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Math Help - Cylinder Equations

  1. #1
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    Cylinder Equations

    This is pretty much my first post here, and I wasn't sure as to where this might belong as it's related to many things at once, but I don't have enough knowledge to be able to pin this down to any particular area.

    Pretty much, I was looking for the closest distance between two cylinders with radius r1, r2, length l1, l2.

    Basically, in 3D space, each cylinder can be represented by two dots at the center of the two bottom surfaces of the cylinders, plus its radius.

    I have to be able to find a way to determine the distance, and judge if they collide or overlap, with a function or functions.

    The issue I seem to be having is the fact that I can't seem to be able to make a 3-D set of equations using this data.

    I was planning on using the 2*(pi*r^2)+ (2*pi*r)*h equation for surface area, but I have no idea as to how I can apply this equation in 3-D space and try to accommodate a 3-D distance equation, or the square root of (x2-x1)+(y2-y1)+(z2-z1), which is the only thing I have been able to find online.

    If you have any recommendations or different equations/methods I can use that maybe easier, please let me know...

    Thanks in advance
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  2. #2
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    Re: Cylinder Equations

    Quote Originally Posted by zekefreed777 View Post
    This is pretty much my first post here, and I wasn't sure as to where this might belong as it's related to many things at once, but I don't have enough knowledge to be able to pin this down to any particular area.

    Pretty much, I was looking for the closest distance between two cylinders with radius r1, r2, length l1, l2.

    Basically, in 3D space, each cylinder can be represented by two dots at the center of the two bottom surfaces of the cylinders, plus its radius.

    I have to be able to find a way to determine the distance, and judge if they collide or overlap, with a function or functions.

    The issue I seem to be having is the fact that I can't seem to be able to make a 3-D set of equations using this data.

    I was planning on using the 2*(pi*r^2)+ (2*pi*r)*h equation for surface area, but I have no idea as to how I can apply this equation in 3-D space and try to accommodate a 3-D distance equation, or the square root of (x2-x1)+(y2-y1)+(z2-z1), which is the only thing I have been able to find online.

    If you have any recommendations or different equations/methods I can use that maybe easier, please let me know...

    Thanks in advance
    A cylinder's equation is given by \displaystyle \begin{align*} x^2 + y^2 = r^2 \end{align*} with \displaystyle \begin{align*} z \end{align*} as a free variable.
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    Re: Cylinder Equations

    Thanks for the equation, Prove It.

    Can it be expanded into (x-h)^2+(y-k)^2=r^2 for a cylinder with a point not at the origin? I ask just to make sure since this is technically the same equation for a circle in 2-d space, because in essence we are breaking down the cylinder into circular cross-sections, right? My math is a bit rusty...
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    Re: Cylinder Equations

    Quote Originally Posted by zekefreed777 View Post
    Thanks for the equation, Prove It.

    Can it be expanded into (x-h)^2+(y-k)^2=r^2 for a cylinder with a point not at the origin? I ask just to make sure since this is technically the same equation for a circle in 2-d space, because in essence we are breaking down the cylinder into circular cross-sections, right? My math is a bit rusty...
    Yes, that is correct
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  5. #5
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    Re: Cylinder Equations

    I managed to figure it out without using this equation (I think).

    Pretty much I was able to see that through the cylinders, I have two different line segments (denoted by the height) and the two different radii along with the points at the top and bottom of the cylinder. The trick is to use the distance formula with x,y,& z and minus both of the radii from that distance to get the closest distances between the surfaces of the cylinders...

    Thanks again, Prove It!

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