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How to Calculate Volume

You can find the volume of various 3-D objects using a few simple mathematical formulas.


  • Step 1: Consider a rectangular or cubic solid Consider a rectangular or cubic solid. Measure the length, width, and height of the object. Multiply these dimensions together to get the volume.
  • Step 2: Look at a cylindrical object To find the volume of a cylinder, multiply the square of its radius by pi, or 3.14. Then multiply this value by the height of the cylinder.
  • Step 3: Calculate the volume of a cone Calculate the volume of a cone. Measure the area of the cone's base -- pi times the radius squared -- then multiply by the height and divide by 3.
  • Step 4: Measure a sphere Measure the radius of a sphere, then calculate the volume by multiplying 4/3 times pi times the cube of the radius.
  • TIP: Search the internet using the key words "volume" and "formulas" for volume formulas for less commonly shaped objects.
  • Step 5: Use water displacement Place a solid object whose volume is to be measured in a graduated cylinder that has been partially filled with water. Measure the amount of water displaced by the object -- this is the object's volume.
  • FACT: About 96.5% of the world's water supply is held in the ocean, seas, and bays.

You Will Need

  • Object to be measured
  • Geometric formulas
  • Water
  • Graduated cylinder

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