The fast-moving COVID-19 pandemic stressed supply chains even for some of the best prepared medical facilities. As a result, producing on-demand personal protective equipment (PPE) using additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities (3D-printing) emerged as a common strategy. While layer-by-layer processing confers several advantages to AM, it also imposes prohibitive print times, particularly for large volume parts. This leads to potential for using AM to rapidly produce smaller adaptors that modify available components for addressing critical shortages in emergencies. We applied this principle in developing a quick, simple, and low-cost adaptation of elastomeric half-mask respirators for emergency use in high-risk clinical settings. As we move toward reopening society, we must proactively build stronger bridges between engineering and medicine to respond to critical shortages in PPE ensuing from a potential second wave.