As the use of 3D printing increases and becomes more widespread and less costly, it presents a range of potential threats and benefits to the nation’s security, according to a new report.

Potential threats include untraceable weapons and parts, explosives, sabotaging critical parts, concealing illicit items inside printed parts, cyber and physical compromise of printing technology, counterfeit parts, and biometric spoofing, such as making masks and fingerprints to fool biometric readers, says the report that was approved on Monday by the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).

“Untraceable weapons include ‘ghost guns,’ named as such because they have no serial number, are not traceable, and are not detectable through metal detectors if 3D printed from polymer material,” says the 3D-Printing report by the HSAC’s Emerging Technologies Subcommittee. “Metal 3D printing may be employed to produce firearms or parts of firearms that are more durable than plastic equivalents and still avoid traceability.”

The report cites a number of benefits that are already emerging or are on the way from the adoption of 3D printing, including lower costs of printing metal systems, the use of new materials, production of safety critical parts, new chemical formulations, electrical components, and biological tissue printing.

The report makes three recommendations to improve security around 3D printing, including making parts that are traceable to the machines and files that produced them.

To thwart concealment of illicit items in 3D printed parts, the report recommends imaging and detection tools to detect these times and detect flaws intentionally introduced in the parts to bring on failure.

The third recommendation is for cyber security protections for digital data that flows among designers, engineers, technicians and printers.

With the report’s approval, it heads to the Secretary of Homeland Security for consideration.