In geometry, a prismatoid is a polyhedron whose vertices all lie in two parallel planes. Its lateral faces can be trapezoids or triangles. If both planes have the same number of vertices, and the lateral faces are either parallelograms or trapezoids, it is called a prismoid.
If the areas of the two parallel faces are A1 and A3, the cross-sectional area of the intersection of the prismatoid with a plane midway between the two parallel faces is A2, and the height (the distance between the two parallel faces) is h, then the volume of the prismatoid is given by or (This formula follows immediately by integrating the area parallel to the two planes of vertices by Simpson's rule, since that rule is exact for integration of polynomials of degree up to 3, and in this case the area is at most a quadratic function in the height.)
Families of prismatoids include:
- Pyramids, in which one plane contains only a single point;
- Wedges, in which one plane contains only two points;
- Prisms, whose polygons in each plane are congruent and joined by rectangles or parallelograms;
- Antiprisms, whose polygons in each plane are congruent and joined by an alternating strip of triangles;
- Crossed antiprisms;
- Cupolae, in which the polygon in one plane contains twice as many points as the other and is joined to it by alternating triangles and rectangles;
- Frusta obtained by truncation of a pyramid;
- Quadrilateral-faced hexahedral prismatoids:
In general, a polytope is prismatoidal if its vertices exist in two hyperplanes. For example, in four dimensions, two polyhedra can be placed in two parallel 3-spaces, and connected with polyhedral sides.
- William F. Kern, James R Bland,Solid Mensuration with proofs, 1938, p.75
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