Museum Ship Maintenance via 3D Printing

USS Massachusetts (BB-59), the third of four SoDak super dreadnoughts built during WWII, turned 80 this year.

USS Massachusetts underway somewhere in the pacific (1943)

Of course, she only spent five of those years on active duty (earning 11 Battle Stars fighting the Vichy French and Japanese) and another 15 years in mothballs before shuffling to Fall River, Massachusetts in 1965 to assume an enduring auxiliary role as a museum ship.

Using donations and support from the Commonwealth, “Big Mamie” has been getting a lot of work done including “prepping, priming, and painting the main deck waterways, a complete hull repainting to include all numbers and her name, and welding work to repair main deck stanchions,” while her “her main deck fantail and 40mm gun tubs aft are being completely prepped, primed, and painted as well.”

Museum staff are also taking advantage of a new 3D printing lab aboard the vessel to craft new parts to replace those that have long ago broken or walked off with visitors over the years.

Now that is beautiful.

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