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I have not explored the PSTricks' pst-solides3d, TikZ's equivalent packages, Asymptote as a tool, etc, yet.

I have a task to make some simple 3D diagrams that are related to 3D geometry subject we learnt in senior high school. For example, we need to find the cross section of a cube cut by any plane, or a point at which a line penetrate a plane, etc.

Which packages or tools do you recommend?

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Asymptote is not a package but it's surely the best tool to create complicated drawings in 3D. Now it's impossible to compare a tool like asymptote with a package like tikz. The first is a drawing tool and the second a fine package to illustrate some results. The choice depends on what you want. – Alain Matthes Oct 29 '12 at 7:22
can all be done with pst-solides3d ... – Herbert Oct 29 '12 at 8:03
@Herbert: Is it a question or confirmation because your word ordering seems to be a mix of a question and confirmation pattern? – kiss my armpit Oct 29 '12 at 8:15
@Herbert yes you can do a lot of things with pstricks and pst-solides3d. It is certain that PStricks is more powerful than Tikz to draw 3D pictures but I think the more powerful tool to draw complicated drawings and to do some complicated calculations is Asymptote. Some links to see some results with Asymptote marris.org/asymptote/Surfaces_3D/index.html marris.org/asymptote/Transformations_3D/index.html and marris.org/asymptote/Autres_3D/index.html – Alain Matthes Oct 29 '12 at 10:42
@AlainMatthes: How can you compare both? I cannot remember that you tried pst-solides3d in the past ;-) melusine.eu.org/syracuse/pstricks/pst-solides3d/doc – Herbert Oct 29 '12 at 10:49
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You mention that you've been tasked with drawing simple 3D structures. For that, a visually intuitive tool is Google Sketchup. 3D geometry for cubes is obtained by extruding (using the Push/Pull tool) a square, and model components can be intersected with one another.

enter image description here

Geometric perspective to the desired viewpoint is easily achieved via the orbiting tool. Print to PDF provides a means to include the resulting 3D structure to be included into your LaTeX document:

enter image description here

More complex figures and intersections are also possible using basic constructions of rectangles/circles and extrusions in 3D. Here the two pieces from the intersected cube has been separated:

enter image description here

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How can we show only the cross section? – kiss my armpit Nov 3 '12 at 5:00
@ガベージコレクタ: I've added a view on showing a separation of the cross-section. Not sure whether this is what you're after. – Werner Nov 3 '12 at 6:21
I am trying the software first whether it support coordinate inputs, math expressions, etc. – kiss my armpit Nov 3 '12 at 6:27
@ガベージコレクタ: Yes, it accepts coordinate inputs, but not math expressions for curve or line generation. – Werner Nov 3 '12 at 14:15

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