Selling multiple small items as one "product"?

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Our shop sells a product made up of about 15 individual pieces, and those individual pieces sometimes need to be replaced at different times.

I'd like to offer a way for people to re-order one or several of these pieces, with each having a different price, but am having trouble figuring out how to accommodate this type of thing on a single page.

I think it'd be ideal to either have a checkbox list, like:

- Piece 1 ($20)
- Piece 2 ($10)
- Piece 3 ($25)

Or, have the different pieces grouped into several drop-down menus, like:

Group 1
- None ($0)
- Piece 1 ($20)
- Piece 2 ($20)
- Piece 3 ($40)
- Pieces 1, 2 and 3 ($50)

Group 2
- None ($0)
- Piece 4 ($10)
- Piece 5 ($10)
- Pieces 4 and 5 ($20) Group 3 - None ($0) - Piece 6 ($35) ...

I can't tell if variants are going to work for this:

In the first 'checkbox' example, I don't think it's possible for people to add multiple variants to the cart at once, as would be the case if they needed more than one piece.

In the second example, I'd need something like 20,000 variants, which is obviously impractical.

It seems like I either:

  1. Need to be able to dynamically change the price of this "product" depending on which pieces are chosen, which I'm not sure is possible with Shopify.
  2. Or, I need to create a separate product for each piece, then have the selected pieces added to the cart when the add-to-cart button is clicked.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Our shop is almost completely custom, and I'm very comfortable with javascript... I could just use some help with figuring out which direction to go within the context of Shopify's capabilities.