Rectangular prisms are solid three-dimensional figures that have 6 faces, 12 edges, and 8 vertices. Rectangular prisms are also called cuboids, so they share some important characteristics with cubes. For example, each face of these prisms meets four other faces at right angles. However, unlike cubes where the faces are square, the faces of rectangular prisms are rectangles. Vertices are also similar to cube vertices, in that they are the points where three edges and three faces meet.

Here, we will look at a more detailed description of the faces, vertices, and edges of rectangular prisms using diagrams to illustrate the concepts.

GEOMETRY
dimensions of a rectangular prism

Relevant for

Learning about faces, vertices, and edges of rectangular prisms.

See faces

GEOMETRY
dimensions of a rectangular prism

Relevant for

Learning about faces, vertices, and edges of rectangular prisms.

See faces

Faces of rectangular prisms

The faces of rectangular prisms are the plane surfaces. In total, a prism has six faces and they are all rectangular. An important feature of faces is that each face meets four other faces at right angles, that is, 90-degree angles.

Also, the opposite faces on rectangular prisms are the same. In the following diagram, we can see the six faces of the prism. These faces are shaped like a rectangle, which means that they have four edges and four vertices.

diagram of a rectangular prism with dimensions

We can find the surface area of a rectangular prism by adding the areas of all the faces. Since the faces are rectangular, the area of each face is equal to the length of the base multiplied by the length of the height of each face. In the diagram, we can see that we have the dimensions l, b, h.

Therefore, we have three different areas: lbbhlh. Also, we know that the opposite faces are equal, so the total surface area of the rectangular prism is 2(lb + bh + lh).


Vertices of rectangular prisms

The vertices of a rectangular prism are the points where three edges meet. We can also define the vertices as the points where three faces meet. In general, a vertex is a point where two or more line segments meet. Rectangular prisms have a total of 8 vertices.

In the following diagram, we can observe all the vertices of a rectangular prism.

vertices of a rectangular prism

Edges of rectangular prisms

The edges of a rectangular prism are the line segments that lie at the boundaries of the prism. The edges connect two vertices of the prism. Each face of the prism is surrounded by four edges and each edge is shared by two faces. This means that the rectangular prism has a total of 12 edges.

The following diagram helps us to visualize the edges. We see that each edge is shared by two faces and that each face has four edges.

edges of a rectangular prism

See also

Interested in learning more about rectangular prisms? Take a look at these pages:

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