3D Graph Settings

The Desmos 3D calculator offers a new graph settings menu. Here, you can update your local display preferences for your current graph, change the graph bounds, turn on and off axes, enter braille mode, and switch between radians (the default) and degrees.

3d graph settings menu image

Local Display Preferences

Under preferences, you have the option to turn on reverse contrast and translucent surfaces, as well as change the perspective of how you vie the 3D cube. These display preferences are local to your current graph which means that each time you open a new or saved graph, it will load with reverse contrast and translucent surfaces off and at the default perspective.

Reverse Contrast

Reverse contrast inverts the colors of the background, expression list, and buttons while maintaining the color of your points, lines, and surfaces.

Translucent Surfaces

The translucent surfaces box allows you to view inside your surfaces and more easily visualize the intersection of different surfaces.

Perspective Slider

The perspective slider allows you to change the perspective distortion of the 3D cube. By default, the 3D cube is not fully orthographic. Moving the slider all the way to the left gives you a fully orthographic view and moving it to the right gives a perspective view with the most distortion we’ll allow. Explore changing the perspective of the cylinder in this graph: Cylinder Perspective.

Animation showing a cylinder in 3D when translucent and reverse contrast has been selected from the graphs settings menu and showing how moving the perspective slider changes the graph.

Graph Bounds

The graph bounds section allows you to easily change the \(x\), \(y\), and \(z\) bounds of your graph. To change all of the bounds simultaneously, type your new bounds in the ‘all axes’ section. To change the bounds individually, open the dropdown menu next to ‘all axes’ where you’ll have the option to edit the bounds of the \(x\), \(y\), and/or \(z\) axes. If your bounds do not center around the origin, a button will show up to the right of the graph bounds header to “Center Origin.” If the range of your axes are different, a “Zoom Square” button will show at the bottom of the graph bounds section that will zoom so that the range of all axes match the range of the \(x\)-axis. You can “Disable Zooming” with the checkbox at the bottom to avoid unintentional zooming.

Annimations showing adjusting the graph bounds then recentering the graph around the origin.

Axes

The graph settings menu allows you to change the default settings for what’s inside the 3D cube. If you want to view your graph in a blank cube, you can press the toggle to the right of the Axes section. If you want to keep the axes but remove the grid on the XY plane, the numbers on the axes, or the \(x\), \(y\), and \(z\) labels, you can uncheck the corresponding box in the Axes section.

Annimations showing graph with different axis toggled on/off.