3D Graphing Calculator Tools FAQ
What is a Plot?
Before inkjet printers and computer memory became affordable, graphs and 3D objects were saved as vector graphic files. These files had the advantage that their size was immensely smaller than raster graphics files, because they only displayed the outlines of objects. Hard copies were made using “plotters” – output devices that drew on paper along the X- and Y-axis using pens. Although they are no longer a necessity, vector files are still popular for their clarity.
Are 3D Graphing Calculators Tools better than Handheld Calculators?
This largely depends on the handheld calculator. One criterium is the support of CAS, or computer algebra system that 3D graphing calculator tools offer by default. Meaning you can enter mathematical equations symbolically and return symbolic equations as answers as you would with pen and paper. This makes it easier for students to transfer what they have learned from one mode of calculating to the other.
While advanced handheld 3D graphing calculators usually support CAS, most low-cost calculators do not offer this feature. The developers of some of the best 3D graphing calculators take advantage of CAS by offering step-by-step solutions to symbolic expressions so that students can study and understand their math problems in detail.
Moreover, CAS capability can mean that certain 3D graphing calculator won’t be permitted on standardized exams. Before buying a handheld calculator, you should find out what exact models are approved.
Did we miss a 3D graphing calculator that you can recommend? Let us know in the comments.