A rectangular pyramid is a solid figure that has a rectangular base and four triangular sides. A pattern, called a net, can be used to create a model of this polyhedron (3D figure). Because paper models of pyramids can be used for a variety of school projects in classes such as ancient Egyptian history and geometry, it is useful to be able to construct a net for making a paper model. Also, many standardised tests require students to identify nets used to create different solid figures.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Graph paper
Draw a 6-by-8 rectangle in the centre of the graph paper (6 squares in width and 8 squares in height).
Starting at the top left of the rectangle, count over to the right three spaces, then up eight spaces. Put a dot here. Use the ruler to draw a straight line from the dot to the top right corner of the rectangle and another line from the dot to the top left corner of the rectangle.
Count down four spaces on the right side of the rectangle, and then out to the right eight spaces. Put a dot here. Draw lines from the dot to the top and bottom corners of the right side of the rectangle.
From the bottom right corner, count to the left three spaces, then down eight spaces. Put a dot here. Draw a line from the dot to each corner of the bottom of the rectangle.
From the bottom left corner of the rectangle, count up four spaces and to the left eight spaces. Put a dot here. Draw a line from the dot to each corner of the left side of the rectangle. You should now see a rectangle surrounded by four triangles. This is a rectangular pyramid net.
If you wish to cut out the net to make the figure three-dimensional, draw small tabs on the right side of each triangle before cutting out the shape. Fold along each line. Apply glue to the tabs and insert each tab under each corresponding triangle.
Tips and warnings
- You may change the dimensions of the net. Just be sure the dots are equal distances from the rectangle and that they are centred along each side.
- If you choose to use a square with equilateral triangles, your solid figure can also be called a square pyramid.
- More than one net pattern can be used to make most polyhedrons.
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