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Second Autodesk spinoff expected

In an announcement to be made tomorrow, the company will describe plans to launch an online service for engineers and manufacturing professionals called Red Spark.

Autodesk tomorrow is expected to announce plans to launch an encore to last year's construction industry spinoff,

Part of the San Rafael, Calif., software maker's new focus on Internet services, Red Spark is designed to enable engineers and manufacturing professionals to conduct business and collaborate on projects with the help of Autodesk's design technology.

Autodesk, which makes design software used by engineers and architects, shepherded the launch of Buzzsaw, its first Web-based venture, in November. The venture has since raised $75 million from outside investors.

Business-to-business exchanges such as Buzzsaw and Red Spark link industry professionals so they can buy the parts they need for developing a product and work together on its design.

Autodesk said Red Spark will probably launch this summer.