12 Rectangular Prism Examples in Real Life

A rectangular prism is a three-dimensional geometric solid characterized by six rectangular faces, where opposite faces are congruent and parallel, forming a solid shape with 12 edges and 8 vertices.

You come across rectangular prisms every day but you may not refer to them as rectangular prisms. This basic three-dimensional shape makes a major part of our world.

Prisms are three-dimensional shapes that have flat faces on all sides and similar parallel ends.

Rectangular prisms are shapes that have 6 rectangular faces.

Opposite faces on a rectangular prism are congruent i.e. are the same shape and size.

 Rectangular prisms are sometimes referred to as cuboids.

Types of Rectangular Prisms

Rectangular prisms can be classified as:

  • Right Rectangular Prisms: These are rectangular prisms in which all sides of its faces are perpendicular to its base. The corners in a right rectangular prism are therefore all right angles.
  • Oblique Rectangular Prisms: These are rectangular prisms in which all the side faces feature a parallelogram shape. None of the corners in this prism are right angles.

Rectangular Prisms Examples in Real Life

1. Aquariums

Aquariums are tanks with at least one transparent side. These tanks hold water and are used to keep fish and other aquatic animals and plants.

Many aquariums, especially large ones, are rectangular prisms.

This shape is easy to fit into any space. It is also strong and can withstand the weight of the water contained within it.

2. Cereal Boxes

Cereal boxes are often made in the shape of rectangular prisms. These boxes offer a strong structure to store the cereals.

 The shape also makes the boxes easy to transport and store as you can fit boxes side by side to maximize storage space.

3. Cargo Containers

Cargo containers feature a hollow rectangular prism shape.

This shape allows for maximum use of storage space within the containers.

It also makes it easy to stack containers and therefore maximize space on cargo ships.

The shape of the containers also makes them easy to transport on trucks and trains.

4. Storage Sheds

Storage sheds often feature the rectangular prism shape. This shape allows for maximum use of the space within the storage shed.

You can store items in every nook and cranny of a rectangular storage shed.

5. Houses

Homes come in all shapes and sizes. However, a good majority of them feature a rectangular prism shape.

This shape is easy to construct and offers maximum strength while ensuring better use of internal spaces.

6. Skyscrapers

Skyscrapers are tall buildings that often feature a rectangular prism shape.

 The right angles in the rectangular prism shape ensure greater strength.

This shape also makes it easier to regulate building temperatures and air circulation.

Construction is easier and the shape ensures maximum use of space.

7. Books

Books have been made in the rectangular prism shape for centuries. The rectangular shape of the pages makes it easier for readers to read the words on the page without straining.

It also allows for maximum use of the space on pages.

The rectangular prism shape of books also make them easier to store as they can be stacked or fitted into bookshelves with the title along the spine clearly visible for easy reference.

8. Parcels

Parcels for delivery are often rectangular prisms in shape. This shape makes it possible for mail and delivery companies to stack parcels and maximize storage space during delivery.

 It also helps to prevent damage to items being delivered as the shape offers greater strength.

9. Garden Boxes

Garden boxes often feature a rectangular prism shape.

Garden boxes allow people to make use of small spaces to plant vegetables or other plants of their choice.

The rectangular prism space helps to ensure maximum use of space.

10. Suitcase

You’ll want to pack as much as you possibly can for a holiday trip.

A suitcase in the shape of a rectangular prism ensures you can maximize the storage space available to you.

 These suitcases are also easier to transport as the can be stacked or fitted side by side.

11. Microwave oven

Microwave ovens are made in rectangular prism shapes. This is not only beneficial for a stronger structure but also to make it easier to fit the microwave into your space.

They can be easily stacked on fridges or other appliances or placed on countertops or pantries to maximize space.

12. A stack of cards

A deck of cards stacked up forms a rectangular prism shape.

 When the cards are stacked upright, they form a right rectangular prism. 

The stack of cards forms an oblique rectangular prism when the cards are staggered.

Closing Thoughts

We encounter rectangular prisms every day in our lives. They are the building blocks of many items around us.