Last week's focus was GeoGebra, a dynamic geometry package that is FREE. But, it is two-dimensional!
Cabri 3D to the rescue, even though it is not FREE. But, what is it...and what does it offer?
In a nutshell, Cabri 3D is dynamic mathematics software that connects algebra nd geometry in the third-dimension on a two-dimensional screen...and thus, because of its power, takes some time to get used to.
It has many nice features:
Construct 2-D and 3-D figures, from the simplest to the most complex, by combining fundamental geometric objects such as points, angles, segments, circles, planes, solids and transformations
Create algebraic expressions using numbers, variables and operations
Connect geometry and algebra, including the making of conjectures and measurements of length, angle, area, and volume...measuremenst that subsequently can be used in both calculations and algebraic expressions
Explore a figure's properties by manipulating its variable elements, plus observe the effects of dynamic transformations
To enhance the above explorations, Cabri 3D includes these tools:
If you know nothing about the software Cabri 3D, I suggest you start with the "Classroom Lesson" video on the home page or the special (and impressive) White Board Demonstration using Cabri 3D page for an overview.
- Basic constructions with relationships involving planes, spheres and lines
- Construction of common solids, such as pyramids, parallelograms, cylinders and cones
- Ability to visually reveal planar sections of solids
- Unfold polyhedron into nets, which are printable
- Adjust viewing angles of the objects
- Animation tools for modeling physical phenomena
- Different representations and perspectives of the same figure
Then, I suggest exploration of the Cabri 3D Gallery, which includes representations from space geometry, optics, physics, and Extra (e.g. 3-dimensional net for an unfolded 4-dimensional tesseract!).
Finally, the next step should be you downloading the 30-day demo version, ...make sure you time it when you have ample time to not only master the software's tools but also play with geometrical ideas. Plus, even when the 30-day period has expired, the downloaded version will operate in a somewhat restricted mode....and the actual price ($115) is not that unreasonable for its power.