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Re: Re: Axes at the origin, for 3D plots/graphs

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg88406] Re: [mg88388] Re: Axes at the origin, for 3D plots/graphs
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 06:09:02 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <fveh0m$5fh$> <>
  • Reply-to: murray at

That VERY old notebook at MathSource is useful.  However:

1. One change is essential: for Mathematica 6, remove entirely the cell 
that loads Graphics`ParametricPlot3D`.

2. It's not obvious until you experiment or peruse the code, but when 
the Input prompts ask you for the min and max values for each of the 
three coordinates, you need to supply them in a list format: {min,max}

3. It is useful if, in the Plot3D expression, you add something like 
PlotStyle->{Opacity[0.5]}.  This allows the axes to be visible beneath 
and behind the surface that would otherwise hide parts of them.

Unfortunately, the package does nothing directly to treat hidden 
portions of the origin-centered axes.

Despite the existence of this package, it is still unforgivable that 
Mathematica does not offer an option of origin-centered axes for 3D 
graphics.  It would seem to be pure prejudice of scientists and 
engineers against mathematicians, or at least standard practices of 3D 
graphing in elementary mathematics such as multivariable calculus, where 
one draws the axes at the origin.

Jean-Marc Gulliet wrote:
> ShibbyShayne at wrote:
>> Does anyone know of a way to move the axes from the outside of the box
>> and have it centered at the origin instead?  I know you can draw lines
>> using the graphics function to do this but it looks bad.  I am looking
>> for something similar to how you can move the axes using AxisOrigin
>> for 2D plots.
> You could write your own function. The following notebook might be help 
> you started.
> *3D Axes*
> "Sometimes in calculus, it is useful to see the x, y, and z axes in a 3D 
> plot. This notebook illustrates a method for placing a coordinate axis 
> set in the middle of a 3D plot as opposed to a bounding box."

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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