square root of nine is taken the height of the regular square pyramid comes out to be three centimeters. This equation is shown below in figure 30.

Abney - 25 Figure 30. Height of the Regular Square Pyramid Figure 30 shows how the height was found for the regular square pyramid and the substitutions used in the equation. The figure shows that the height came out to be three centimeters. The volume of the regular square pyramid is found by using the formula 1 /3*Abase*Hheight. The area of the base is found by multiplying the base by the height, which in this case are both 3√2 centimeters. Once the base and height are multiplied the area of the base is found to be 18cm 2 . This is then multiplied by the height of the regular square pyramid, 3 centimeters. This comes out to be 54, which is multiplied by 1 /3. The volume of the regular square pyramid is then found to be 18cm 3 , shown below in figure 31.

Abney - 26 Figure 31. Volume of the Regular Square Pyramid Figure 31 above shows how the volume of the regular square pyramid and the substitutions used in the equation. The figure shows that the volume was found to be 18cm 3 .

The volume of the tetrahedron must be multiplied by the number of tetrahedrons and the volume of the regular square pyramid must multiplied by the number of square pyramids which must be added together in order to calculate the volume of the cubo using the third method. The volume of the tetrahedron, 9cm 3 , has to be multiplied by eight because there are eight tetrahedrons. This comes out to be a total of 72cm 3 . The volume of the regular square pyramid, 18cm 3 , has to be multiplied by six because there are six regular square pyramids. This comes out to be a total of 108cm 3 . 108 and 72 must next be added in order to finds the total volume of the cubo. The volume is found to be 180cm 3 for the third time, which is shown in figure 32

Abney - 27 Figure 32. Volume of the Cubo: Method Three Figure 32 shows how to solve for the volume of the cubo for method three which splits the cubo into eight tetrahedrons and six regular square pyramids. It is shown that the volume of the cubo was found to be 180cm 3 . There are several ways to solve for the surface area of the cubo, but only one will be discussed in this paper. One way to solve for the surface area is to find the area of the square face and multiply it by the number of square faces. Then find the area of a triangular face and multiply it by the number of triangular faces. These areas can then be added together to find the total surface area. The area of a square face is the same as the area of the base of the square prism. This makes the area of a square face 18cm 2 . There are six square faces so the total surface area of the square faces combined equals 108cm 2 . The area of a triangular face is the same as the area of the tetrahedron base. This means that the area of a triangular face is 2.25√12cm 2 . Once the area of the triangular base has been multiplied by eight, since there are a total of eight triangular faces, it is found that the total area of the triangular faces is 18√12cm 2 . The next step to finding the surface area of the cubo is to add the total surface area of the square faces to the total surface area of the triangular faces. This comes out to be108 plus 18√12. 18√12 can be simplified to 36√3, so the final answer is that the total surface area is 36√3+108cm 2 . This equation is shown below in figure 33.

Abney - 28 Figure 33. Total Surface Area of the Cubo Figure 33 above shows the equation used to calculate the total surface area of the cubo. It can be seen from the figure that the surface area was found to be 36√3+108cm 2 . The purpose of this paper was to show that there is not always a single way to calculate the volume of a three-dimensional figure. This paper also shows that the area of each individual face can be found and then added together to find the total surface area of an unusual three-dimensional figure. In this paper, the volume of the cubo was calculated using three different methods. For one method the volume of the corner pyramid of the cube that forms the cubo was found, multiplied by the number of corner pyramids, and then subtracted from the total volume of the cube. For the next method the cubo was divided into four rectangular pyramids and one square prism. The volume of one rectangular pyramid was calculated, multiplied by four, and added to the volume of the square prism. The last method separated the cubo into eight tetrahedrons and six regular square pyramids. The volume was then found for one tetrahedron and one regular square pyramid. After, the volume of one tetrahedron was multiplied by the number of tetrahedrons needed and the volume of the regular square pyramid was multiplied by the number of regular square pyramids needed to construct the cubo. These numbers were then combined to find the total volume of the cubo. All three methods were very different but each time the volume of the cubo was found to be

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180cm 3 . But why is this? Think of it in terms of cutting a cake. A cake can be cut into four pieces, eight pieces, square pieces, or triangular pieces but the amount of cake does not change. The total always stays the same. Like a cake, a cuboctahedron can be divided into different shapes and different numbers of pieces but when the volume is calculated the same answer should always found. The surface area was also calculated using one of many different ways in this paper. The method that was discussed in this paper involved finding the area of one square face and then multiplying the area by the number of square faces to get the total area of the square faces. Then the area of one triangular face was calculated and multiplied by the number of triangular faces to find the total area of the triangular faces. By adding the total area of the square faces and

the total area of the triangular faces, the total surface area was found to be 36√3 +

108cm 2 . Another way to find the surface area could have been to calculate the lateral surface area of one of the rectangular pyramids from method two and then multiply the

lateral surface area by the number of rectangular pyramids. This paper displays that although the cuboctahedron is not a common figure and many calculations must be made to find the volume and surface area, the actual math is actually rather simple. The most common mistakes when making the calculations include multiplication and simplifying errors, especially when calculating the height of the rectangular pyramid, the tetrahedron, and the regular square pyramid. However, these mistakes can be easily caught and fixed. Like the cubo, other three-dimensional objects can often be divided into separate pieces in order to calculate the volume and surface area in many different ways.

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