# What is the Least Common Multiple of 3 and 12?

Least common multiple or lowest common denominator (lcd) can be calculated in two way; with the LCM formula calculation of greatest common factor (GCF), or multiplying the prime factors with the highest exponent factor.

Least common multiple (LCM) of 3 and 12 is 12.

LCM(3,12) = 12

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## Least Common Multiple of 3 and 12 with GCF Formula

The formula of LCM is LCM(a,b) = ( a × b) / GCF(a,b).
We need to calculate greatest common factor 3 and 12, than apply into the LCM equation.

GCF(3,12) = 3
LCM(3,12) = ( 3 × 12) / 3
LCM(3,12) = 36 / 3
LCM(3,12) = 12

## Least Common Multiple (LCM) of 3 and 12 with Primes

Least common multiple can be found by multiplying the highest exponent prime factors of 3 and 12. First we will calculate the prime factors of 3 and 12.

### Prime Factorization of 3

Prime factors of 3 are 3. Prime factorization of 3 in exponential form is:

3 = 31

### Prime Factorization of 12

Prime factors of 12 are 2, 3. Prime factorization of 12 in exponential form is:

12 = 22 × 31

Now multiplying the highest exponent prime factors to calculate the LCM of 3 and 12.

LCM(3,12) = 31 × 22
LCM(3,12) = 12