# Calculator similar to Desmos but for $3$D

Is there a calculator with functionality similar to Desmos but in $$3$$ dimensions? I am looking to learn about families of quadric surfaces so I am looking for a $$3$$D calculator with sliders.

• en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slider_%28sandwich%29 Feb 26, 2014 at 2:54
• Sounds good right about now. Feb 26, 2014 at 2:57
• Do you have a real graphing calculator? Feb 26, 2014 at 3:04
• Interestingly enough, you can make (read: fake) 3D graphs in Desmos (which means you can use sliders) desmos.com/calculator/nqom2ih05g desmos.com/calculator/shw1wthey5 Jun 24, 2014 at 0:19
• @JosiahKrutz thanks for sharing, now that's awesome! Dec 26, 2018 at 14:32

Updated, December 2018: I made the following website with the aim of producing a Desmos-like experience in 3D for my multivariable calculus students.

math3d.org

You can create and animate points, vectors, curves, surfaces (explicit & implicit), and vector fields. After creating a demonstration, you can save it and share.

Here are three scenes that I particularly like:

This project is on Github. If you find bugs or have ideas for improvements, please open an issue!

• This is absolutely awesome. I'm taking multivariable calculus this semester, discovered MathBox.js, and was wanting to make something like this, but haven't had time (lots of homework) to build anything this sophisticated. So, thanks! Sep 22, 2017 at 20:07
• This is awesome. Exactly what i want! I'm using it to visualize my example in textbook. Thank you! Feb 21, 2018 at 3:41
• Thank you thank you thank you!
– Ovi
Nov 10, 2018 at 3:19
• @Ovi Glad you like it! See updated post. Nov 10, 2018 at 12:32
• @ChrisChudzicki Very nice! Just had time to check it out. One small thing though; when graphing an explicit surface, I tried to change the domain for $x, y$ and it didn't seem to work.
– Ovi
Nov 25, 2018 at 4:24

GeoGebra does exactly what you want:

https://www.geogebra.org/3d

https://www.geogebra.org/3d?command=a=1;z=x%5E2-a*y%5E2#3d

• At times formula editor of Geogebra erases what you typed partially or entirely and it is not clear what the error was. Better to type somewhere else and copy/paste on GG. Apr 21, 2020 at 19:42

If you are on a Mac, you can try the included application called Grapher:

1. Open Grapher by opening Spotlight (Command+Space) and typing 'Grapher' (and hitting enter)
2. Click '3D Graph' and hit the Choose button
3. Your text cursor should be to the right of 'z=' inside a text box; type any 3D function including the parameter 'a', such as sin(a*x), and hit enter
4. Click the plus button at the bottom left hand corner of the window, and click New Equation
5. Erase the 'z=', type 'a=2', and hit enter
6. Open the Equation menu and select Animate Parameter
7. Now drag the slider to change the parameter!
8. (optional) If you want to have the slider act continuously, click the right most 'Settings' button above the slider (with the two checkboxes and lines), and check the box labeled Continuous Range

Enjoy!

You can actually just use Desmos!

https://www.desmos.com/calculator/euncwbhqlb

• Doesn't allow for rotation, or other nice features Apr 6, 2020 at 21:57

http://www.graphycalc.com/ is an excellent site. try it out.

You might try http://web.monroecc.edu/manila/webfiles/calcNSF/JavaCode/CalcPlot3D.htm. It has sliders available under the Parameters->Adjust Parameters menu option.

This is nice too. Try it out https://www.geogebra.org/3d?lang=en :)

• In this case, the questioner asked for an online graphing calculator, so a link to the site is appropriate. ^_^
– user694818
Dec 21, 2019 at 16:25

Just about all of the 3D plotters I've seen online fail in a few major areas:

1. Asymptotes. For example, $$f(x,y) = \tan(x)$$ shouldn't have vertical planes in its graph.
2. Plot boundaries. Functions with restricted domains, i.e. $$f(x,y)=\sqrt{1-x^2-y^2}$$, should not have jagged triangles where the domain ends (in this case the unit circle on the $$xy$$ plane).
3. Discontinuities. Related to #1, but also applies to step functions and the like. Discontinuities should not be visible as an abrupt vertical plane.

Awhile ago I attempted to address these issues in Koval's 3D Grapher. Now at the time I wasn't nearly as clever as I really needed to be, so it still struggles with some things (notably $$f(x,y)=\tan(x)+\tan(y)$$ and other "2D asymptotes"), but in general it does pretty well: Also supports spherical and cylindrical coordinates and some 1D and 2D parameterized graphs.