Automated systems for variant design can be used for design iterations in order to guide the designer towards solutions that are optimized with respect to weight, cost, lead time, or other vital properties. In this work such a system for computational design problems is presented together with examples of its application. The system performs design computations, computed aided design model configuration, production process planning, and cost estimation. The design rules and algorithms are captured in knowledge “chunks,” which are human readable as well as computer executable. The workflow governing the execution of these rules and algorithms is created using a dependency structure matrix (DSM) which is included in the system. Particular attention has been given to the need for transparency, modularity, and longevity of the system, which is a prerequisite for such a system to become a viable tool in industrial applications. Experiences from the proposed system indicate that the DSM workflow manager in combination with a human readable and modularized knowledge base provides clarity and transparency for both developer and user of the system.