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How to make a pyramid

Subject: Tutorials

Description: How to make a pyramid


submit to reddit Posted by David Caldwell on 18/05/14 at 19:48

Pyramids are three dimensional shapes that consist of a base, an apex and faces.

In this tutorial I will teach you how to create a pyramid out of card, this will enable you to make pyramids of all shapes and sizes which you can use on their own or to integrate into other models such as the roof of a house.

I will be making a square based pyramid, to draw the base is easy just draw a square of even proportions.

Decide how high you want your pyramid to be.

Now you have some dimensions to work with.

  • The length of your base
  • The height of your pyramid. 

Now we need to calculate the slant length, this is the straight line from the apex to the base; it will be straight down the middle of the triangular face.  The slant length is not to be confused with the edges of the pyramid.

The Maths Bit

To calculate the slant length we will need to use the Pythagoras Theorem.

Pythagoras works with any right angled triangle and the length of the longest side (hypotenuse) is equal to the square root of the squares of the two shorter sides added together.

In the above example the two shorter sides are 3 cm each, making the squares 9 each.

We can also say that the square root of 9 is 3.

Therefore the area of the larger square is the sum of 9 plus 9 which is 18.

To find the length of the hypotenuse we would calculate the square root of 18.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30
4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 60
7 14 21 28 35 42 49 56 63 70
8 16 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 80
9 18 27 36 45 54 63 72 81 90
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

a number table showing square numbers and their square roots in green.

Let’s Build a Pyramid

  1. Mark out a square 6cm by 6cm.  I have decided that the pyramid is to be 4cm high.
  2. Half of 6 is 3cm.
  3. 3cm squared is 9cm.
  4. 4cm squared is 16cm
  5. 9 plus 16 is 25cm.
  6. The Square root of 25 is 5.
  7. The length of the hypotenuse is 5cm

 

Mark out the plan of the pyramid on card including tags to enable the faces to be glued together.

Cut out the plan with a craft knife and scissors and score along the fold lines.  The pyramid can now be glued or taped together.

Keywords: pyramid, hypotenuse, Pythagoras, Pythagoras Theorem




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