There are two kinds of paraboloids: elliptic and hyperbolic. Elliptic Paraboloid – The elliptic paraboloid is shaped like an oval cup and can have a maximum or minimum point. In a suitable coordinate system with three axes , , and , it can be represented by the equation[1]
where and are constants that dictate the level of curvature in the planes respectively. This is an elliptic paraboloid which opens upward.
and

As with cylinders this has a cross section of an ellipse and if it will have a cross section of a circle. When we deal with these we’ll generally be dealing with the kind that has a circle for a cross section. In this case the variable that isn’t squared determines the axis upon which the paraboloid opens up. Also, the sign of c will determine the direction that the paraboloid opens. If c is positive then it opens up and if c is negative then it opens down. The trace, or cross section, in the xyplane is a point. If c= 1, the point is the origin (0,0). The traces in planes parallel to and above the xyplane are ellipses. The traces in the yzplane and xzplane are parabolas, as are the traces in planes parallel to these. In this example Horizontal traces are ellipses. Vertical traces are parabolas. The variable raised to the first power indicates the axis of the paraboloid.
If a = b and both are greater than 0, the horizontal traces are circles. The surface is then simply named a paraboloid or circular paraboloid. Hyperbolic Paraboloid – The hyperbolic paraboloid (not to be confused with a hyperboloid) is a doubly ruled surface shaped like a saddle. In a suitable coordinate system, a hyperbolic paraboloid can be represented by the equation[2] For c>0, this is a hyperbolic paraboloid that opens up along the xaxis and down along the yaxis (i.e., the parabola in the plane x=0 opens upward and the parabola in the plane y=0 opens downward). Ellipsoid – An ellipsoid is a closed quadric surface that is a three dimensional analogue of an ellipse. The standard equation of an ellipsoid centered at the origin of a Cartesian coordinate system and aligned with the axes is
The points (a,0,0), (0,b,0) and (0,0,c) lie on the surface and the line segments from the origin to these points are called the semiprincipal axes of length a, b, c. They correspond to the semimajor axis and semiminor axis of the appropriate ellipses. There are four distinct cases of which one is degenerate: — triaxial or (rarely) scalene ellipsoid; — oblate ellipsoid of revolution (oblate spheroid); — prolate ellipsoid of revolution (prolate spheroid); — the degenerate case of a sphere; Mathematical literature often uses 'ellipsoid' in place of 'triaxial ellipsoid'. Scientific literature (particularly geodesy) often uses 'ellipsoid' in place of 'ellipsoid of revolution' and only applies the adjective 'triaxial' when treating the general case. Older literature uses 'spheroid' in place of 'ellipsoid of revolution'. Any planar cross section passing through the center of an ellipsoid forms an ellipse on its surface: this degenerates to a circle for sections normal to the symmetry axis of an ellipsoid of revolution (or all sections when the ellipsoid degenerates to a sphere.) Hyperboloid of One Sheet – Here is the equation of a hyperboloid of one sheet. Here is a sketch of a typical hyperboloid of one sheet. The variable with the negative in front of it will give the axis along which the graph is centered.
. a cone that opens up along the xaxis will have the equation. For instance. We will however acknowledge how each formula needs to be changed to get a change of orientation for the surface. Here is a sketch of a typical cone.Hyperboloid of Two Sheets – The variable with the positive in front of it will give the axis along which the graph is centered. In the case of a cone the variable that sits by itself on one side of the equal sign will determine the axis that the cone opens up along. Notice that the only difference between the hyperboloid of one sheet and the hyperboloid of two sheets is the signs in front of the variables. Double Cone – Here is the general equation of a cone. Note that this is the equation of a cone that will open along the zaxis. To get the equation of a cone that opens along one of the other axes all we need to do is make a slight modification of the equation. They are exactly the opposite signs. This will be the case for the rest of the surfaces that we’ll be looking at in this section as well. For most of the following surfaces we will not give the other possible formulas.