



 
Serena, There isn't a single simple formula  sorry! For prisms and cylinders (flat base, congruent parallel top, straight sides ) you can use base x height. For pyramids (flat base tapering uniformly to a point) you can use 1/3 base x height. One that works for a lot of shapes is called the "prismoidal formula", an application of "Simpson's Rule" for numerical integration. V = 1/6 h [base area + 4(middle area) + top area] It works for all the above, and also for spheres, ellipsoids, and paraboloids (among other shapes.) Its error is also low for many other shapes (but not all: for instance, it will grossly underestimate the volume of an hourglass!) Good Hunting!
 


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