Over the past decade, 3M has developed a number of mobile projectors, with a goal towards providing the world’s smallest, most efficient projection systems. Compact size and efficiency are required characteristics for projection systems used in mobile devices and more lately, in augmented reality systems. In this paper we summarize the main generations of 3M light engine optical designs. We present the optical architectures of four light engines, including the rationale behind the illumination designs and the projection systems. In particular, we describe various configurations relating to the 3M polarizing beam splitter (PBS) which is key to enhanced efficiency of the miniature projection systems.