The surface area
of a is the total of all the surfaces of the shape. The lateral area
is the total area of all lateral surfaces
, the surfaces of the shape that are not bases. The lateral area can be defined for , , and . In these instances, the surface area of the shape can be calculated by the formula below.
The can be helpful to visualize the surfaces of a three-dimensional figure.
Some three-dimensional shapes, like , have no bases. In these cases, sometimes a special formula can be applied, such as the one used to calculate the .