8 Difference between 2D and 3D Shapes(With Table)

Teaching the difference between 2D and 3D shapes can be quite tricky especially if you do not have a clue concerning the two terms.

Dimension is a term that is commonly used across many subjects like animation, engineer drawing, and computer graphics among many others.

So, what is the main difference between 2D and 3D shapes? The former is represented using the X-axis and Y-axis while the latter has X, Y, and Z plotting points. 

This article provides comprehensive explanations of the similarities and differences between 2D and 3D shapes. Take time to read through it and learn more about the difference between 2D and 3D images. 

Comparison Table (2D Vs 3D Shapes)

Basic Terms

2D Shapes

3D Shapes


Has two-dimension e.g length and width

Has three dimensions e.g length, width, and height

Number of Axis

Has two axis: x and y

Has three axis: x, y, and z

Examples of Object

Circle, square, triangle, square, rectangle

Spheres, cubes, cuboids, pyramid

Visibility of Edges

Two edges are visible

Most edges are not visible

Easy of Drawing

It is easy to create

It is difficult to create

What Are 2D Shapes?

2D shapes are those that contain both the length and the width. According to research, a 2D shape can be produced on a flat surface.

Geological maps are an example of 2D shapes since they use the contouring method to show the depth with the assistance of shapes.

Besides that, all parallel projections and one-point perspective projection plans are other examples that rely on 2D.

All the drawings made on the floor, walls, tiles, and fabrics are some of the applications of 2D in real life.  

What Are 3D Shapes?

3D shapes are solid objects that have length, width, and height. The type of dimension is used in animation, building designs, Bridge designs, and drawing graphs.

Some of the common shapes that have 3D are buildings, boxes, and furniture. The dimension is quite ideal in all engineering drawings.

Examples of shapes with 3D are cube, cuboid, pyramid, and spheres among many others. 3D design is also crucial in 3D printing.

Main Differences Between 2D and 3D Shapes 

  1. 2D shapes have two dimensions while the 3D shapes have three dimensions
  2. 3D have hidden edges while 2D shapes have edges that are visible
  3. All creatures such as ants have 2D shapes hence lack a sense of depth
  4. The 3D design is applicable in modeling, printing, and filming unlike 2D
  5. 3D designs are quality when compared to 2D designs
  6. 3D designs provide the viewer with a real experience unlike 2D designs
  7. 3D designs are economical and they provide the manufacturer with clear figures
  8. 2D shapes have two axes while 3D shapes have three axis

Similarities between 2D and 3D Shapes

  1. Both have length 
  2. Both have a width 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is 2D Better than 3D?

3D since it offers a more vivid and life-like  experience when compared to 2D

  • Is a Shadow 2 Dimensional?

The cross-section of a shadow is a twodimensional silhouette. But it occupies the three-dimensional volume behind an object with light in front of it.

  • Is 3D Animation Easier than 2D?

3D animation will take much much longer than 2D. Hence making it complex since you have to capture the 3D motion. 

  • Should I learn 2D or 3D Animations?

2D Animation is less expensive and takes less time to learn in comparison to 3D animation, which is very expensive. Besides that, there is a necessity of high configuration technologies for 3D Animation but for 2D Animation normal computer is enough. 

You May Also Like:


The core differences between 2D and 3D shapes are quite clear according to the discussion above. Basically, 2D shapes can be produced on a flat surface and they tend to have two-axis while 3D shapes have three axes.

I hope the article was useful when differentiating between the two shapes. Use the comment section below and provide your views. Good Luck.

More Sources and References


Leave a Comment