The cubic centimeter is the measurement that represents the volume of a cube with sides of 1 centimeter each. The volume of an object represented in cubic centimeters, therefore, is equivalent to the volume of a certain number of these hypothetical cubes. There are several ways to calculate this measurement, but in simpler cases, such as with three-dimensional rectangular prisms (boxes), the volume will only be length × width × depth (the measurements must be expressed in the same unit).
Method 1 of 2: Calculating the Volume of a Box in Cubic Centimeters
Step 1. Measure the length, width and depth in centimeters
All that is needed to calculate the volume of a rectangular space are the values of its dimensions in centimeters. It may be necessary to physically measure an object or convert another unit of measurement to centimeters.
- For example, if we want to find the volume of a refrigerator, we will need to find the measurement of its length, width and depth in centimeters. Let's say our refrigerator has 125 cm long, 60 cm wide and 50 cm deep.
Step 2. Write the length of your object
The first step in using this procedure to calculate a volume is to write down the dimensions of the object on paper. You can multiply the dimensions in any order - here we'll write down the length first.
- In our example we should write 60 first if our refrigerator is 60 cm long.
Step 3. Multiply the length by the width of the object
Then multiply the first measure by one of the others. Multiply the measurements again in any order. Here we are going to multiply the length by the width.
- In our example let's multiply 60 × 50 (the width). 60 × 50 = 3000.
Step 4. Multiply your answer by the object's depth
Finally, multiply the answer you got by the remaining measure. In our case, this means multiplying the product of the object's length and width by its depth.
- In our example let's multiply 3000 × 50 (the depth). 3000 × 50 = 150.000.
Step 5. Indicate that the answer is in cubic centimeters
You already know the answer is in cubic centimeters, but other people don't. Use the correct expressions and signs to identify that the answer is expressed in cubic centimeters.
- Among some ways to express the result are:
- "cubic centimeters";
- "centimeters cubed";
Method 2 of 2: Calculating the Volume of Other Formats
Step 1. Calculate the volume of a cube with the formula c3.
Cubes are rectangular prisms (boxes) that have all sides and angles equal. In this way the cube's volume can be defined as length × width × depth = length × length × length = length3. For your answer to be in centimeters, make sure the unit of measurement for the length is in centimeters.
Step 2. Calculate the volume of a cylinder with the formula v = aπr2.
Cylinders are objects without edges and with two circular faces of the same size. With the formula v = aπr2, where v = volume, a = height, and r = the radius of the cylinder (the distance between the center of the circular faces and their edge), one can find the volume of the cylinder. Make sure the "a" and "r" measurements are in centimeters.
Step 3. Calculate the volume of a cone with the formula v = (1/3)aπr2.
Cones are objects without edges and with a circular base that tapers to a point. With the formula v = aπr2/3, where v = volume, a = height, and r = radius of the circular base of the cone, it is possible to arrive at the volume of the cone. As in the step above, make sure the "h" and "r" measurements are in centimeters.
Step 4. Calculate the volume of a sphere with the formula v = 4/3πa3.
Spheres are perfectly round three-dimensional objects. With the equation v = 4/3πa3, where v = volume and r = the sphere's radius (distance from its center to the edge), it is possible to reach the sphere's volume. As in the previous step, check that the measure "r" is expressed in centimeters.
- If you know (and are reluctant to admit) that your math isn't very good, confirm your answer using a calculator or asking someone else. Trust the person you will ask and be sure to press the calculator buttons carefully to avoid mistakes.
- The "cubic centimeters" measure measures how many "things" can fit inside something.
- Use a ruler or measuring tape to measure accurately, especially if you're doing something important like an engineering project.