# Difference Between 2D and 3D Shapes

Looking to understand the difference between 2D and 3D shapes? This article offers a comprehensive breakdown of the fundamental differences between these two types of shapes. Whether you’re a beginner or simply looking to refresh your knowledge, this guide has everything you need to know about the basics of 2D and 3D shapes.

This article will explore the difference between 2D and 3D shapes based on different parameters.

So, let’s start!!

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## Table of Content

**Difference Between 2D and 3D Shapes****2D Shape****3D Shape****Properties of 2D and 3D Shape****Example of 2D and 3D Shapes****Key Difference Between 2D and 3D Shapes**

**What is the Difference Between 2D and 3D Shapes?**

Parameter |
2D Shape |
3D Shape |

Definition |
Flat shapes with only length and width. Also known as 2-dimensional shapes. | Solid shapes with length, width, and height. Also known as 3-dimensional shapes. |

Coordinate Axis |
X-axis and Y-axis | X-axis, Y-axis and Z-axis |

Faces |
Only one face | Multiple faces |

Edge |
Straight edges | Straight and curved surfaces (edges) |

Vertices |
Have corners where two or more edges meet. | Have corners where three or more edges meet. |

Measurement |
Measures the area of the shape | Measures Volume and surface area of shapes |

Use |
to give a simple view of an object | To give an architectural view of an object |

Real-World Application |
2D graphics, design, cartography. | 3D printing, architecture, engineering, product design, medical imaging, gaming and entertainment |

Example |
circle, square, triangles, | sphere, cubes, prism |

**What is a 2D shape?**

In geometry, the shape that has only two dimensions are known as 2D shapes. In simple terms, any geometrical shapes with only length and breadth that can be represented on a piece of paper are known as 2D shapes.

Some common 2D shapes are: Triangles, Squares, and Circle

2D shapes are classified into regular and irregular shapes:

**Regular Shapes:** 2D shapes with equal length sides and equal interior angles are regular shapes.

Example: Square, Equilateral triangle, Pentagon

**Irregular Shape:** 2D shapes with different sides and angles (interior) are irregular shapes.

Example: Rectangle, Isosceles Triangle

**What is a 3D Shape?**

In geometry, shape that has only three dimensions are known as 3D shapes. In simple terms, any geometrical shape with length, breadth, and height.

Dissimilar to 2D shapes, they are difficult to represent on a piece of paper. But these shapes exist in a physical world and can be touched, moved or rotated.

Some common 3D shapes are Spheres, Cubes, Cylinders, and Cones.

**2d and 3d Shapes Properties**

**Properties of 2D Shapes**

- Side: Only two sides, made up of straight lines.
- Perimeter: Total length of its sides, calculated by adding all the sides.
- Area: The amount of space any 2d shape takes up, calculated by multiplying length and width.

**Properties of 3D Shapes:**

The properties of 3D shapes can be described in terms of their face, edge, vertices, volume, and surface area.

- Faces: 3D shapes have faces made up of flat surfaces that vary depending on the shape.
- Surface Area: It is a sum of the areas of all its faces.
- Volume: Calculated by multiplying length, width, and height.

**Example of 2D and 3D Shapes**

**Example of 2D Shapes**

**Example of 3D Shapes**

**What are the Key Difference Between 2D Shape and 3D Shapes?**

- 2D shapes have only two dimensions (length and width), whereas 3D shapes have three dimensions (length, width, and height).
- 2D shapes can be represented on pieces of paper, while 3D shapes can exist in a physical world that can be touched, moved or removed.
- 3D shapes can have multiple faces, but 2d shapes can have only one.
- 2D shapes can be measured in terms of area, while 3D shapes are measured in terms of surface area and volume.

**Conclusion**

In this article, we have discussed the differences between 2D and 3D shapes. Hope you will like the article.

Happy Learning!!

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## FAQs

**What is a 2D shape?**

A 2D shape is a flat, two-dimensional object that only has length and width, such as a square or a circle.

**What is a 3D shape?**

A 3D shape is a solid, three-dimensional object that has length, width, and depth, such as a cube or a sphere.

**What is the main difference between 2D and 3D shapes?**

The primary distinction between 2D and 3D shapes is the presence of depth or thickness. 2D shapes are flat and only have length and width, while 3D shapes have an additional dimension of height or depth, allowing them to occupy space and be physically manipulated. 2D shapes can be thought of as the surfaces or faces of 3D shapes.

**How can you identify a 2D shape?**

2D shape can be identified by looking for its defining features of length and width. Examples of 2D shapes include squares, rectangles, and triangles.

**How can you identify a 3D shape?**

3D shape can be identified by looking for its defining features of length, width, and depth. Examples of 3D shapes include cubes, spheres, and pyramids.

**How are 2D and 3D shapes represented in mathematics?**

In mathematics, 2D shapes are represented on a flat coordinate plane using the X and Y axes, as they do not extend into the third dimension. This allows for the calculation of properties like area and perimeter. 3D shapes, on the other hand, are represented in a three-dimensional space using the X, Y, and Z axes, enabling the representation of depth and the calculation of properties like volume and surface area.

**What are the visual characteristics of 2D and 3D shapes?**

When observing 2D shapes, all edges are clearly visible and can be easily explained since they are flat. In contrast, when looking at 3D shapes, some edges may be hidden from view due to the depth of the object. Only the outer dimensions of a 3D shape can be easily explained, as the internal structure may not be immediately apparent.

**Which is easier to draw, 2D or 3D shapes?**

Drawing 2D shapes is generally easier because they are basic and flat, with all edges and corners clearly visible. Drawing 3D shapes can be more challenging as it requires the artist to depict depth, perspective, and foreshortening accurately. Techniques like shading and the use of vanishing points are often employed to create the illusion of depth when drawing 3D shapes.

**What is the significance of understanding 2D and 3D shapes?**

Understanding the properties and characteristics of 2D and 3D shapes is crucial in the field of geometry, as they help describe and analyze objects in the real world. This knowledge is essential for various applications, such as architecture, engineering, design, and even art. By comprehending the differences between 2D and 3D shapes, we can better visualize and manipulate objects in space, leading to more efficient problem-solving and creative solutions.

**About the Author**

Vikram has a Postgraduate degree in Applied Mathematics, with a keen interest in Data Science and Machine Learning. He has experience of 2+ years in content creation in Mathematics, Statistics, Data Science, and Mac... Read Full Bio