For many years digital fabrication tools were outside the reach of most architects and designers.  Recently, the front-end costs of these tools have become more economically feasible for individuals to purchase, but the gap between cost and affordability still persists for many.  In order to practice the digital vernacular it is imperative that the tools align with an economic model accessible to the larger community.  To this end, makeLab has designed and built its own digital fabrication tools in the lab along with multiple suitcase size tools that have traveled to workshops internationally.  This allows us to customize the equipment to our needs and reduces cost in maintenance and repair.  Furthermore, this process gives designers a higher understanding of the tools’ abilities and limitations.