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A sheet metal cone http://mathcentral.uregina.ca/QQ/database/QQ.09.05/laura1.

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Hi there, I am an art student and in the process of making a cone out of sheet metal. I am unable to work out the
template I need to produce my final cone. The dimensions I have are that the final cone will be 58mm high and
will have a diameter of 102mm. Can you help?

Thanks, Laura

Hi Laura,

I drew a picture of your cone and labeled some points.

|PQ| = 58 mm and |QR| = 51 mm and the triangle PQR is a right triangle so be Pythagoras Theorem

|PR|2 = |PQ|2 + ||QR|2 = 582 + 512 = 3364 + 2601 = 5965

so

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A sheet metal cone http://mathcentral.uregina.ca/QQ/database/QQ.09.05/laura1.html

|PR| = √5965 = 77.23 mm.

Thus when you cone is rolled out flat it is a sector of a circle of radius 77.23 mm.

The length of the arc RS is the circumference of the circle at the base of your cone. This is a circle of radius 51
mm and the circumference of a circle of radius r is given by

circumference = 2 r=2 51 = 320.44 mm.

All that remains is to determine the measure of the angle RPS. The relationship between the length of the arc of
a sector of a circle, the radius of the circle and the angle at the center is

arc length = radius angle

where the angle is measured in radians. Thus

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A sheet metal cone http://mathcentral.uregina.ca/QQ/database/QQ.09.05/laura1.html

320.44 = 77.23 angle

so

angle = 320.44/77.23 = 4.15 radians.

There are radians in 180o and hence 4.15 radians is

180
4.15 / = 237.7o

Hence you need to draw a circle of radius 77.23 mm, cut out a sector with centre angle 360o - 237.7o = 22.3o .
What remains is your template.

Penny

* Registered trade mark of Imperial Oil Limited. Used under license.

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