Mathematics Using Transparent Deli Containers

Transparent deli containers can be stacked together to produce interesting three dimensional plots of mathematical functions .

How to obtain Deli Trays

These trays are available from restaurant supply stores. Look for DART C90HT, or Reynolds 1757. They should run $12 to $25 per hundred. Note you will cut the hinged trays apart so you will get 200 trays out of each 100 hinged trays.) You can buy these in bulk online from If you can inspect these in a store before you buy them, some are much more transparent than others. You will want containers that allow you to see clearly through at least 8 layers.

Contour maps of a paraboloid and other curves of revolution.

Contour maps of a sphere


 Other things to do with Deli Containers.

Make a three dimensional model of the Big Dipper.

Make a three dimensional model of Orion.

 How to create contour maps of mathematical functions.



Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty

© 2007

11 November 2007