Any ideas on how to make a dog brace?

Does anyone have any idea what kind of equipment would be needed to create something like this dog bootie? It is made of molded plastic with neoprene stuck on the inside. The buckles are metal, faux leather and velcro. On the bottom has some traction material glued on.

We recently adopted a dog from DAS who we bought this brace for (he needs it because he was hit by a care before we adopted him) anyway, the one we bought does not fit well and is causing sores on his leg. I would like to figure out how to make him one that fits really well if possible. He will need a brace like this for the rest of his life as he has nerve damage. Just trying to figure out a workable solution and I hoped some resourceful person here might have an idea. Thanks!

Poor doggo!

We can design and 3D-print the shell fairly easily. Since it’ll be a lifelong prosthesis, iterating on the design seems worth the effort.

With detailed measurements, creating a parametric CAD model won’t be too tough.

Once designed and printed, some removable padding could be attached via glued-on Velcro (or other means), and straps added. Loops to hold the straps could be designed into the 3D-printed part. Preferred traction material can also be glued on easily.

A 3D-printed, ABS plastic part should be plenty durable for this purpose. If not, it’s easy and cheap to print multiple copies, and to improve on the design over time.

I’d be happy to work on this. I’m not sure if there’s an easy way to capture the dimensions of the leg and paw, so that might be the first challenge.

Feel free to send me a direct message if you’d like to setup a time to talk more about this.

Best wishes,

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Wouldn’t taking a mold of the foot be the best option? Then just 3D scan that into the computer.


Kydex is a reasonably priced thermoplastic which can be molded with a hot air gun. It’s often used for knife sheaths. You could make a master (sculpt or lifemold?), build it up to allow for the padding, then form the kydex over the master. A Dremel can trim up the edges and cut the slots for the strapping. A bandsaw will also cut the edges.

The PIGSIG might also be able to help with a vacuum-formed solution.


I once made a wrist brace for myself from kydex and velcro straps. Worked great. Vacuum table IN PIGSIG would be perfect for forming, but you’d need to fab a form, which could be done via 3D print.

Agree that 3D printing would allow for design iterations and improvement, and would also be a start to finish solution that would bypass the kydex altogether.


Hi Evan,
I would love your help with this! Thank you. Also, meet Auggie - the one this is for.

Initially, I thought maybe I should make a plaster mold of his foot that we could use as a go-by, but I think since he will be moving in it, if the fit is too form fitting that might rub as well. Also, since it will have foam on the inside the need for exactness is less.

So, what do you need from me and how can I help get this going? And thanks again!


Hi auggie-doggie!

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what a cutie. Have you marked/kept track of which areas in particular he’s rubbing the most on? It might be good to know and add more padding in those spots if you can.