How Many Do I Need To Fill An Arc?

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Hey all, My buddy has a question (it's not game related) but I knew you'd be up to the task since God knows we're too retarded to figure it out. He's building a wooden treasure chest out of individual boards and he's trying to figure out how many boards he needs to build the lid. The dimensions of the chest he wants are: 4' Wide, 3' Deep, 4' High (Base is 3 feet, Lid is 1 foot). So a sideview of the lid looks like this: Which forms a parabola of sorts, but the hell if we remember our grade 10 math. Anyone have an idea on the formula that we need here? Thanks.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellipse#Circumference

If I understood your project correctly then this should be acceptable, since that projection of your lid looks like half an elllipse

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Make a cross-section drawing like the one above, but do it accurately and to scale. Then take a piece of string and measure the length of the curve in the drawing. That will give you a very close answer without involving a lot of research, time, or expense.

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