With 3dcart's additional Option Rules module, you can configure a specific set of options that would display (or not display); based on previous options that are already selected.
For example, lets say your particular base products are available in wide range of possibilities like size and color. However, certain sizes are not available in specific colors. For situations like this, you would use Option Rules to designate whether subsequent products will be available or not.
Option Rules works with radio button, dropdown and dropimage display type.