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I am having trouble plotting curves on surfaces. I have searched for similar examples and I have tried both Plot3D and ParametricPlot3D commands and experimented with Epilog and MeshFunctions (et.c) without success.

Goal: to plot a curve and a line segment (or, it could be a vector) on a surface. The curve follows the surface.

The Sin[x] function is a reasonable surface although my surface I am using is constructed via a ParametricPlot3D command from an Interpolation function generated from data numerically computed by an external program. But, if I know how to do this with Sin[x] via ParametricPlot3D I can do it with my Interpolation function.

Here is a Sin[x] function plotted using:

enter image description here

Notice that a surface and a curve is plotted, the curve being the $2\sin{x}$ value along $y=2$. I have not yet figured out how to highlight the curve with different color or thickness but that is not may main question. I would like to have this $2\sin{x}$ curve run from points $(2.3,2)\rightarrow (4.0,2)$ only and of course highlighted by a different color. Another line (on the surface) would extend from points $(2.3,2)$ to $(4.0,4)$.

Help?

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Your problem was that your line did not depend upon $y$. ParametricPlot3D functions use both variables and produces fundamentally two-dimensional surfaces when you have two variables.

ParametricPlot3D[{
  {x, y, 2 Sin[x]},
  {x, 2 + y/50, 2 Sin[x]}
  },
 {x, 0, 3 π}, {y, 0, 6},
 PlotStyle -> {{Opacity[0.5], Pink}, {Black}}]

Best is to make the plot of the line a function of just one variable:

a = ParametricPlot3D[
   {x, y, 2 Sin[x]},
   {x, 0, 3 π}, {y, 0, 6},
   PlotStyle -> {Opacity[0.5], Pink}];
b = ParametricPlot3D[{x, 2, 2 Sin[x]},
   {x, 0, 2 π},
   PlotStyle -> Blue];
Show[a, b]

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I attempted to mark as answer but it is not working for some reason. But, this worked and I am kicking myself (not too easy to do though) because I did not realize the solution you posted -- I should have. $\endgroup$ – K7PEH May 24 '16 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ I now see that the answer mark is posted -- had to refresh the page though. $\endgroup$ – K7PEH May 24 '16 at 18:00
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You can also use the options Mesh and MeshFunctions with a single ParametricPlot3D:

a = 2; b = 2 Pi;
ParametricPlot3D[{u, v, 2 Sin[u]}, {u, 0, 3 Pi}, {v, 0, 6}, 
 MeshFunctions -> {# &, #2 &, ConditionalExpression[#2 - 2, a <= # <= b] &},
  Mesh -> { 15, Range[0, 6, .5], {{0, Directive[Thick, Red]}}}]

Mathematica graphics

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