Trades workers encounter solid or three-dimensional figures in the form of tanks, pipes, ducts, boxes, birthday cakes, and buildings. They must be able to identify these geometric solids and their component parts and compute their volume.

Have you ever had the experience of measuring the amount of space in a tank, a refrigerator or other three-dimensional figures? Volume is the term for measures of the size of three-dimensional figures. It is the amount of space inside an object or the amount of space an object occupies.

A cube is convenient to use as a unit to measure an object’s volume. The number of units needed to fill a figure is its volume.

EXAMPLE

If 1 cubic unit represents 1cm^{3}, what is the volume of the following figure?

SOLUTION

By counting the units, we can figure out the volume of an object. The volume of the figure is 12 cm^{3} because there are 12 cubic units in it.

Volume is related to length, so units of measure for volume are also related to units of measure for length. Volume like length can be measured in both metric units and inch-based units. Check out the table here to see both systems side by side, symbols, under what other names volume might show up in trades tasks and how volume is different from capacity: See more on capacity vs volume in Episode 26 ADVANCED.